Information Publication Scheme s8 Plan

Introduction

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is an independent statutory agency established by the Australian Federal Police Act 1979, led by the Australian Federal Police Commissioner and a senior executive of three Deputy Commissioners and the Chief Operating Officer.

The AFP is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements. This agency plan describes how the AFP proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

The agency plan describes how the AFP proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings. The AFP will continue to build and foster a culture within the agency, in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information holdings is embraced, leading to successful implementation and administration of the IPS. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes.

Purpose

This plan will:

  • assist the AFP in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS;
  • facilitate public consultation about that contribution;
  • show what information the AFP proposes to publish (referred to as the IPS information holdings), how and to whom the information will be published and how the AFP will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (s 8(1)).
    Note: in this plan, information to be published by the AFP under the IPS is referred to as the IPS information holdings, or as the IPS documents when referring to individual documents.

Objectives

The AFP's objectives are to develop appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:

  • manage the IPS information holdings
  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s 8(2))
  • proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published (s 8(4))
  • review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete (s 8B)
  • ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
  • ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0) in accordance with the timeframes set out by the National Transition Strategy (NTS)
  • measure the success of the AFP's IPS contribution by reference to community feedback and compliance review processes
  • adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the AFP's contribution to the IPS.

Establishing the AFP's IPS contribution

The Manager Government Relations is designated by the AFP as the senior officer responsible for leading the AFP's compliance with the IPS – the AFP IPS Leader.

Establishing the AFP's IPS contribution by 1 May 2011

The IPS Leader is supported by the IPS Working Group to establish the AFP's plan to comply with the IPS by 1 May 2011. The AFP IPS Working Group was established by the AFP Strategic Leadership Group (SLG) in October 2010.

The IPS Working Group comprises:

  • Manager Government Relations;
  • Coordinator Information Access;
  • Coordinator Legislation Program;
  • Coordinator Online Services; and
  • Representatives from each AFP Function and ACT Policing.

The AFP working group has:

  • developed this publication plan that outlines:
    • The information the AFP proposes to publish;
    • how and to whom the AFP proposes to publish information;
    • how the AFP otherwise proposes to comply with the IPS obligations;
  • identified the "operational information" held by the AFP that the AFP needs to process to progressively publish by 1 May 2012;
  • identified information in documents to which the agency routinely gives access in response to requests for access to documents under the Act (disclosure log) and established how to provide access to that information; and
  • considered publishing information proactively in addition to the mandatory publication requirements.

The working group's focus in the period October 2010 to May 2011 has been to scope current portfolio document holdings, identify at a high level those documents that may fall within the definition of operational information, and determine how to process this information and how to incorporate the IPS requirements into the AFP's existing processes for information management. The AFP acknowledges that it will not have all of its operational information published by 1 May 2011 but commits to publishing it according to the schedule at Attachment A.

The working group is developing an information register to record the information required or permitted to be published under s 8(2) and 8(4) (the Register).

The Register will be compliant with the IPS publishing guidelines and WCAG 2.0 (see Objectives on page 2), as it will:

  • describe the format of all IPS documents currently published on the AFP website;
  • contain, where feasible, a link to an alternative format of an IPS document (preferably in HTML or RTF format), where the document is only available in Portable Document Format (PDF) on the AFP website; and
  • identify any other issues that may affect publication of an IPS document on the AFP website.

Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011

The AFP will incorporate the requirements of the IPS into its existing policy and procedures.

From 1 May 2011, the AFP's ongoing compliance with the IPS will be coordinated by the Manager Government Relations. This role will be kept under review by AFP SLG in line with any refinements to the AFP's internal structure.

Each function of the AFP, supported by Government Relations, will be responsible as required, for day to day tasks associated with complying with the IPS. As part of managing the ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings, the Government Relations Branch will develop a Practical Guide to publishing information under the IPS for AFP staff. The guide will:

  • describe processes to be followed internally to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of published information;
  • help staff to identify on an ongoing basis any required or optional information to be published under the IPS;
  • describe the process for publishing information; and
  • how information published is reviewed and kept up to date.

Furthermore, Government Relations will consider the viability of developing – in conjunction with the AFP's Online Services - a training program for key AFP staff on how to correctly create and mark up documents for online publication to WCAG 2.0 standards.

Government Relations will lead better practice initiatives to engage with the community about the AFP's contribution to the IPS. These include:

  • issuing an internal staff news notice release announcing the launch of the IPS;
  • making IPS documents as easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable as possible in accordance with WCAG 2.0; and
  • inviting members of the public to contact the FOI contact officer via a feedback form on the AFP website, with comments on the IPS information holdings - particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable.

The AFP will also arrange for AFP IPS documents, which are not available on the website, to be made available upon request.

The AFP may charge a person for accessing any IPS document which it is impracticable to publish online:

  • at the lowest reasonable cost; and
  • to reimburse specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs (s 8D(4)).
  • The AFP will publish progressively on its website a list of any IPS documents that are impracticable to publish online. The website will state that a person seeking access to any of these documents may contact the FOI contact officer to arrange access.

The list of documents will include indicative charges that may be imposed for making that information available and an explanation for the charge. These charges will be consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act).

IPS online content and information architecture

The AFP will use the AFP website to publish information for members of the public. It is expected that this information will be primarily published in PDF format and made as accessible as possible in consideration of AGIMO and WCAG 2.0 principles.

Where possible, information will be published in HTML format and made as compliant with AGIMO and WCAG 2.0 principles as possible.

From May 2011, it is expected that IPS-published documents on the AFP website will partially meet WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 standards. However, as per the future timeframes set out by AGIMO's National Transition Strategy (NTS), raising WCAG compliance levels for AFP website information will need to be gradually addressed. Initially, the level of compliance achieved will be largely dependant upon the volume and complexity of information requiring publication.

The AFP's organisational approach to the publishing of accessible, timely IPS information will be an inclusive and holistic one, involving content producers across AFP operational portfolios, the central FOI team and the central Online Services team.

The IPS information holdings that are available on the AFP website, will be published under the following headings:

  • Agency plan (ss 8(2)(a))
  • Who we are (ss 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d))
  • What we do (ss 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j))
  • Our reports and responses to Parliament (ss 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h))
  • Routinely requested information and disclosure log (ss 8(2)(g) and 11C)
  • Our priorities (s 8(4))
  • Our finances (s 8(4))
  • Our lists (s 8(4))
  • Contact us (s 8(2)(i)).

To ensure that the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the AFP will:

  • publish an IPS icon on the homepage of its website, which will link to the IPS section of the website
  • wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
  • publish a sitemap for its website, to help individuals identify the location of information published under ss 8(2) and 8(4)
  • provide a search function for its website
  • establish links to this agency plan and to the sitemap at www.directory.gov.au
  • seek and respond to community feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

The AFP will make its IPS documents progressively available on the IPS section of the website in two ways:

  • documents that were published on the AFP website before 1 May 2011 will be made available through a hyperlink from the IPS section
  • documents that were published on the AFP website on or after 1 May 2011 will be published in the IPS section.

The AFP will, so far as possible, make its IPS information holdings available for reuse on open licensing terms.

The AFP will give due consideration to publishing data sets on www.data.gov.au in the interests of an open government approach to information.

Information required to be published under the IPS

The AFP will progressively publish documents required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website at afp.gov.au/ips or in the areas of the website where they currently are available.

From May 1 2011, the AFP will progressively publish, or provide hyperlinks to, these documents in accordance with the schedule at Attachment A under the following headings in the IPS section:

Agency plan

Who we are

  • This will include an organisation chart, the Agency Employment Agreement and information about statutory appointments.
  • For statutory appointees, the AFP will publish the name of the person appointed, the length or term of appointment, the position to which the person is appointed (and particulars of the position) and the provision of the Act under which the person is appointed.

What we do

  • This will outline the functions and roles of the AFP.
  • The AFP will also publish rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to these functions and powers.

Our reports and responses to Parliament

  • This will include the full text of the AFP's recent annual reports (2008–2009 and 2009–2010) tabled in Parliament as well as the annual reports on controlled operations, assumed identities, control orders and preventative detention orders.

Routinely requested information

  • This will include information in documents to which the AFP routinely gives access in response to FOI requests.
  • The AFP will clearly identify these documents in its disclosure log, published under s 11C of the FOI Act – which requires agencies to publish information contained in documents to which the agency has provided access under the FOI Act.

Contact us

  • This will include the name, telephone number and an email address for a contact officer, who can be contacted about access to the AFP's information or documents under the FOI Act. The AFP will establish generic telephone numbers and email addresses for this purpose that will not change with staff movements.

Optional information to be published under the IPS

The AFP will publish on the IPS section of its website other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under s 8(2)), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (s 8(4)).

Accessibility under the IPS

Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS

The AFP will ensure that all online information it is required to publish under the IPS (s 8(2)) conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0) 'double A' standard on by December 2014.

The AFP will ensure, wherever possible, that optional information published on its website conforms with WCAG 2.0 principles. However, priority will firstly be given to providing the information online in a timely manner, even if it is not WCAG 2.0 compliant.

The AFP's dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not yet available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible, hard copy format on request, by contacting the FOI contact officer (whose contact details will be provided).

Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS

From commencement of the IPS, the AFP will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication.

The AFP will ensure, where possible, that all information newly published on the AFP website conforms with the WCAG 2.0. However, achieving WCAG 2.0 compliance will require considerable, wholesale changes to organisational practices, workflows and technologies in relation to document creation, which will take significant time to implement and may require additional resources into the future.

Currently, the AFP's projected timeframes for achieving WCAG 2.0 compliance are consistent with those set out under the NTS, which notes an end date of December 2012 for level 'A' compliance, and December 2014 for level 'AA' compliance.

IPS compliance review

The AFP will review the operation of its IPS in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review. In the first instance, the AFP will review this initial IPS plan after the first 12 months. The AFP will incorporate its IPS plan into the AFP's business planning process.

A periodic analysis of AFP website statistics will allow informed decisions as to the effectiveness of providing information online and the type of information being sought.

The success of the IPS will be determined by an analysis of public feedback via the AFP website's online feedback form, and the number of requests made for general and FOI information respectively.

Attachment A

AFP IPS Document Timeframe
Focus Timeframe Document class
Operational information and proactive publication of other information Tranche 1 –
Before 31 May 2011
Documents identified by portfolios that are readily able to be published in entirety
("operational information" and documents to be published proactively)
Operational information only Tranche 2 –
Before 31 July 2011
Commissioner's Orders
Commander's Orders
Tranche 3 –
Before 30 Sept 2011
National Guidelines
Tranche 4 –
Before 30 Nov 2011
Practical Guides
Tranche 5 –
Before 29 Feb 2012
To be determined
Tranche 6 –
Before 30 April 2012
All other documents
Please note: documents can be identified for proactive publication at any stage.

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