TSRA Information Publication Scheme Agency Plan

Background

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) 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 TSRA proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

The TSRA is currently undertaking a significant enhancement to its information management practices, founded on the principle that our information is one of our most important assets, and a key to our decision making the effective delivery of our programs.

This plan is a sub-component of the TSRA’s information management strategy, and dictates how the TSRA will adhere to its obligations relating to the Information publication scheme, which is a public interface to the TSRA’s information.

 Purpose

The purpose of this agency plan is to:

  •  assist the TSRA in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS
  •  show what information the agency proposes to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how the TSRA will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements.
  •  demonstrate the TSRA’s ongoing commitment to a pro-disclosure culture across government.

Our Objectives

Through the implementation of this plan, the TSRA aims to:

  •  have an Information Publication Scheme that meets legislative requirements;
  •  incorporate the pro-disclosure values of the FOI Act into the TSRA’s internal information management strategies, in doing so establishing processes and procedures that integrate IPS requirements with day-to-day information management practices;
  •  identify and publish all current information required to be published;
  •  identify a plan for the publication of additional optional information;
  •  develop mechanisms to ensure that information under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-usable and transformable;
  •  ensure long-term conformance with WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards, and develop mechanisms to ensure all content is accessible to the public until WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards are met.

Establishing the TSRA’s IPS

IPS Project Team 

The IPS Development project is to be managed by a dedicated project manager. The project manager will:

  •  establish the TSRA’s IPS contribution;
  •  co-ordinate the review process with key staff throughout the agency, and
  •  provide advice relating to FOI exemptions.

All documents will be reviewed and cleared by a relevant program manager, the Communications Officer and the Chief Executive Officer. The ICT and Information Management team will co-ordinate the uploading and publication of IPS information.

Review Process

The TSRA IPS will be reviewed internally to ensure that a complete and accurate information set is published. The process undertaken will be as follows:

 Review Process for IPS

Maintaining TSRA’s IPS

The TSRA has undergone major changes to information and records management (IRM) processes and procedures between January-April 2011, including the creation of an IRM Strategic Plan and the implementation of an electronic document and records management system (EDRMS). 

The TSRA is also in the planning stage of a new public website, to replace the existing site which does not meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards or support the TSRA’s IRM strategies.

The TSRA will integrate the maintenance of the TSRA’s IPS with its day-to-day IRM processes and procedures. With the creation of a new public website that is integrated with the TSRA’s document EDRMS, workflows will be established to ensure that every document produced by the TSRA will be considered for public disclosure.

These IRM processes and procedures are in their infancy, as is the project to replace the public website. As a result, until October 2011, the IPS will be maintained through ad-hoc review of new documents and other information. When IRM processes and procedures have been established and formalised, they will include routine maintenance of the IPS.

Format and Structure of theTSRA’s IPS

IPS Structure

The TSRA’s IPS will contain the following sections:

  1. TSRA Information Publication Scheme Agency Plan – this document, which outlines how the TSRA aims to meet the IPS requirements.
  2. Who we are – our organisational chart and information about statutory appointments.
  3. What we do – the TSRA’s functions and powers. 
  4. Our reports and responses to Parliament – any reports and responses to Parliament, including the TSRA’s annual reports.
  5. Routinely requested information and disclosure log – routinely requested information and the disclosure log, as prescribed by the IPS requirements.
  6. Consultation arrangements - this will include information about how and to whom a comment may be submitted by members of the public, where the TSRA undertakes public consultation on a specific policy proposal.
  7. Contact us – contact information relating to access to TSRA information or documents under the FOI Act.

 IPS Format

The TSRA IPS will present documents and other information in as many formats as possible, in order to maximise the accessibility of the information. Each section of the IPS will be presented as a separate HTML page, with text-based content, images and links to documents and other sections.

IPS Accessibility

The TSRA IPS will meet all WCAG 2.0 requirements once the new TSRA public website and associated content management system is completed. Until this time, documents will be made available in as many formats as possible, and at a minimum, in PDF format. Any accessibility issues relating to TSRA IPS information will be resolved on request. All accessibility queries can be made foi@tsra.gov.au, or using another contact method as detailed in the “Contact Us” section of the IPS.

Compliance Review

The TSRA will review and revise this agency plan at least annually, which will coincide with the TSRA’s annual planning cycle. The TSRA 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.

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