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Part 15 — Reporting

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Version 1.4, October 2014

Information Commissioner's reporting obligations

15.1 The Information Commissioner is required under s 30 of the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (AIC Act) to report annually on the OAIC's operations, including on the freedom of information matters set out in s 31. Those matters include information about guidelines issued by the Commissioner, applications for IC review, complaints received by the OAIC, and assistance provided to agencies to enable them to comply with the FOI Act (AIC Act ss 31(1)(a), (f), (h) and (i)).

15.2 The report must also include information about FOI administration in agencies as listed in [15.3] below (AIC Act ss 31(1)(b), (c), (d) and (e) and 31(2)) and the number of applications each year for AAT review of FOI decisions (AIC Act s 31(1)(g)).

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Agencies' and ministers' obligations to provide FOI information and statistics

15.3 Section 93 of the FOI Act requires agencies and ministers to provide information and statistics to the Information Commissioner to enable the Commissioner to prepare the report required under s 30 of the AIC Act. Each agency and minister must provide the following information:

  • the number of FOI requests made under s 15 of the FOI Act (AIC Act s 31(1)(b))
  • the number of decisions granting, partially granting or refusing access (AIC Act s 31(2))
  • the number and outcome of requests to amend personal records under s 48 of the FOI Act (AIC Act s 31(1)(c))
  • charges collected for processing FOI requests (AIC Act s 31(1)(d))
  • the number and outcome of applications for internal review under s 54 of the FOI Act (AIC Act s 31(1)(e)).

15.4 The Information Commissioner also has monitoring and reporting functions in relation to the administration of the Information Publication Scheme (FOI Act Part II) — see Part 13 of these Guidelines for further information.

15.5 An agency or minister must also comply with any additional requirements in the regulations regarding the provision of information or the maintenance of records for the purposes of providing the information and statistics to the Information Commissioner (FOI Act s 93(3)). At present no additional requirements are prescribed by regulation. However, the OAIC has continued the past practice of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to request additional information from agencies.

15.6 Each agency and minister must provide a statistical report on a quarterly and annual basis. Information is entered directly into a secure database through a password-protected web portal. The OAIC has provided detailed information on how to provide FOI statistics and what is required at Freedom of information agency resources.

15.7 The quarterly reports are required by reg 5 of the Freedom of Information (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1982 to be submitted within 21 days of the end of the quarter, and the annual report by 31 July each year.

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