Operational policy and process: publication of submissions

Operational policy

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) makes and receives a range of submissions:

  • To government or government agencies in relation to policy proposals, discussion or issues papers, exposure drafts of legislation and to Parliamentary inquiries or committees (‘submissions we make’)
  • From members of the public, Commonwealth or State and Territory agencies and regulators, academics, peak bodies and regulated entities as part of consultation in relation to matters within the OAIC’s jurisdiction (‘submissions we receive’).

Consistent with its commitment to open government, meaningful consultation, transparency in decision making and participatory democracy, the OAIC:

  1. will generally publish submissions we make on our webpage shortly after providing them to the recipient. Exceptions to this general position include:
    • Submissions that include sensitive information that may pose a risk to the security of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory agency will not be published, or may be redacted before publication
    • In the case of a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry of committee, the OAIC will not publish its submission prior to the publication of the submission by the inquiry or the committee.
  2. will generally publish submissions we receive as part of a consultative process on our webpage shortly after receipt. Exceptions to this general position include:
  • Submissions provided and received in confidence.

Process and responsibilities

The leader responsible for drafting the submission (in the case of those we make) or considering the submissions we receive is responsible for liaising with the Strategic Communications team to arrange for their publication. This includes:

  • Consideration of any requests for confidentiality
  • Ensuring that personal information (such as names and direct contact details (where appropriate) and signatures) is redacted prior to publication
  • Ensuring that submitters are aware of the OAIC’s pro-publication policy at the commencement of the consultation.

In the event there are no submissions received in relation to a consultation, or submissions we make or receive are confidential, the leader responsible for the submission or consultation will liaise with the Strategic Communications team to add a note to the relevant part of the OAIC’s website to note that either:

  • No submissions were received or
  • Submissions made or received were confidential.

Where a decision has been taken to delay publication of a submission made by the OAIC – such as a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry where Parliament has decided to publish submissions together at a particular point in the process – the relevant leader is responsible for monitoring that process and arranging for publication of the OAIC’s submission on our website at the appropriate time.