The ACMA is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (the IPS) established under Part 2 of the FOI Act.
The ACMA has prepared this publication plan (the plan) to comply with subsection 8(1) of the FOI Act.
The primary purpose of the Plan is to outline what information the ACMA proposes to publish under the IPS, how and to whom the information will be published, and how the ACMA will otherwise comply with the IPS, in particular the publication of information required to be published under subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act.
Objectives of the plan
The plan has been designed to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the ACMA's information holdings relevant to the IPS;
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published under section 8 of the FOI Act, including this plan;
- proactively identify and publish optional information;
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up-to date and complete;
- ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable and re-useable; and
- ensure that the information published under the IPS is in an online format that conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) where appropriate and practicable.
Establishing an Information Publication Scheme
The ACMA's FOI functions are co-ordinated through its Legal Services Division (LSD). LSD is responsible for co-ordinating the agency's work on implementing FOI reforms, including establishing and assisting with the administration of the IPS.
In order to identify the information that the ACMA is required to publish under subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act, LSD undertook an audit of the ACMA's website to identify whether the information was already publicly available. The audit found that the ACMA was already publishing the information required to be published under paragraphs 8(2)(b) to (f) inclusive, and paragraph 8(2)(h).
In relation to paragraph 8(2)(j) and section 8A of the FOI Act, LSD commenced the process of identifying and publishing the ACMA's operational information by providing all sections within the ACMA with information on the requirement. Each section was asked to conduct an internal audit to consider:
- what operational information the section held;
- whether that information was publicly available, through the ACMA website; and
- whether the information was accurate, up to date and correct.
Where the operational information was already published on the ACMA website, they were asked to review, and update as necessary, the material. Where operational information was not publicly available, they were asked to liaise with the ACMA's Digital Publishing Section to ensure that the information was published prior to 1 May 2011.
In order to comply with the requirements of section 11C of the FOI Act, the ACMA has established a Disclosure Log which provides the public with access to information that the ACMA routinely gives access to under Part III of the FOI Act. Details on the Disclosure Log are available.
As a matter of course, the ACMA does not intend to charge the public for access to information required to be published under the IPS. Where charges are imposed for the copies of publications by the ACMA that contain information required to be published under the IPS, those charges will be clearly outlined on the ACMA's website.
Information required to be published
(a) How the information will be made available to the public
The ACMA will publish the information required to be published on the ACMA website at www.acma.gov.au.
The format of online publication will be in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) where appropriate and practicable.
The ACMA website will have a dedicated FOI homepage that will outline how members of the public can request access to information under the FOI Act, and contain links to the ACMA's IPS page, the plan and the Disclosure Log.
(b) Where the information is located on the website
The ACMA is currently in the process of updating its internet website. The information that is provided below is current as at 1 May 2011. Once the agency's new website is launched, this plan will be updated to reflect the changes made.
I. Details of the structure of the agency's organisation (paragraph 8(2)(b))
The ACMA's organisation chart can be accessed on the ACMA website. More information on the ACMA's organisational structure is also available on the website under the heading 'About ACMA'.
II. Details of the functions of the agency, including its decision making powers and other powers affecting members of the public (paragraph 8(2)(c))
The ACMA's powers and functions in the areas of broadcasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications and the internet are outlined on the ACMA website under each of these relevant areas.
III. Details of appointments of officers of the agency that are made under Acts (other than APS employees within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999) (paragraph 8(2)(d))
Information on the members of the Authority of the ACMA, appointed under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 (the ACMA Act) can be accessed on the ACMA website.
Officers of the ACMA who are also members of statutory committees and the Consumer Consultative Forum set up under sections 58 and 59 of the ACMA Act are provided on our website.
IV. The information in annual reports prepared by the agency that are laid before the Parliament (paragraph 8(2)(e))
The ACMA's annual report is published under section 56 of the ACMA Act. Current and past annual reports are available on the ACMA website.
Statutory reports published by the ACMA can be accessed on our website.
The ACMA publishes an annual Communications Report under section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. The current and past reports can be accessed on our website.
V. Details of arrangements for members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals for which the agency is responsible, including how (and to whom) those comments may be made (paragraph 8(2)(f))
The ACMA regularly publishes discussion and consultation papers on its website seeking public comment on regulatory and legislative proposals of the ACMA. Details of how and to whom comments can be made are published on the ACMA website, or in the individual papers themselves. In addition to written (hardcopy or electronic) submissions, the ACMA also has a Facebook page and a presence on Twitter, both of which provide the public with the opportunity to comment on policy proposals of the ACMA.
The ACMA also has a dedicated website www.engage.acma.gov.au which seeks public comment and consultation through its online forum, blogs and other online tools.
Details on specific policy proposals and major projects that the public can comment on are available on the ACMA's website.
VI. Information in documents to which the agency routinely gives access in response to requests under Part III of the FOI Act (paragraph 8(2)(g))
In order to comply with the requirements of section 11C of the FOI Act, and to satisfy the requirement in paragraph 8(2)(g) of the FOI Act, the ACMA will publish a Disclosure Log which contains a list of, and links to, documents that are released under Part III of the FOI Act The information that the ACMA routinely gives access to under Part III of the Act will be made publicly available via the Disclosure Log. Information on how the ACMA will administer the Disclosure Log is available.
VII. Information held by the agency that is routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament (paragraph 8(2)(h))
This information can be accessed on the ACMA's website.
VIII. Contact details (paragraph 8(2)(i))
For information on the IPS and the Disclosure Log, as well as information on the processing of FOI requests, please contact the FOI Coordinator:
PO Box 13112
Melbourne, Victoria 8010
Tel: (03) 9963 6800
For information about publications and content on the ACMA's website, please refer to the contact details provided on our website.
IX. Operational Information (paragraph 8(2)(j))
The ACMA is a statutory agency that regulates broadcasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications and the internet. Operational information of the agency is published on the ACMA website under each of these categories or areas that the ACMA regulates. The public are able to access operational information either by browsing relevant information in their area of interest or by conducting appropriate searches on the ACMA website. In general the operational information relating to a particular power or function is contained in the part of the website that deals with that particular subject matter.
The ACMA may publish a range of "optional information" in accordance with subsection 8(4) of the FOI Act. The ACMA publishes a range of information on its website that is of interest to the public, including the following classes of information:
- information about our priorities, (e.g. corporate and strategic plans) can be accessed on our website, and on the www.engage.acma.gov.au website;
- statements about our finances (e.g. procurement procedures, tendering and contracts) can be found on our website; and
- agency lists (e.g. list of files, agency contracts, data sets) can be accessed on our website.
Administering the IPS
The ACMA will continue to meet its IPS obligations by:
- publishing information to members of the public by maintaining a Disclosure Log;
- identifying on an ongoing basis any information that is required to be published under subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act, or that may and should be published under subsection 8(4) of the FOI Act, and publishing that information;
- ensuring that the information published continues to be discoverable, accessible, and useable, as well as accurate, up-to-date and complete; and
- ensuring that information about any charges to be imposed for access to information, and how they will be calculated, continues to be published.
The ACMA will review the operation of the IPS as required under subsection (2) of the FOI Act, which is no later than 5 years after the commencement of the IPS.