Updated April 2012
The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO) is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) provisions. This agency plan describes how IGTO proposes to do this, as required by section 8(1) of the FOI Act1. The agency plan describes:
- the establishment and administration of IGTO's IPS contribution;
- information architecture;
- the information required to be published;
- accessibility of the information published;
- compliance review mechanisms; and
- better practice initiatives (including promoting community engagement).
IGTO recognises that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes. IGTO will implement and administer the IPS in accordance with the objects of the FOI Act to promote Australia's representative democracy by contributing towards increased public participation in Government processes.
The purpose of this agency plan is to:
- assist IGTO in planning, developing and enhancing its contribution to the IPS;
- manage the information holdings relevant to the IPS; and
- identify the information the agency proposes to publish (referred to as the IPS information holdings), how and to whom the information will be published and how IGTO will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (section 8(1)).
IGTO's objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the IPS information holdings;
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (section 8(2));
- proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published (section 8(4));
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up-to-date and complete (section 8B);
- ensure the information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, reusable and transformable;
- ensure the format conforms where possible to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 (WCAG 2.0) and provide alternative access arrangements;
- measure the success of IGT's IPS contribution by reference to community feedback and compliance review processes; and
- adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering IGTO's contribution to the IPS.
Establishing and administering IGTO's IPS contribution
The IGTO's ips infors Manager (OM) is designated as the senior officer responsible for leading IGTO's work on implementing and adhering to FOI Act requirements, including the IPS.
a) Establishing IGTO's IPS contribution by 1 May 2011
The IGTO's OM worked with the IGTO's service level provider to establish IGTO's original IPS in April 2011. In developing the IPS contribution, the OM:
- reviewed IGTO's functions and information holdings to identify material relevant to section 8(2); and
- identified information to be made available through the IPS portal in accordance with section 8(4).
b) Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011
From 1 May 2011, the OM will continue to be responsible for managing the IPS including working with IGTO staff and the IGTO service level provider to:
- review information holdings in the IPS are up to date and complete; and
- identify new material to be made available through the IPS portal in accordance with sections 8(2) and (4) and ensure this material is published in accordance with requirements.
The OM is working with IGTO's service level provider in developing a register of IPS information required and optional information and will work with authors to ensure that it is up-to-date, accurate and complete. This will include review of the IGTO's information holdings so as to identify information that may be suitable for publication. The OM will continue to manage IGTO's agency plan. As new processes are developed for managing information and internet material, the OM will work with the relevant areas to integrate the IPS management into the management frameworks and will update this agency plan accordingly. The OM will lead better practice initiatives to engage with the community about IGTO's contribution to the IPS. These include:
- inviting members of the public to provide comments to the FOI contact officer via the IGTO website on the IPS information holdings, particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable; and
- providing IPS information holdings in alternative forms if possible when required.
IGTO may charge a person for accessing any IPS documents which it is impracticable to publish online:
- at the lowest reasonable cost; and
- to reimburse specific reproduction costs of other specific incidental costs (section 8D(4)).
Should any IPS documents be impracticable to publish online, IGTO will advise the documents are available. The website will provide contact details for arranging access to any of those documents. If applicable, the advice will include any 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 111 of the FOI Act).
IPS Information architecture
IGTO will publish its IPS information holdings on its website under the following headings:
- Agency plan (sections 8(2)(a)).
- Who we are (sections 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d)).
- What we do (sections 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j)).
- Our reports to Parliament (sections 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h)).
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log (section 8(2)(g)).
- Consultation arrangements (section 8(2)(f)).
- Operational information (section 8(2)(j)).
- Contact us (section 8(2)(i)).
- Our priorities (section 8(4)).
- Our finances (section 8(4)).
- Our lists (section 8(4)).
To ensure that the IPS information holdings and individual IPS documents are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, IGTO will:
- design and publish an IPS entry point on its website homepage;
- wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be copied and transformed;
- publish a sitemap for its website, to help individuals identify the location of information published under sections 8(2) and 8(4); and
- invite feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.
IGTO will make its IPS documents available through links from the IPS website. IGTO's website is under review and this agency plan will be updated to reflect any new arrangements for the IPS information architecture.
Information required to be published under the IPS
IGTO will provide links to documents required to be published under the IPS (section 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website. IGTO will publish these documents under the following headings:
Who we are
This will include an organisational chart and information about statutory appointments. For statutory appointees, IGTO will publish the name of the person appointed, the length or term of appointment, the position to which the person is appointed, and the provisions of the Act under which the person is appointed.
What we do
This will outline IGTO's roles and responsibilities.
Our reports and responses to Parliament
This will link to documents currently published under the headings Annual reports and Corporate Information.
Routinely requested information and disclosure log
From 1 May 2011 IGTO will publish a disclosure log of information accessed under the FOI Act.
This will include a link to reports on IGTO reviews already completed by the IGTO on behalf of the Government. Generally consultation between the IGTO and the public for reviews is enabled through the ability of members of the public to provide confidential submissions during the period following release of Terms of Reference for a review.
The IGTO Corporate Plan is located on the IGTO website on the Accountability & Reporting page.
Information regarding IGTO legal expenditure and grants is located on the IGTO website on the Accountability & Reporting page.
Information regarding IGTO lists is located on the IGTO website on the Accountability & Reporting page.
This includes a link to key information that assists IGTO perform or exercise the agency's functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public.
This will include the email address and a generic telephone number for assistance with access to information or documents under the FOI Act. Enquiries and/or complaint regarding IGTO's administration of FOI and the IPS can also be made via these medium.
Other information to be published under the IPS
The IGTO will publish on the IPS website or provide links from the IPS section to other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under section 8(2)), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (section 8(4)).
Accessibility under the IPS
c) Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS
IGTO will ensure that all online information it is required to publish under the IPS (section 8(2)) and optional information (section 8(4)) conforms as far as possible with WCAG 2.0 on commencement of the IPS. IGTO's dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format if possible on request through the contact details provided on the site.
d) Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS
From commencement of the IPS, IGTO will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication. IGTO will ensure that all information newly published on the IGTO website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as far as possible.
IPS compliance review
The OM will review and revise this agency plan at least annually. The OM will also review the operation of the IPS from time to time, at least every five years, and in accordance with guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review.
Best practice initiatives
IGTO will adopt best practice approaches identified through:
- feedback from members of the public;
- better practice guidelines and advice from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner;
- consultation with other government agencies; and
- internal review.
1 In conjunction with the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 – introduced to make major reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982