Icons Signal Expanded Australian Disclosures

2 May 2011

Beginning May 1, Australian government agencies must publish a “disclosure log” listing information that has been released in response to freedom of information access requests.

The logs, signaled by a uniform icon, must be updated within 10 working days of giving the FOI applicant access to the information.

This disclosure is one piece of a larger Information Publication Scheme (IPS) required under new freedom of information laws. 

Agencies are now required to publish 10 categories of information, including information about the agency’s structure, functions and statutory appointments, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website. Agencies must also publish “operational information” that guides decisions affecting members of the public as well as information about how the public can comment on policy proposals.

According to the commission office:  “Each agency is required to publish a plan showing how it proposes to meet the requirements of the IPS, and must ensure that information published is accurate, up to date and complete. Many agencies have included an icon on their website to alert members of the public to where they can access information published under the IPS.”

The change is also discussed in the Open and Shut blog by Peter Timmins.

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