The Information Publication Scheme (IPS) encourages Australian Government agencies to release information to the public proactively. It is intended to encourage greater openness and transparency in government and reflects the pro-disclosure goals of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
The IPS applies to agencies that are subject to the FOI Act and specifies categories of information that agencies must publish online, including:
- details of the agency’s structure (for example, in the form of an organisation chart)
- details of the agency’s functions, including its decision-making powers and other powers affecting members of the public
- details of statutory appointments of the agency
- annual reports
- details of consultation arrangements for members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals
- information in documents to which the agency routinely gives access in response to requests under the FOI Act
- information that the agency routinely provides to Parliament
- contact details for an officer who can be contacted about access to the agency’s information or documents under the FOI Act
- the agency’s operational information, which is information that assists the agency to exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public (including its rules, guidelines and practices)
Agencies can also choose to publish other information under the IPS. Information published under the IPS must be accurate, up to date and complete. Agencies must also publish a plan describing how they will comply with the IPS requirements.
As part of its oversight of the IPS, the OAIC surveyed agency compliance with the scheme in 2012 and again in 2018.
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