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Information Publication Scheme - Agency Publication Plan

Information Publication Scheme iconThis Publication Plan is for the purpose of the Information Publication Scheme required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Introduction
Purpose

- Background
Objectives
Establishing and administering the ATSB's IPS contribution
Information architecture
Information required to be published
- Agency plan
- Who we are
- What we do
- Our reports and responses to Parliament
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log
- Consultation
- Contact details
Optional information
- Our priorities
- Our finances
- Our lists
Accessibility under the IPS
- Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS
- Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS
IPS compliance review

 

Introduction

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) 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.  The ATSB has prepared this agency plan in accordance with s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

The agency plan describes how the ATSB proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings, by addressing:

  • establishing and administering the ATSB's IPS contribution
  • information architecture
  • information required to be published
  • other information to be published (optional information)
  • accessibility to information published
  • compliance review
  • better practice initiatives including promoting community engagement.

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Purpose

The purpose of this agency plan is to:

  • assist the ATSB in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS
  • facilitate public consultation about that contribution
  • show what information the agency proposes to publish (referred to as the IPS information holdings), how and to whom the information will be published and how the ATSB will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements under s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

Background

In July 2010, the Australian Government declared a commitment to open government, based on a culture of engagement, built on better access to and use of government held information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology.

The Government introduced reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to promote a pro-disclosure culture across government and build a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government.  A significant change is the introduction of a new information publication scheme for Australian Government agencies.  The scheme aims to transform the freedom of information framework from one that responds to individual requests for access to documents to one that requires agencies to take a proactive approach to publishing information.  The scheme, which commences on 1 May 2011, requires Australian Government agencies to:

  • publish information publication plans
  • specifies categories of information that must be published
  • provides a means for agencies to proactively publish other government information.

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Objectives

The ATSB's objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:

(a)   manage the IPS information holdings

(b)  proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s 8(2))

(c)   proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published (s 8(4))

(d)  review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up-to-date and complete (s 8B)

(e)   ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable

(f)   ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0)

(g)   measure the success of the ATSB's IPS contribution by reference to community feedback and compliance review process

(h)  adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the ATSB's contribution to the IPS

(i)    other specific agency objectives.

a)  Manage the IPS Information Holdings

Currently the ATSB is largely compliant with the requirements of the IPS.  Substantial amounts of information within the scope of the scheme are already available on the ATSB website.  That information is provided by individual units within the ATSB and posted to the website by dedicated website officers within Communication and Governance.  This plan links to:

  • all information holdings currently published; and
  • information on how access may be obtained to material that may not be available online but able to be provided to the public.

b)  Proactively identify and publish all information required to be published

The ATSB's Legal Team has proactively worked with line areas to identify all of the information that is required to be published as part of the IPS.  More broadly the ATSB has formed an Information Management Working Group to advise the Executive Management Team on information management reforms, including FOI.

c)   Proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published

Optional information of the ATSB, other than that which is currently published, has been identified with the appropriate line areas of the ATSB.  Decisions on publication of other information will be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the area responsible for that information and on advice from the Legal Team.

d)  Review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up-to-date and complete

The ATSB has in place review mechanisms for all the information it currently publishes on its website and also regularly reviews all other information that will be relevant to the IPS.  All information that is to be published is cleared by the appropriate areas and vetted for accuracy and completeness.  The ATSB has also formed an Information Management Working Group that will regularly review the information provided under the IPS and ensure that it is accurate, up-to-date and complete.

e)  Ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable

The ATSB plan links to:

  • all information required to be published under the IPS;
  • that is currently available online; or
  • information on how the public can obtain information not published under the IPS or is currently available online.

Consistent with the Declaration of Open Government, the ATSB is pursuing opportunities to make its information more easily accessible, reusable and machine readable.

f)   Ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0)

WCAG 2.0 conformance is required on all websites owned and/or operated by government.  Content should be created in ways that support and maximize accessibility.

The ATSB is working towards achieving the deadlines set by Government for WCAG 2.0 compliance.  ATSB Reports are published in PDF and Word formats.  Content created before October 2010 may contain non-descriptive ALT text on images and link to PDFs that are not fully accessible.  The Information Commissioner is aware that complete WCAG 2.0 compliance may not be practicable in respect of legacy documents, that is, documents created prior to the enactment of this requirement.  If a person is unable to access any document on the ATSB website in the format required they can contact the ATSB and arrange access in a suitable format.

g)  measure the success of the ATSB's IPS contribution by reference to community feedback and compliance review process

The ATSB will regularly review the IPS information it either publishes or to which it provides a means of obtaining access.  The ATSB will also actively seek feedback from users of ATSB FOI and IPS resources.

h)  adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the ATSB's contribution to the IPS

The ATSB will continue to meet its IPS obligations and the commitments outlined in this agency plan by:

  • maintaining a robust information asset management framework
  • publishing on an ongoing basis information to the public by maintaining an information register and disclosure log
  • maintaining standard operating procedures for processing FOI requests including a prompt to ensure that the information released is reflected in the disclosure log.  The ATSB will also monitor and review the agency plan whenever changes or additions are made to www.atsb.gov.au these are reflected in the Plan;
  • identifying on an ongoing basis any information required to be published or optional to be published or is otherwise readily available;
  • reviewing on a quarterly basis/half yearly whether all material has been captured and update the Plan and the Website accordingly;
  • ensuring that the information published continues to be discoverable, accessible, useable, as well as accurate and up-to-date;
  • reviewing on a quarterly or half yearly basis the information published to ensure all information is being captured;
  • providing a facility for members of the public to provide feedback on the information and the means of publication;
  • ensuring the information about any charges to be imposed and how they will be calculated continues to be published
  • continually updating and developing the agency plan, including through:

­- regular review of the material published and information produced to ensure capture

­- the ATSB Information Management Working Group reviewing on a half yearly basis the agency plan as part of the ATSB overall Information Management Plan

­- otherwise observing best practice as demonstrated by other Commonwealth Agencies and in conjunction with any further Guidelines as may be issued by the OAIC.

i)   Other specific agency objectives

The ATSB's function is to improve safety and public confidence in the aviation, marine and rail modes of transport through excellence in:

  • independent investigation of transport accidents and other safety occurrences
  • safety data recording, analysis and research
  • fostering safety awareness, knowledge and action.

In discharging its function the ATSB recognizes the importance of making as much information as possible available to industry and the travelling public.  This commitment must be balanced with ensuring the protection of information that is covered by privacy legislation or by the restricted information provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

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Establishing and administering the ATSB's IPS contribution

Martin Dolan, Chief Executive Officer/Chief Commissioner is responsible for leading the agencies work on implementing FOI reforms, including establishing and administering the IPS.

The ATSB has an existing information asset management framework that it considers meets the requirements of the IPS.  The ATSB will be reviewing that framework against known parameters for delivering robust information asset management.

This agency plan is in itself an information register of the information required or permitted to be published under the IPS.  This plan has a link to a Disclosure Log.  In addition the ATSB will undertake an audit of current information that falls into the definitions provided by the OAIC for information that is required to be published under s 8(2), information that may be published under s 8(4), and information that is made available to the public otherwise than by publication (s8A(2)).  The result of this audit will form the ATSB's IPS Register within its Plan.

Through focused and targeted consultation the ATSB has comprehensively reviewed its information and has identified the material that it is required to publish under s 8(2), information that may be published under s 8(4) and information that is made available other than by publication.  Links to this information are published in this agency plan.

The ATSB is currently expanding its search criteria for material on the website in order that a greater range of material can be identified.  Links to all material currently published on the website are being provided on the ATSB's dedicated webpage.  The ATSB will also take the following steps:

  • ensuring that published information has high quality metadata through implementation of the Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS) Metadata Standard.  The use of standardised metadata schemas such as AGLS, in conjunction with a suitable metadata-enabled search engine will be investigated as part of the ATSB proposed project (via a RFT) to engage a strategic partner to work collaboratively with the ATSB to implement an EDRMS solution.  Stage 1 of this project is to conduct and deliver a capability maturity assessment, needs analysis and collaborative approach development of the ATSB's electronic document and recordkeeping management, including online information management services
  • applying search engine optimisation strategies to ensure that all published information can be indexed by search engines. 
  • publishing the agency's information asset register to enable both internal and external users of information to identify the available information resources from a single source.

From 1 May 2011, the ATSB's ongoing compliance with the IPS will be coordinated by the ATSB's Legal Team.  The Legal Team will manage ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings and will be responsible for implementing, reviewing and revising the agency plan.

As part of managing the ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings, a Guide to publishing information under the IPS will be developed for ATSB staff.  The guide will:

  • describe processes to be followed internally to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of published information
  • assist staff to identify on an ongoing basis any required or optional information to be published under the IPS
  • describe the process for publishing information.

The ATSB will lead better practice initiatives to engage with the community about the ATSB's contribution to the IPS.  These include:

  • issuing a media release announcing the launch of the IPS
  • making IPS documents as easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable as possible
  • inviting members of the public to contact the FOI contact officer via the ATSB website with comments on the IPS information holdings, particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable
  • publishing a feedback form on the IPS section of the ATSB website inviting users' comments.

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

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

  • at the lowest reasonable cost
  • to reimburse specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs (s 8D(4)).

The ATSB will publish 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 ATSB 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).

The ATSB will be imposing access charges on a case by case basis. These will be assessed on the following basis:

  • The ATSB will publish freely accessible information on our website.  The ATSB may charge 10c a page plus postage costs to produce a hard copy of documents, or in certain circumstances the actual cost incurred of reproducing a document.
  • Charging on a full cost-recovery basis will reflect the cost of the resources used in producing the service. For example, where it is appropriate to fix a charge for producing a document by computer, the actual cost where the ATSB uses its own computer facilities will include:

­-   the cost of labour directly (that is, readily and specifically associated with the production of an output)

­-   the cost of materials and services directly consumed in the production process

­-  an appropriate share of indirect labour costs, both cash and accruing

­-   accommodation costs

­-   a share of indirect materials and services

­-   capital costs, including depreciation, imputed interest on working capital and a return on non-current assets employed, based on current values.

If the ATSB has to use outside computer facilities, the amount charged by the ATSB for production will be based on actual costs. For example, the time spent by officers when making arrangements for an applicant to hear a recording or view a film or videotape (or making copies of a recording, film CD-ROMs or videotape) would be charged. That amount will be calculated on an hourly rate (pro rata), based on the salary of the officer performing the task, plus any additional cost for overheads.

Where the actual cost of providing the access is likely to be high (for example, where production of the documents requires the use of an external computer facility) the person seeking the information will be advised in advance.1

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Information architecture

The ATSB will publish its IPS information holdings to members of the public either on its website, via links on its website or by advising other details of how the information may be obtained.

The IPS information holdings that are available on the ATSB 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)
  • Consultation arrangements (s 8(2)(f))
  • 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 ATSB will:

  • publish an IPS icon on the homepage of its website, which will link to the IPS section of the website
  • design and publish an IPS entry point on its website
  • wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
  • publish a sitemap of 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
  • provide an alert service to notify subscribers of new publications under the IPS or other developments in relation to the ATSB's contribution to the IPS
  • 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 ATSB will, so far as possible, makes its IPS information holdings available for reuse on open licensing terms.

Where the ATSB has deposited or published IPS documents under a scheme such as the Commonwealth Library Deposit and the National Sound and Film Archive, the ATSB will publish on its website information about the deposits (including links where available).

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Information required to be published

The ATSB is publishing the following information.  Most, but not all of the information is available on www.atsb.gov.au

Agency plan

Who we are

Please see the following links:

What we do

This includes information about the functions of the ATSB and its decision making powers.  The following links will take you to those parts of the ATSB website where the functions and powers of the ATSB are explained in greater depth:

The following links will take you to mode-specific information covering Aviation, Marine and Rail investigations:

The following link will take you to details of ATSB Research:

The following link will take you to details of Frequently Asked Questions about the ATSB which are intended to assist with an understanding of its functions and operations:

In undertaking its functions the ATSB relies on operational information, which includes policies and procedures, guidelines and operational tools.  The primary link for this information is:

That is supported by the documents listed in the following link:

If you wish to obtain access to that material then please follow the directions provided.  Access charges may apply.

Our reports and responses to Parliament

Routinely requested information and disclosure log

The following links will take you to the type of information most commonly sought from the ATSB.  If you are unable to source the material you seek, then you are invited to request the specific information needed, by emailing us at atsbinfo@atsb.gov.au

Routinely request information will include information in documents to which ATSB routinely gives access in response to FOI requests.

The ATSB 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.

The following is the Disclosure Log for all FOI requests received from 1 May 2011.  If you wish to have access to the material that has been disclosed, please forward your request to ATSBinfo@atsb.gov.au

The Disclosure Log also references information to which the ATSB routinely has given access in response to FOI requests.

Access charges may apply for the provision of documents to you.

Consultation

This will include information about how and to whom a comment may be submitted by members of the public, where the ATSB undertakes public consultation on a specific policy proposal.

Contact details

Contact details for access to the ATSB's information or documents under the FOI Act.

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Optional information

The ATSB publishes the following optional information2 at the web links provided:

Our priorities

Our finances3

Our lists4

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Accessibility under the IPS

Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS

The ATSB 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) on commencement of the IPS (1 May 2011).

The ATSB will ensure that optional information published on its website conforms with WCAG 2.0.

The ATSB'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 format on request, by contacting the ATSBinfo@atsb.gov.au

Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS

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

The ATSB will ensure that all information newly published on the ATSB website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as soon as possible.

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IPS compliance review

The ATSB notes that the Information Commissioner has the specific function of reviewing, with agencies, the operation of the IPS.  The ATSB would propose, however, to review the operation of its IPS within 12 months of 1 May 2011.

The ATSB will use the following to measure the ATSB's success in complying with the IPS requirements:

  • feedback from the public is positive as to the information published or information explaining how material can be accessed
  • number of complaints received regarding access or readability or useability of the material
  • Information Commissioner review shows no major compliance issues
  • reduce formal requests under the FOI Act as a result of more accessible published information.

 


[1] Based on current guidelines

[2] This information is priorities (corporate and strategic plans, assessments, inspections and reviews)

[3] Information relating to pay and grading structures, procurement procedures, tendering and contracts

[4] Lists of files, agency contracts, grants and appointments, disclosure logs, data sets


 
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Last update 07 September 2016