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Multicultural Access and Equity Plan 2017–18

Our purpose

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioners’ (OAICs) purpose is to promote and uphold privacy and information access rights. We strive to make our services accessible, responsive and equitable for all Australians, regardless of their cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Our Multicultural Access and Equity Plan (MAEP) will help us achieve our vision through being aware of and responsive to the needs of Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population.

We are committed to understanding the needs of Australia’s CALD population and implementing the necessary policies and activities to ensure we can accommodate for these needs.

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Our agency

The OAIC is an independent statutory agency within the Attorney-General’s portfolio that was established in November 2010 under the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth).

Our primary functions are:

  • privacy responsibilities — ensuring proper handling of personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and other relevant legislations
  • freedom of information (FOI) responsibilities — protecting the public’s right to access information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982

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Our work and the impact on CALD communities

Our work has an impact in Australia's CALD communities through:

  • educating and providing advice about privacy and FOI
  • handling complaints and conducting investigations relating to privacy and FOI
  • conducting Information Commissioner (IC) reviews for FOI decisions.

These services have a direct impact on individuals’ rights and ability to access information. Hence, it is crucial that we understand and respond to the needs of CALD communities so we can assist and educate all Australians about their privacy and FOI rights.

Our commitments and activities in this plan form part of a wider diversity strategy.

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Commitment 1: Leadership

The OAIC will demonstrate a commitment to multicultural access and equity and take responsibility for its outcome.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measure

Maintain a Senior Executive Service (SES) Officer with the overall responsibility for embedding multicultural access and equity in the OAIC’s culture and ensuring that the commitments identified in the plan are delivered.

Australian Information Commissioner

Ongoing

SES officer appointed.

2017-18 Multicultural Access and Equity Plan communicated to staff

Chair, OAIC Diversity Committee

July 2017

Plan is published on the intranet

Maintain an OAIC Diversity Committee (ODC) to support the oversight and implementation of the plan.

OAIC Executive

Ongoing

Diversity Committee maintained.

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Commitment 2: Engagement

The OAIC will identify and strategically engage with CALD clients, stakeholders and communities.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measure

Consider and incorporate multicultural access and equity when creating stakeholder engagement strategies and project plans.

Director, Strategic Communication and Coordination

June 2018

Executive briefs to be updated to include MAEP audiences where appropriate.

Identify key publications and guidance materials used by CALD audiences and where feasible, provide multilingual resources eg. in MyHealth records resources.

OAIC Diversity Committee

Assistant Commissioners and Directors

Ongoing

Identification of resources is undertaken and multilingual translations provided where necessary.

Maintain at least one CALD representative on the OAIC’s Consumer Privacy Network (CPN).

Australian Information Commissioner

Ongoing

At least one CALD representative appointment is maintained on the CPN.

Identify and seek opportunities for senior management to discuss privacy and FOI at events aimed at CALD communities.

OAIC Diversity Committee

Assistant Commissioners and Directors

Ongoing

Where available, senior management participates in speaking events aimed at CALD communities.

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Commitment 3: Responsiveness

The OAIC will have strategies in place to ensure that policies, community interactions and service delivery are responsive to CALD Australians.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measure

Identify opportunities to promote the OAIC’s services to CALD communities.

OAIC Diversity Committee

Ongoing

Deliver information to multicultural communities.

Educate staff about the need to consider multicultural access and equity when preparing new materials.

Publications Forum

Ongoing

New materials, internal forms and processes are reviewed and where appropriate, are updated to better service CALD audiences.

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Commitment 4: Performance

The OAIC will have mechanisms in place to measure multicultural access and equity performance.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

When seeking feedback or conducting consultations and user testing, where possible, ensure CALD audiences are included in the process.

All OAIC

Ongoing

CALD audiences are included in feedback, consultation and user testing.

Review feedback and complaint mechanisms to ensure accessibility for all stakeholders.

Dispute Resolution Branch

Ongoing

Feedback and complaint mechanisms are accessible to all stakeholders as far as possible.

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Commitment 5: Capability

The OAIC will have the capacity to understand and respond to the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia’s population.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

Increase the level of cross-cultural awareness of staff through implementing appropriate cultural awareness training.

OAIC Diversity Committee

OAIC Executive

Ongoing

Staff have the skills to engage appropriately with multicultural clients.

Celebrate events that promote cultural respect, further understanding of cultural values and increase awareness of CALD issues.

OAIC Diversity Committee

Ongoing

Promotion of multicultural events within the OAIC

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Commitment 6: Openness and accountability

The OAIC will be transparent in its implementation of multicultural access and equity.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Target

Include MAEP commitments in the Corporate Plan.

Report on the MAEP and assess against targets as required.

Director, Strategic Communications and Coordination

OAIC Diversity Committee

Ongoing

MAEP commitments and performance included in the Corporate Plan and Annual Report.

Provide the Department of Social Services (DSS) with the OAIC’s end of year performance on the 2017-2018 MAEP.

OAIC Diversity Committee

Australian Information Commissioner

September 2018

OAIC to provide DSS with MAEP performance and results.

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