Freedom Of Information

Overview

The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth.  Reforms to the FOI Act which came into effect on 1 May 2011 are aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture across government, building a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government operations.  RIRDC is committed to a proactive approach to publishing information which it holds to the benefit of the rural and rural research community and the broader Australian public.

RIRDC operates under the direction of a Board of Directors. Our headquarters is in Canberra and our corporate contact details are:

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Level 2, 15 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
Ph: 02 6271 4100
Fax: 02 6271 4199
Email: rirdc@rirdc.gov.au
Web: www.rirdc.gov.au

Postal Address:
PO Box 4776
Kingston ACT 2604

How to make a request for access to documents under the FOI Act

Requests made under the FOI Act must:

  • be in writing; and

  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act; and

  • provide such information concerning the document that will allow RIRDC to identify it; and

  • provide detail of how notices provided by RIRDC in relation to the FOI request can be sent to the applicant.

RIRDC documents

RIRDC publishes or holds documents that are corporate documents such as the Annual Report, Corporate Plan and Annual Operational Plan. These are free while stocks are available. They are also available for free download from RIRDC's website.

RIRDC's extensive research library of is available for viewing, free downloading or purchasing from our print-on-demand portal at https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/. Purchases can also be made by phoning 1300 634 313 for a local call charge.

Accessing information

Formal requests for information under the FOI Act must be made in writing to the FOI Coordinator:

Ms Christine Quick
General Manager - Corporate
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Ph:   02 6271 4150
Fax: 02 6271 4199
Email: christine.quick@rirdc.gov.au

In many cases, an application under the FOI Act may not be required as information or documents may be readily available.

An up-to-date listing of projects funded by RIRDC is detailed in our Research-in-Progress publications and also on the RIRDC website. Funding information on individual projects is available, on request, from the Corporation.

Processing of FOI requests

Upon receipt of your FOI request, RIRDC will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days.  In accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the FOI Applicant within 30 days of receipt.  However, as some documents may be subject to a third party consultation process, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days.  If consultation is required, you will be informed accordingly.

Fees and charges

FOI requests made to RIRDC on or after 1 November 2010 no longer require an Application Fee to be paid. However, the FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information).  Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges.  Your request will not proceed until you provide a response to the estimate.

RIRDC may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.

Review rights

Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision.  If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision.

Alternatively, you may write to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) seeking a review of RIRDC's decision.  This can be done as a result of either the initial decision or the internal review decision.

Subsequent review options after internal review and OAIC review are also available.  The complete process for seeking a review on access is provided in the decision letter sent to you at the completion of your request.

Further Information

The FOI Coordinator can be contacted on (02) 6271 4150 to discuss any prospective request to the Corporation.

Information Publication Scheme
IPS logo

Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act)  establishes an Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for Australian Government agencies subject to the FOI Act.  The IPS commenced on 1 May 2011 and requires agencies to publish a broad range of information on their websites.

RIRDC's Agency Information Plan describes how it intends to comply with the IPS.

In accordance with sub-section 8(2) of the FOI Act, RIRDC publishes the following information:

  • Who we are

  • What we do

  • Our Priorities

  • Reports and responses to Parliament

  • Working with us

  • Routinely requested information

  • Arrangements for public consultation

  • Operational information

  • Our Finances

  • Our Publications

  • Our Lists

  • Contact us

Our information is grouped and accessible through the following classes:

Who we are

This section includes information about our organisation and its structure, governance arrangements, Board, Advisory Committee members and senior management team.

You can find all of the following information in the About RIRDC section of this website:

  • Overview

  • Board of Directors

  • Advisory Committees

  • Corporate Governance

  • Contact us

This section includes information describing the Corporation's functions and decision making powers and other powers affecting the research community, rural industries and the public.

What We Do - Our Goals and Strategic Direction

This section outlines information on what our priorities are and how we are working to achieve these priorities.

You can find all of the following information in the About RIRDC section of this website:

  • Our priorities

  • RIRDC Corporate Plan 2012-2017

  • Annual Operating Plan

  • Service Charter

You can find all of the following information in the Research Programs section of this website:

  • Our Programs

  • Our Current Research Priorities

You can find all of the following information in the For Researchers section of this website:

  • Applying for Research Funding

Our reports and responses to Parliament

The RIRDC tables an Annual Report to Parliament each year in October.  Recent copies of this document are:

  • Annual report 2012-2013

  • Annual Report 2011-2012

  • Annual Report 2010-2011

  • Annual Report 2009-2010


You can find these documents in the About RIRDC section of this website.

Working with Us

RIRDC values social and cultural diversity and is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and the provision of a safe and healthy work environment.

You can find all of the following information in the About RIRDC section of this website:

  • RIRDC Enterprise Agreement 2013-16

You can find all of the following information in the For Researchers section of this website:

  • Applying for Research Funding

Routinely requested information and disclosure log

This section includes details of non-personal information the RIRDC has released under the FOI Act that can reasonably be released to the wider public. Information in documents to which the RIRDC routinely gives access in response to FOI requests will be clearly identified in the disclosure log.

You can find all of the following information in the Freedom of Information section of this website:

  • Disclosure log

  • Freedom of Information

Consultation

This section sets out how and to whom a comment may be submitted by members of the public, where the Corporation undertakes public consultation on a specific policy proposal.

RIRDC stakeholder survey

RIRDC is committed to providing high quality research products and services and effectively engaging with its stakeholders. A bi-annual stakeholder surveys help RIRDC to measure our performance against our key performance indicators and to identify opportunities for improvement. Independent market and social researchers are commissioned to enable our stakeholders to provide feedback on an anonymous basis and to ensure objectivity in the collection and analysis of survey responses.

Our finances

Includes information about what we spend and how we spend it, including financial statements, grants we administer, and financial information relating to pay and grading structures, procurement procedures, tendering and contracts.

You can find all of the following information in the About RIRDC section of this website:

  • Portfolio Budget Statements

  • RIRDC Enterprise Agreement

  • Financial statements

Our Publications

RIRDC's extensive research library of publications is available for viewing, free downloading or purchasing from our print-on-demand portal under the Publications section of this website:

Alternatively, purchases and requests can also be made by phoning 1300 634 313 for a local call charge, or emailing us directly at: publications@rirdc.gov.au

Our lists

You can find our current file lists in the About RIRDC section of this website, including:

  • Indexed File Lists 2013-14

  • Indexed File Lists 2012-13

Contact us

You can contact the RIRDC FOI Coordinator, Christine Quick, General Manager - Corporate, by phone, feedback form or post.

Christine Quick
Email: christine.quick@rirdc.gov.au
Ph: +61 2 6271 4150

Post:

FOI Coordinator
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
KINGSTON ACT 2604

How to access the information

Where this information is available online, you can access the information by:

  • Browsing the classes of information shown above.

  • Searching for the information using this site's search engine.


Information Publication Plan

Introduction

RIRDC is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The 2010 reforms to the FOI Act included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This plan describes how RIRDC intends to comply with the IPS by managing its IPS entry.

Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to:

  • identify information RIRDC proposes to publish for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act;

  • identify how and to whom RIRDC proposes to publish information for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act;

  • how RIRDC will otherwise comply with Part II of the FOI Act.

Objectives

  • The RIRDC's objectives are to outline appropriate procedures to:

  • manage its information holdings relevant to the IPS;

  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published;

  • proactively identify and publish all operational information;

  • review information published under the IPS on a regular basis to ensure that is accurate, up-to-date and complete;

  • ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable and re-useable;

  • ensure that the format of online content conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0);

  • measure the success of The RIRDC's contribution to the IPS by reference to feedback and review processes; and

  • any other specific agency objectives as announced from time to time.

 Establishing RIRDC's Contribution to the IPS

The General Manager Corporate has overall responsibility for leading the Corporation's work on implementing the FOI reforms, including the IPS. The Corporate group is responsible for administration of Freedom of Information, communications and publishing.

The Corporate group identified information required or permitted to be published under the FOI Act by:

  • requesting Programs within RIRDC to review their functions and information holdings to identify material relevant to the IPS

  • identifying information to be published under the IPS section of the RIRDC's internet website

  • ensuring information to be published under the IPS section of the website was up to date, complete and accurate.

Timeframes for establishing the IPS at RIRDC are as follows:

Action

Timeframe

New Freedom of Information & IPS internet pages made available on RIRDC website

Completed

Staff awareness of the intent of the new FOI reforms

Completed

Publication of documents released following an FOI decision

Ongoing based on when documents are released following an FOI request (in accordance with timeframes specified in FOI Act).

Publication of information required to be published under sub-section 8(2) of the FOI Act.

Progressively from 1 May 2011 onwards.

Review of RIRDC Web content to ensure ongoing information is up to date, WCAG 2.0 compliant and relevant.

Annually, commencing Jan 2012

Review of RIRDC IPS Compliance

Annually, in conjunction with the Web content review.

Administering The RIRDC's Contribution to the IPS

The General Manager Corporate is responsible for managing the IPS and will maintain registers of information required to be published under the FOI Act.  The Corporate group will assist the Communications team to develop guidance material to explain the RIRDC's responsibilities for contributing to the IPS. The guidance material will:

  • Help staff identify on an ongoing basis any required or optional information to be published under the IPS.

  • Describe processes to be followed internally to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of published information.

To ensure information published on the RIRDC website is discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, accessible, useable, up-to-date and accurate, The RIRDC's ICT team will:

  • Engage in formal web content reviews conducted annually to determine whether any new or updated information needs to be published to comply with the IPS.

  • As far as possible, ensure published information complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).

Charges

In promoting a pro-disclosure culture, RIRDC intends to make documentation available free of charge by primarily publishing information on its website.

While RIRDC will endeavour to provide as much documentation as possible online, some documentation is unable to be published.  This includes material that is exempt under the FOI Act or for which an FOI request must be submitted. Enquiries about the status of a document or information should be made initially to:

FOI Coordinator

Ms Christine Quick
General Manager - Corporate
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Ph:   02 6271 4150
Fax: 02 6271 4199
Email: christine.quick@rirdc.gov.au

Requests for multiple copies of archived documents which are no longer available online may attract a charge for the cost of photocopying, postage etc. RIRDC will notify the applicant of any potential charge at the time of the request and the charge will be payable prior to release of the document.

Information Architecture

To ensure documents are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, RIRDC will publish its IPS information holdings on its website and:

  • Include navigation from the About RIRDC  section of its website to the IPS page.

  • Place an IPS logo on the Freedom of Information page.

  • Where possible, create content in a format that is searchable.

  • Provide a link for feedback on the IPS to ascertain if the content is discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

IPS information holdings will be available online under the following headings:

Who We Are

This section will include links to The RIRDC's organisational chart and details of Board and Advisory Committee members.

What We Do

This will outline The RIRDC's functions and activities, matters dealt with by RIRDC in accordance with its enabling legislation, the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 (PIERD Act). It will also include links it Annual Reports and to its policies or programs.

Reports and Responses to Parliament

This section will include links to reports and publications tabled in Parliament.

Routinely Requested Information

This section will include links to Corporation file lists made available in accordance with Senate Continuing Order No. 10 and links to information held by RIRDC and routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament.

Arrangements for Public Consultation

This section will describe arrangements outlining how members of the research and rural communities are able to engage with the RIRDC on research being undertaken, funded or published by the RIRDC.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

This section will describe procedures and contact details for making FOI requests. It will also provide access a Disclosure Log with links to documents released to applicants under the FOI Act.

Operational Information

This section will provide links to information held by RIRDC which details Includes information about what we spend and how we spend it, including financial statements,

Other Information to be published

RIRDC will identify information to be published in addition to the information required under the IPS.

Accessibility

As far as possible, information published to comply with the IPS will conform to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).

Some documents cannot be provided in HTML format and some will be made available to download and share in Portable Document Format (PDF). Where possible, RIRDC has taken steps to ensure that alternate formats are available, commonly Rich Text Format (RTF). For downloadable documents, an icon appears alongside the document link to indicate the file type and size.

Alternate Repositories

A number of RIRDC documents have either an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).  Where these numbers apply, the document will make note of such a number accordingly.

IPS Compliance Review

The review will examine The RIRDC's compliance with the IPS requirements along with a review of this plan at least annually, which will coincide with the annual web content review.

Various criteria will be used to measure The RIRDC's compliance with the IPS requirements, including:

  • Feedback from the public.

  • Timeframes in which RIRDC publishes information online.

  • Communication between RIRDC and members of the public in relation to accessing documents published online.

In accordance with section 9 of the FOI Act, RIRDC intends to review the operation of its IPS at least every five years commencing from 1 May 2011. Such a review will be undertaken in conjunction with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Feedback

RIRDC welcomes feedback on the approach it proposes to take to complying with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) outlined in this plan. Please send comments via the Feedback link to the RIRDC.

Disclosure log

RIRDC is required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 11C to publish a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log lists information which has been released in response to an FOI access request.  This requirement has applied since 1 May 2011. 

The disclosure log requirement does not apply to: 

  • personal information about any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'

  • information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'

  • other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'

  • any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.

A link is provided if the information can be downloaded from this website or another website.

Information that is not available on our website or in this Disclosure Log, or that is not available in HTML format, may be obtained by writing to: 

Ms Christine Quick
General Manager - Corporate
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Ph:   02 6271 4150
Fax: 02 6271 4199
Email: christine.quick@rirdc.gov.au

A charge may be imposed to reimburse the RIRDC for the cost incurred in copying or reproducing the information or sending it to you. There will be no charge for the time spent by the RIRDC in processing the FOI request that led to this information being made available. You will be notified if any charge is payable and required to pay the charge before the information is provided. 

We will try to meet all reasonable requests for an alternative format of the document in a timely manner and at the lowest reasonable cost to you. 

Information attached to, or referred to, in the RIRDC's disclosure log will generally be removed after 12 months, unless the information has enduring public value. 

The information described in this disclosure log has been released by RIRDC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and is available for public access. 


RIRDC DISCLOSURE LOG

(
Commencement 1 May 2011) 

  

FOI Ref. No.

 

Date released to applicant

 

Summary of FOI request received

 

Summary of documents released
(and whether released in full or part)


 

Other information

 

 FOI 201314-01

 

17 February 2014

 

The applicant requested documents relating to correspondence between the RIRDC Chairperson and the Minister for Agriculture between 8 September 2013 to 20 January 2014.

 

4 documents released in full.

 

 N/A