Information Publication Scheme Agency Plan

The Department of Industry (the Department) is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements. This agency plan describes how the Department proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

In particular, the Department proposes to implement and administer the IPS by:

  • establishing and administering the Department's IPS contribution
  • creating an information architecture for its IPS content
  • identifying and publishing the information required
  • identifying and publishing other optional information
  • providing accessibility to information published
  • undertaking a compliance review

The Department will continue to build and foster a culture within the agency in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information is embraced, leading to the successful implementation and administration of the IPS. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes.

About the Department

The Department strives to encourage Australia's capacity to generate and apply new ideas, accelerate productivity growth, promote our competitiveness and contribute to a strong economy, so our future is fairer, richer and greener.

The Department is structured into a number of divisions:

  • AusIndustry
  • Industry and Small Business Policy
  • Innovation
  • Enterprise Connect
  • Manufacturing
  • Science and Infrastructure
  • Research
  • eBusiness
  • Corporate
  • National Measurement Institute
  • Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • Questacon

In addition, the Office of the Chief Scientist is also located within the Department.

The Department's main office is in Canberra and state offices are located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as territory and regional offices across Australia.

Purpose

The purpose of this agency plan is to:

  • assist the Department in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS
  • list which information the Department proposes to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how it will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (s 8(1)).

Objectives

The Department's objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:

  • manage information captured by the IPS
  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s 8(2))
  • proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published (s 8(4))
  • review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete (s 8B)
  • ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
  • ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0)
  • measure the success of the Department's IPS contribution by reference to any feedback and compliance review processes
  • adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the IPS

Establishing the Department's IPS contribution by 1 May 2011

A working group and project team have been established to coordinate the Department's contribution to the IPS by 1 May 2011. The working group comprises representatives from all divisions within the Department.

The project team has prepared an IPS project plan for tasks to be completed by 1 May 2011, including:

  • the Department's goals in relation to the IPS
  • a timetable for achieving those goals
  • how the Department will achieve those goals

The project team has developed and undertaken a process to identify information required or permitted to be published under s 8(2) and 8(4).

To prepare for this process, the IPS project team provided guidance for divisions in:

  • auditing documents currently published on the Department's websites and identifying content items that will form part of the IPS from 1 May 2011
  • creating a list of IPS content items (including those not already published on the Department's websites)
  • compiling a list of IPS content items that are not published on the Department's websites
  • identifying any IPS content items that are not accurate, up to date or complete
  • ensuring any IPS content items which are not accurate, up to date or complete, are revised by 1 May 2011, or as soon as practicable after this date

This process captures the current state of compliance of the IPS content items with WCAG 2.0 guidelines. It identifies:

  • the format of all IPS content items which are currently published on all of the Department's websites
  • those content items which are not published on a Department website and what format the content exist
  • will capture what content items which will need to be revised into an accessible or alternative format to meet the WCAG guidelines

IPS information architecture

The Department will publish its IPS information on the website prior to 1 May 2011.

The IPS information holdings that are available on the Department's website, will be published under the following headings:

Mandatory publishing categories

  • Who we are (ss 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d))
  • What we do (ss 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j))
  • Our reports and responses to Parliament (ss 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h))
  • Consultation arrangements (s 8(2)(f))
  • Routinely requested information and disclosure log (ss 8(2)(g) and 11C)
  • Our strategic priorities (s 8(4))

Optional publishing categories

  • Our business priorities (s 8(4))
  • Our finances (s 8(4))
  • Our lists (s 8(4))
  • Our submissions
  • Our policies

To ensure that the IPS content on our website is easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Department will:

  • promote the IPS link on the homepage of Department of Innovation website (www.innovation.gov.au), which will link to the IPS section of the website
  • create a short URL for easy reference (www.innovation.gov.au/ips)
  • wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
  • provide a search function for its website
  • where possible provide an alert service to notify subscribers of new publications under the IPS or other developments in relation to the Department's contribution to the IPS
  • establish links to this agency plan
  • seek and respond to any feedback about whether the IPS content is easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

The Department will either publish IPS content items or publish links to IPS content items within the IPS section of the Department's website. Where content items are published in a different location on the Department's website, or on another Departmental website, a link will be made available to those content items.

Where the Department has deposited or published IPS content items under a scheme such as the Commonwealth Library Deposit, the National Sound and Film Archive or www.data.gov.au, the Department will publish on its website information about the deposits (including links where available).

Information required to be published under the IPS

The Department will publish content items required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website.

Mandatory publishing categories

The Department will publish these content items under the following headings:

1. Who we are

This will include an organisation chart, the Agency Employment Agreement and information about statutory appointments and contact information.

For the organisation chart, the Department will link to the published organisation chart.

For statutory appointees, the Department will publish the name of the person appointed, the length or term of appointment, the position to which the person is appointed (and particulars of the position) and the provision of the Act under which the person is appointed.

For contact information, this will include the name, telephone number and email address for the FOI Coordinator who can be contacted about access to the Department's information or documents under the FOI Act.

2. What we do

This will outline the functions and decision making powers of the Department.

The Department will also publish rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to these functions and powers.

3. Our reports

This will include the full text of the Department's recent annual reports (2008-2009 and 2009-2010) as well as any information that is routinely provided to Parliament.

4. Consultation

This will include information about consultation processes for the Department. Information about how comments may be submitted by members of the public, where the Department undertakes public consultation on a specific policy proposal.

5. Our strategic and business priorities

This will include corporate and departmental strategic plans, assessments and reviews. This may also include divisional business plans, strategic plans, assessments and reviews.

6. Routinely requested information

This will include information in documents to which the Department routinely gives access in response to FOI requests.

The Department will clearly identify these documents in its disclosure log, published under s 11C of the FOI Act - which requires agencies to list information that has been released in response to an FOI access request under the FOI Act.

Optional publishing requirements

The Department will publish content on an optional basis for the following categories.

7. Our finances

This may include financial information relating to pay and grading structures, procurement procedures, tendering and contracts.

8. Our lists

This may include agency contracts, grants and appointments, and links to data sets.

9. Our submissions

This may include submissions made by the Department to Parliamentary committees, the Productivity Commissioner, the Australian Law Reform Commission and other agencies.

10. Our policies

This may include the Department's procurement, email and internet usage, harassment, leave and workplace diversity policies.

In addition, the IPS section on the Department's website will contain a link to other publications not covered by these headings, including fact sheets, speeches and guidelines.

Accessibility under the IPS

The Department will ensure, to the extent possible, that all online information it is required to publish under the IPS (s 8(2)) will conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0) on commencement of the IPS (1 May 2011). Where information can not be published in accordance with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, every effort will be made to provide content in the most accessible format as soon as practicable.

A small number of exceptions may apply to:

  • PDFs made of images of scanned documents
  • Documents that are out of date, but that are provided for historical reference
  • Charts, tables and forms

The Department's dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a content item is not available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format on request. Requests for alternative formats can be made by contacting the FOI Coordinator.

Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS

  

From commencement of the IPS, the Department will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication. The Department will ensure that all information newly published on the Department's website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as soon as possible.

IPS compliance review

The Department will review and revise this agency plan at least annually, which will coincide with the Department's strategic planning process.

The Department will review the operation of its IPS from time to time and at least every five years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review.