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.
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.
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:
New Freedom of Information & IPS internet pages made available on RIRDC website
Staff awareness of the intent of the new FOI reforms
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).
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:
Ms Christine Quick
General Manager - Corporate
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
c/o Charles Sturt University
Locked Bag 588
Wagga Wagga NSW 2678
Ph: 02 6923 6903
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.