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Appendix A: Other mandatory information

Work health and safety

The ATSB ensures employees have a healthy and safe workplace. There are a number of aspects that the ATSB has been working on while supporting the Evolution Program including:

  • effective management of the Work Health and Safety Committee which met six times over the year
  • providing ongoing support and advice to meet individual needs and educating managers on their work health and safety responsibilities
  • introduction of a strong early intervention program for staff
  • effective case management of compensation claims, contributing to a reduction in the ATSB’s Comcare premium
  • a successful compliance audit of the rehabilitation management system where Comcare recognised and congratulated the ATSB on its performance in comparison with other federal employers and licensee groups
  • reinvigorating the workplace health and safety representatives network
  • a dedicated resource to provide ongoing individualised support to our Transport Safety Investigators undertaking field work.

There are no new compensation claims to report during the 2016–17 year and no reportable incidents under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Advertising and market research

The ATSB did not conduct any advertising campaigns during 2016–17 and did not incur any expenses with advertising, market research, polling, direct mail or media advertising agencies.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance reporting

(Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)

The ATSB is fully committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development. The nature of its work as Australia’s national transport safety investigator—with a focus on the investigation of transport accidents, research into transport safety and dissemination of safety information—means that the ATSB’s commitment is expressed through its day-to-day activities within its offices.

The ATSB operates under the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) policy and through its sub-lease office accommodation arrangements with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the ATSB’s environmental management system complies with ISO 14001:2004—the international standard for environmental management systems. The system is focused on the ATSB’s office-based activities in Canberra. Initiatives are applied at regional office premises, where appropriate.

The ATSB has contracted out its data centres to private providers, with the result that servers and information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure are located outside the ATSB premises. This produced a significant saving in energy use. The ATSB has limited its energy use through various initiatives that focus on improving the energy efficiency of the property portfolio, for example:

  • operating a virtualised IT server environment
  • ensuring that desktop IT equipment uses energy-saving policies, such as automatic turn-off for monitors and hard drives after periods of inactivity
  • reducing the number of printers in the network
  • setting each printer default to mono (black) and double-sided printing
  • using photocopy paper containing 60 per cent recycled paper for internal use
  • actively recycling paper waste
  • promoting the separation of general waste into recyclable and non-recyclable items before disposal
  • promoting video conferencing as an alternative to travel, where practicable
  • using motion-sensor lighting in offices
  • reducing the effect of direct sunlight on air conditioning systems by installing blinds or tinting, where appropriate.

Grant programs

The ATSB did not administer any grant programs during 2016–17.

Changes to disability reporting in annual reports

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available on APSC’s website at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a ten-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in late 2014 and presented to COAG in December 2015. It can be found at www.dss.gov.au

Freedom of Information

The following information explains how to request access to documents held by the ATSB under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). It also explains what records the ATSB holds, and what arrangements the ATSB has in place for outside participation.

Entities to the FOI Act are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display, on its website, a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements.

Detailed information about the FOI Act is available via the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website at www.oaic.gov.au and the Federal Register of Legislation website at www.legislation.gov.au

How to lodge a request for information

Information about how to make an application under the FOI Act can be found on the ATSB’s website at www.atsb.gov.au

A request for access to documents made under the FOI Act must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide enough information to enable the document(s) sought to be identified
  • give details of how notices under the FOI Act may be sent (for example, by providing an electronic address).

Submission of FOI requests, or enquiries about access, should be directed to:

Freedom of Information Coordinator Australian Transport Safety Bureau PO Box 967 CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608

Phone: +61 2 6274 6488 Fax: +61 2 6247 3117 Email: FOI-ATSB@atsb.gov.au

Charges

There are no application fees payable to lodge an FOI request. The ATSB may impose a charge for the work involved in providing access to document(s) required through a request under the FOI Act. These charges are imposed in accordance with the FOI Act and the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982. These charges may relate to the time spent searching for and retrieving relevant document(s), decision-making time, photocopying and other costs. The FOI Act also provides that the first five hours of decision-making time is waived. The applicant will be notified as soon as possible with an estimate of the charges associated with the processing of the request. The request will not be processed until the applicant responds to such notification.

In some circumstances, charges associated with the processing of the request may be remitted. Should the applicant wish to seek remission of the charges, the criteria considered by the ATSB include whether:

  • payment of the charges, or part of the charges, would cause financial hardship to the applicant or a person on whose behalf the application was made
  • giving access to document(s) is in the general public interest, or in the interest of a substantial section of the public.

The applicant would need to contact the ATSB in writing, or by email, to explain why they meet the criteria, or to inform the agency of overall circumstances which justify non-payment of charges. Requests for the remission of the charges should be forwarded to the Freedom of Information Coordinator.

It may not be possible to obtain access to all the documents sought in an FOI request. Access is limited by exemptions, such as Section 38—secrecy provisions of the FOI Act.

It is important to note that the ATSB is required to perform its functions under Section 12AA of the TSI Act. A significant amount of information gathered by the ATSB during the course of its investigations is defined as restricted information under Section 3 of the TSI Act, and access to such information is exempt from release under subparagraph 38(1)(b)(i) of the FOI Act.

Freedom of Information activity in 2016–17

The ATSB received 29 new requests for access to documents under the FOI Act in 2016–17. Table 23 provides details of the ATSB’s Freedom of Information activity for 2016–17.

Table 23: Freedom of Information activity 1

2016–2017

Numbers

Requests

On hand at 1 July 2016 (A)

4

New requests received (B)

29

Requests withdrawn (C)

9

Requests transferred in full to another agency (D)

3

Requests on hand at 30 June 2017 (E)

2

Total requests completed at 30 June 2017 (A+B-C-D-E)

19

Action on requests

Access in full

0

Access in part

11

Access refused

8

Access transferred in full

3

Request withdrawn

9

Response times (excluding withdrawn)1

0–30 days

18

31–60 days

1

61–90 days

0

90+ days

0

Internal review

Requests received

1

Decision affirmed

1

Decision amended

0

Request withdrawn

0

Review by Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Applications received

0

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) review of FOI decisions

Applications received

0

records the atsb holds

Records the ATSB holds

The ATSB holds records such as:

  • human and financial resource management records
  • briefing papers and submissions prepared for ministers, parliamentary secretaries, parliamentary committees, the Cabinet and the Executive Council (most of these are classified documents)
  • business papers, briefing notes and meeting records for committees, and conferences, in which the ATSB services or participates
  • documents prepared by international agencies
  • documents relating to the development of legislation
  • internal administration documents
  • internal treaties, memoranda of understanding and international conventions
  • legal documents, including legislation, contracts, leases and court documents
  • maps and other geographical information
  • ministerial responses to parliamentary questions, interdepartmental and general correspondence and papers
  • policy documents, recommendations and decisions
  • registers of documents, agreements and approvals
  • statistics and databases
  • technical standards, guidelines, specifications, charts, photographs, drawings and manuals
  • accident and incident investigation and notification records.

To view a list of manuals and other documents the ATSB uses when making decisions or recommendations that affect the public, visit the ATSB website at www.atsb.gov.au

Under 8C of the FOI Act, exempt matter is not required to be published. The ATSB reserves the right to delete exempt matter from its information prior to providing access.

To find out more about the types of personal information the ATSB holds, please refer to the ATSB Privacy Policy on the ATSB website at www.atsb.gov.au

For further information, please contact the ATSB either by telephone on 1800 020 616 or by email at atsbinfo@atsb.gov.au

Functions and decision-making powers

The ATSB’s functions are detailed in Section 12AA of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and are further described throughout this report.

Certain officers exercise decision-making powers under portfolio legislation and other matters. These responsibilities are set out in the Administrative Arrangements Order (AAO) for the Commonwealth of Australia and relate to transport safety, including investigations.

For a complete and up-to-date copy of the AAO, visit www.legislation.gov.au

To assist ATSB employees in exercising their powers appropriately, and enable access to their decision-making authorities, the ATSB uses an intranet site which allows employees to view delegations online. It also allows employees to check information about the powers and authorities assigned under the legislation set out in the AAO, and by laws such as the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Public Service Act 1999. Powers delegated under the TSI Act are recorded on the back of identity cards for all investigators.

Arrangements for outside participation

The ATSB consults widely to gain the views of its stakeholders and clients about future policy directions and program delivery. This includes consulting with other Australian state and territory government departments and agencies, as appropriate, and with foreign governments—particularly in the context of transport safety investigations. For particular policy issues, the ATSB may also contact a very broad range of stakeholders.


1These statistics cannot be compared directly with the deadlines set in the Freedom of Information Act 1982, as the FOI Act provides for extensions of time to allow for consultation with third parties, negotiation of charges and other issues.