Agency plan

    Introduction

    The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (the Registrar) 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 Registrar proposes to do this, as required by s. 8(1) of the FOI Act.

    The Registrar delivers registration, regulation and related services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). The CATSI Act sets out how to register Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations and how they should be run.

    The CATSI Act also sets out the Registrar’s functions (s. 658-1), the services the Registrar provides and the powers the Registrar has to enforce the law. See Part 16-3 of the CATSI Act.

    The Registrar has to deliver these services in a way that takes account of the special needs, requirements and risks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations within the context of Australian and international best practice on sound corporate governance. Ultimately, the aim is to build the independence and capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups and corporations.

    The agency plan describes how the Registrar proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of his/her own information holdings, by addressing the following:

    • establishing and administering the Registrar's 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.

    The Registrar 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

    The purpose of this agency plan is to: assist the Registrar in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS, 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 Registrar will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (s. 8(1)). Note: in this plan, information to be published by the Registrar under the IPS is referred to as the Registrar's IPS information holdings, or as the Registrar’s IPS documents when referring to individual documents.

    Objectives

    • The Registrar's objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
    • manage the Registrar's IPS information holdings
    • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s. 8(2)), including this plan
    • 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, as far as practicable, that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
    • measure the success of the Registrar's IPS contribution
    • adopt, as far as practicable, best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the Registrar's contribution to the IPS.

    Establishing and administering the Registrar's IPS

    The ORIC General Counsel and the Section Manager, Communications and Research Section are designated within ORIC as the officers responsible for leading the Registrar's compliance with the IPS.

    (a) Establishing the Registrar's IPS contribution from 1 May 2011

    The ORIC General Counsel and the Section Manager, Communications and Research Section have been supported by the IPS Working Group to establish the Registrar's contribution to the IPS from 1 May 2011.

    The IPS working group comprises:

    • ORIC general counsel
    • Section Manager, Communications and Research Section
    • additional staff from within the Communications and Research Section.

    The IPS Working Group will set up other ad hoc working groups as required.

    The IPS Working Group has coordinated the collection and publication of information required to be published under s. 8(2) of the FOI Act.

    The IPS Working Group has and will continue to:

    • coordinate a process to audit the documents currently published on ORIC’s website and identify which of those documents will form part of the IPS from 1 May 2011
    • create a list of Registrar IPS documents (including those not already published on the Registrar's website)
    • compile a list of links to Registrar IPS documents for publication on the Registrar's website
    • identify hard copy Registrar IPS documents that are not published on the Registrar's website
    • identify any Registrar IPS documents that are not accurate, up to date or complete
    • nominate a staff member responsible for ensuring a particular Registrar IPS document which was not accurate, up to date or complete, is revised by 1 May 2011 or as soon as practicable after this date. 

    (b) Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011

    PM&C and ORIC (which is within PM&C) have an existing comprehensive information management framework which will apply to the Registrar's IPS information holdings. This framework comprises records management plans and policies.

    From 1 May 2011, the Registrar's ongoing compliance with the IPS will be coordinated by ORIC General Counsel and the Section Manager, Communications and Research Section and assisted by the Communications and Research Section.  

    Each Branch and Section of ORIC will be responsible as required, for day to day tasks associated with complying with the IPS - for example, ensuring up to date operational information is made available to publish.

    As part of managing the ongoing administration of the Registrar's IPS information holdings, the Communications and Research Section has guidelines for web publishing that will apply to the publication of the Registrar's IPS information holdings.

    The Communications and Research Section will ensure, as far as practicable, that the IPS web page:

    • makes the Registrar’s IPS documents as easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable as possible
    • invites members of the public to contact the FOI contact officer via the Registrar's website with comments on the Registrar's IPS information holdings, particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable.

    For each Registrar IPS document that is not available in an accessible format on the Registrar's website, a contact point will be listed and a person may request access to the document through the contact point.

    ORIC may charge a person for accessing any Registrar IPS document which is impracticable to publish online:

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

    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). ORIC's charges are outlined at Annexure A.

    The Registrar will identify on his/her website any Registrar 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 relevant ORIC officer to arrange access.

    IPS information architecture

    The Registrar will publish its IPS information holdings on its website in accordance with the timetable at Annexure B.

    The Registrar's IPS information holdings that are available on its website will include documents of the following categories/types:

    • Agency plan (ss. 8(2)(a) of the FOI Act)
    • Who we are (ss. 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d) of the FOI Act)
    • What we do (ss. 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j) of the FOI Act)
    • Our reports and responses to Parliament (ss. 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h) of the FOI Act)
    • Routinely requested information and disclosure log (ss. 8(2)(g) and 11C of the FOI Act)
    • Consultation arrangements (s. 8(2)(f) of the FOI Act)
    • Other information (s. 8(4) of the FOI Act)
    • Contact us (s. 8(2)(i) of the FOI Act).

    To ensure that the Registrar's IPS information holdings (and individual Registrar IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Registrar 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
    • provide an alert service to notify subscribers of new publications under the IPS or other developments in relation to the Registrar's contribution to the IPS
    • establish links to this agency plan at Australian Government directory website
    • respond to community feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

    The Registrar will make his/her IPS documents available on the IPS section of the website.

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

    Information required to be published under the IPS

    The Registrar will publish documents required to be published under the IPS (s. 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website at PM&C, or provide a link from the IPS section to the associated document.

    The Registrar will publish these documents in accordance with the timeframe set out in Annexure B. In addition to the agency plan, the Registrar will publish these documents or links to these documents under the following headings:

    Who we are

    • This will include an organisation chart and information about statutory appointments where applicable.
    • For statutory appointees, the Registrar 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, areas of responsibility and decision making powers of the Registrar.
    • The Registrar will also publish rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to these functions and powers and responsibilities. This will include the full text of the Registrar recent yearbook reports.

    Routinely requested information

    This will include information

    • in documents to which the Registrar routinely gives access in response to FOI requests. The Registrar will clearly identify these documents in its disclosure log, published under s 11C of the FOI Act - this requires agencies to publish information contained in documents to which the agency has provided access under the FOI Act.
    • held by the Registrar that is routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament.

    Consultation

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

    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 Registrar 's information or documents under the FOI Act.  Contact details for access to specific IPS documents listed on our website are to be provided.

    Optional information to be published under the IPS

    The Registrar 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)).

    The Registrar will publish these documents in accordance with the timeframe set out in Attachment B.

    Optional information will be published as it becomes available.

    Accessibility under the IPS

    (a) Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS

    The Registrar will ensure that, as far as practicable, all online information it is required to publish under the IPS (s. 8(2)) conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) on commencement of the IPS (1 May 2011).

    The Registrar'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 relevant contact officer (whose contact details will be provided). This may be subject to a small number of exceptions identified in Annexure B.

    (b) Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS

    From commencement of the IPS, PM&C will publish any new Registrar IPS documents as soon as practicable, once they are available for publication.

    The Registrar will ensure wherever practicable that all information newly published on the Registrar website conforms with WCAG.

    IPS compliance review

    The Registrar will review and revise this agency plan at least annually, which will coincide with the Registrar 's annual planning process.

    The Registrar will review the operation of its IPS from time to time and at least every five years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review (better practice guidance material to assist agencies to comply with the IPS — to be published in the Information Commissioner's regulatory capacity).

    Annexure A

    Access charges for documents are available in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.

    Annexure B

    No. Document category Format Indicative dates
    1. Agency publication plan required to be published under s 8(2)(a) Accessible HTML 1 May 2011
    2. Registrar information including the Registrar’s operational information required to be published under s 8(2)(b) to (j) Accessible formats where practicable. Where not possible to publish in accessible formats, provide contact details of how the document may be obtained 1 May 2011
    3. Optional information published under s 8(4) Accessible formats where practicable. Where not possible to publish in accessible formats, provide contact details of how the document may be obtained 1 September 2011 and as it becomes available

    The majority of documents listed on the IPS section of the Registrar 's website will be converted into HTML to meet accessibility compliance.

    A small number of exceptions may apply to:

    • PDFs made of images of scanned documents
    • Documents that are out of date, but that are provided for historical reference (these will be supplied in the formats in which they are currently available)
    • Charts, tables and forms (these can be supplied in accessible formats on request).

    Where practicable, documents covered by these exceptions will be published in alternative formats.