27 August 2012: Research released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) confirms that Australian Government agencies are moving closer to an open access and proactive disclosure culture.
Reforms to the federal Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) in November 2010 were designed to progress open government in Australia. These reforms included an Information Publication Scheme that came into effect on 1 May 2011. Under the scheme, Australian Government agencies are required to publish a range of documents on their websites, and are encouraged to publish additional information over and above that required by the FOI Act.
In early May 2012, the OAIC conducted a survey of Australian Government agencies to assess how they are complying with the new publishing requirements of the FOI Act. Seventy eight per cent of Australian Government agencies completed the survey.
‘Proactive publication is a core element of transparent, accountable and accessible government,’ Australian Information Commissioner Professor John McMillan said. ‘I am pleased that 85 per cent of agencies publish the required categories of information on their websites, including information about their structure, functions, appointments and consultation arrangements. Ninety four per cent are publishing operational information that shows how decisions that affect members of the public are made.’
You can read more about this research from the OAIC at http://www.oaic.gov.au/news/media_releases/media_release_120827_ips_psi_survey.html