The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) is a Commonwealth Government agency that is subject to the FOI Act.
Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) provides as follows:
Section 8(1) ‘An agency must prepare a plan showing the following’:
- what information the agency proposes to publish for the purposes of the Part;
- how, and to whom, the agency proposes to publish information for the purposes of this Part; and
- how the agency otherwise proposes to comply with this Part.”
In making this plan, ACLEI is conscious of the following principles:
- information held by government is a national resource to be managed for public purposes;
- information published by ACLEI should be easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable; and
- published information should be reviewed regularly for accuracy, currency and completeness.
ACLEI also has regard to and adopts, so far as is practicable, the eight principles on open public sector information published by the Information Commissioner in Principles on open public sector information
The purpose of this plan is to explain how ACLEI intends to implement and administer its Information Publication Scheme (IPS), to define accountabilities, and to provide a basis for evaluation of ACLEI’s IPS.
ACLEI's objectives in relation to this plan are as follows:
- to further the objects of the FOI Act insofar as they apply to ACLEI;
- to increase ACLEI’s transparency and foster a culture of openness insofar as this is possible given operational duties and functions;
- to facilitate and promote public access to appropriate information promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, without otherwise jeopardising the performance of ACLEI’s functions;
- to increase awareness of ACLEI and its processes among the general public; and
- to mitigate against a lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding of ACLEI and government processes.
Establishing and administering ACLEI’s IPS entry
ACLEI will prepare its IPS entry, and manage the IPS entry on a continuing basis, in the following ways.
- The Executive Director (Secretariat) is responsible for leading ACLEI’s work on IPS compliance and implementing FOI policy.
- The Executive Director will be assisted in these matters by ACLEI’s FOI Coordinator, who will be assisted by ACLEI’s Legal Section.
- To ensure that it is accurate, up to date and complete, ACLEI will review its IPS entry on an at least annual basis. In addition, ACLEI will conduct ad hoc reviews from time to time as warranted or precipitated by changes in its processes and/or operational environment.
- ACLEI is committed to publishing voluntarily as much information as it can without prejudicing the performance of its functions. However, most of ACLEI’s operational information is not suitable for publication, as to do so might harm current and future corruption investigations.
- ACLEI has developed an internal FOI and IPS Information Register to record decisions made in relation to publication of material released under FOI.
- ACLEI aims to provide all documents published on its IPS free of charge and, where this action is not possible for reasons such as volume or format, ACLEI will charge fees for access at the prescribed rates for charges for access under the FOI Act.
- ACLEI will comply with all relevant guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act.
- In performing a function or exercising a power under Part II of the FOI Act, ACLEI will also have regard to the objects of the Act as set out in sections 3 and 3A.
- ACLEI will cooperate with any reviews of ACLEI’s handling of the IPS which will be carried out by the Information Commissioner.
- ACLEI will ensure that, if some of its ‘operational information’ in relation to a function or power of ACLEI has not been published on its website and a person engages in conduct relevant to the performance of the function or exercise of the power and—at the time of engaging in that conduct—the person was not aware of the unpublished information, the person will not be subjected to any prejudice by reason only of the application of any rule, guideline or practice in the unpublished information if the person could have avoided that prejudice had he or she been aware of the unpublished information: see section 10 of the FOI Act.
IPS information architecture
ACLEI will facilitate public access to the information published in its IPS entry in the following ways.
- ACLEI will publish all relevant information in electronic form at www.aclei.gov.au. When this is not practical, ACLEI will publish a link to another website from which the information can be downloaded, or other details of how the information may be obtained.
- Whenever possible, ACLEI will use the format and headings suggested by the Information Commissioner under which to publish information.
- ACLEI’s IPS entry will be notified on the ACLEI website by using the IPS icon recommended by the Information Commissioner.
- ACLEI’s Disclosure Log page includes an RSS feed for interested persons to sign up for to be notified of updates to the Disclosure Log.
- ACLEI’s website (including its IPS) includes a search function.
- ACLEI’s website is compliant with WCAG 1.0.1 and partially compliant with WCAG 2.0. Present information technology architecture prevents the website from being fully compliant. It is planned that the architecture will be replaced. ACLEI is compliant with the Australian Government’s Digital Transition Policy.
- As a minimum, ACLEI places documents for download on its website in PDF format, which, while a proprietary format, is widely used and is difficult to alter. This approach is recommended by the National Archives of Australia. When possible ACLEI also places documents for download in Microsoft Word format. However, given the multitude of versions of that program, it is not feasible to load a document which is compatible with all versions of the program.
- On its IPS entry page, ACLEI will expressly invite community feedback on its IPS entry and compliance. Subject to priorities, ACLEI will evaluate and respond to all comments received.
At this stage, ACLEI does not have the capability to provide a public alert service for changes or additions to the IPS entry. This option will be included on ACLEI’s website as soon as the capability has been established.
Information required to be published under the IPS
ACLEI will publish the following information:
- this Plan;
- details of ACLEI’s structure;
- details of the functions of ACLEI, including its decision making powers and other powers affecting members of the public;
- details of appointments of officers of ACLEI that are made under Acts (other than APS employees);
- the Integrity Commissioner’s Annual Reports;
- when applicable, details of arrangements for members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals for which ACLEI is responsible, including how and to whom those comments may be made;
- information in documents to which ACLEI routinely gives access in response to requests under Part III of the Act except:
- personal information about any individual, the publication of which would be unreasonable;
- information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person, the publication of which would be unreasonable; or
- other information of a kind determined by the Information Commissioner, the publication of which would be unreasonable;
- information held by ACLEI that is routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament;
- the contact details of an officer who can be contacted about access to information and documents held by ACLEI; and
- ACLEI’s ‘operational information’ – that is, information held by ACLEI for the purpose of performing or exercising its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public or a particular person or entity, or classes of persons or entities (for example, rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those decisions and recommendations), but not exempt matter (see subsection 8C(1) of the FOI Act).
This information will be published as soon as practicable after the commencement of the IPS, and checked regularly for its accuracy and completeness. When additional information comes into existence after the commencement of the IPS, ACLEI will publish it on its website as soon as practicable.
Other information to be published under the IPS
In addition to the information required by the FOI Act to be published, ACLEI will also voluntarily publish the following types of information:
- transcripts of speeches given by the Integrity Commissioner and other staff members of ACLEI;
- Ministerial statements and media releases relevant to ACLEI;
- investigation reports (when the Integrity Commissioner determines this measure is appropriate);
- links to legislation relevant to ACLEI;
- information on how to report a corruption issue to ACLEI, including (for ease of access) an online form;
- links to websites of the agencies within ACLEI’s jurisdiction, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ACLEI, and other Australian anti-corruption agencies;
- research reports and corruption prevention materials prepared by ACLEI;
- submissions to Inquiries and Parliamentary Committees, authored by ACLEI;
- ‘Information Guidelines’;
- information about legal and financial assistance for witnesses at ACLEI hearings;
- ‘Notice to Produce Guidelines’; and
- ‘Hearings Guidelines’.
This information will be published as soon as practicable after the commencement of the IPS, and checked regularly for its accuracy and completeness. ACLEI is committed to publishing as much of its information as possible without prejudicing the agency’s effectiveness and the performance of its functions. When additional information comes into existence after the commencement of the IPS that is appropriate to be published, ACLEI will publish it on its website as soon as practicable.
IPS compliance review
ACLEI will review this plan on a yearly basis, using the Information Commissioner’s self-assessment checklist. ACLEI aims to ensure that its IPS entry remains at all times accurate, up to date and complete.
ACLEI will review its IPS entry and compliance in conjunction with the Information Commissioner on a date yet to be fixed. ACLEI will cooperate fully with this review and include the details of the review in its IPS entry.
ACLEI will invite feedback from the public on its IPS entry and compliance with the IPS, and evaluate and respond to all comments received.