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Information Publication Scheme — 2018 Survey of Australian Government agencies

The 2018 Information Publication Scheme (IPS) Survey of Australian Government agencies that are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) has commenced.

If you have any questions or require further information about the IPS Survey, please contact Mabel Dela Cruz of ORIMA Research on (02) 6109 6300 or surveys@orima.com or OAIC contact officer Emma Liddle Acting Director FOI on (02) 9284 9717 or emma.liddle@oaic.gov.au.

The IPS commenced operation on 1 May 2011 and requires agencies to publish a range of documents and information on their websites. The IPS was a central element of the FOI reform objective to drive a cultural shift towards more proactive release and publication of government information.

One of the Australian Information Commissioner’s functions, under section 8F of the FOI Act, includes reviewing the operation of the IPS in each Australian Government agency, in conjunction with the agency.

The purpose of the IPS Survey is to undertake a review of the operation of the IPS within each Australian Government agency. The 2018 IPS Survey will also provide agencies the opportunity to comply with the requirement of section 9 of the FOI Act: section 9 requires agencies to complete a review of the operation of the IPS within their agency, as appropriate from time to time and within five years of the commencement of the IPS, in conjunction with the Australian Information Commissioner.

This survey is being conducted by ORIMA Research on behalf of the OAIC. The fieldwork for the IPS Survey will be conducted from 29 May until 12 June 2018. ORIMA Research has sent each Australian Government agency a link to the online survey.

The information collected in the IPS Survey will be used by the OAIC to develop a national level report on the operation of the IPS across all Australian government agencies and provide a comparative analysis with the results of the 2012 IPS Survey. The 2012 IPS Survey gathered information about Australian Government agencies’ compliance with IPS obligations. A report of the 2012 IPS Survey results is published on the OAIC website.

The information collected may also be used to assist the OAIC to understand agencies’ approaches to the publication of information and identify ways in which the OAIC can provide advice, assistance and training to agencies on the operation of the IPS in the future.

Part 13 of the Guidelines issued under s 93A of the FOI Act, which agencies and ministers must have regard to when performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act, provides further information about the operation of the IPS and will be reviewed following the completion of the IPS Survey.