What is ‘operational information’ for the purposes of the Information Publication Scheme?
An agency’s operational information is information the agency holds to assist it to perform or exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public (or any particular person or entity, or class of persons or entities). Examples include agency rules, guidelines, practices and precedents. See s 8A(1) of the FOI Act and Part 13 of the Guidelines.
What happens if an agency does not publish its operational information?
A person cannot be disadvantaged by the application of any rule, guideline or practice if the person could have avoided that prejudice if they had been aware of it. See s 10 of the FOI Act and Part 13 of the Guidelines.
Compliance with the Information Publication Scheme is an ongoing statutory obligation for agencies and can be investigated by the Information Commissioner. See Part 13 of the Guidelines.