The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) is required under subsection 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to publish this Information Publication Scheme (IPS) Agency plan.
The purpose of this IPS Plan is to:
- comply with section 8 of the FOI Act
- show what information AFSA publishes, how and to whom the information is published and how AFSA otherwise complies with its IPS requirements
- assist AFSA to maintain appropriate procedures to proactively disclose its information, under the FOI Act.
This IPS Plan outlines appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the information relevant to the IPS
- identify and publish all required information under subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act (including this plan)
- identify and publish optional information under subsection 8(4) of the FOI Act
- ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, clear, accurate, up-to-date and complete, as required by section 8B of the FOI Act
- ensure that the format of online content conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2)
- evaluate the usefulness and acceptance of AFSA’s IPS
- ensure AFSA’s stakeholders and the public are informed about AFSA’s role, responsibilities, functions and the way its powers are exercised.
Implementing the Information Publication Scheme
Establishing an Information Publication Scheme
The Chief Operating Officer is the senior executive responsible for leading AFSA’s compliance with the IPS, and is supported by AFSA’s FOI Coordinator.
AFSA continues to improve its information asset management framework to make the information on the site more user-friendly, intuitive, accessible and understandable.
Each division of AFSA is responsible for the ongoing administration and complying with the IPS. For example, the Legal and Governance team is primarily responsible for implementing, reviewing and revising this plan. The Communications team working with the FOI coordinator and whole of AFSA, identifies, reviews and publishes material on the website.
AFSA also has a Disclosure Log established for section 11C of the FOI Act. The Disclosure Log lists the documents which have been released in response to FOI requests However, documents are usually removed after 6 months unless they have ongoing relevance or interest to the public.
The Log lists summary information such as title, date of release, including number of pages and descriptions of the documents released.
The Disclosure Log does not list documents to which section 11C does not apply – which includes documents containing personal or business information that it would be unreasonable to publish.
AFSA does not currently charge a fee for accessing information it publishes, other than where the fee or charge is imposed by or under legislation.
These legislative fees and charges are subject to a rigorous cost recovery analysis before being imposed. Our Cost Recovery Impact Statements are subject to consultation with relevant stakeholders. They are transparently shown in a legislative instrument made by the Minister (the Attorney-General) known as the Bankruptcy (Fees and Remuneration) Determination – you can view the current Determination on the ComLaw website. AFSA also publishes the current Fees and Charges. Any non-statutory fees or charges that may be contemplated in the future will be subject to consultation before being imposed.
Our FOI page is the main portal through which members of the public can access the information made available by AFSA under its IPS.
IPS information architecture
There is extensive information about AFSA’s functions and operations on our website. We endeavour to publish as much information as possible, consistent with the objects of the FOI Act. Our publication practices must, however, be balanced against an obligation to respect and maintain confidential commercial information and personal information.
We ensure AFSA’s documents published under the IPS are easily discoverable and searchable. Our website is user friendly in respect to navigation and contains an easily accessible search function. AFSA has provided a link for the IPS page on the main page of its website to enable users to immediately locate the IPS.
Wherever possible, we will provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed. AFSA will, as far as possible make that most information available on its website conform to WCAG 2.0 AA.
Most documents on the AFSA website are published in HTML format to meet accessibility requirements. AFSA’s publications are available in PDF, Word and RTF. The standard language of these publications is English. In addition, we have a range of ‘hard copy’ publications that are available on request from AFSA and from other sources, such as financial counsellors.
AFSA’s Annual Report (which, since 2011-12, includes the Inspector-General in Bankruptcy’s Annual Report into the Operation of the Bankruptcy Act 1966) is provided to the Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes.
AFSA also maintains two public registers:
- the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) - a register containing certain information about people who are, or have been, subject to personal insolvency arrangements, along with information about registered insolvency practitioners
- the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) - a register showing details of security interests in personal property.
Both the NPII and the PPSR may be searched by the public for a fee.
We will publish all documents required under subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act. This includes information about AFSA’s functions, decision-making powers and operational information including rules, guidelines, practices, and precedents that assist the agency to make decisions or recommendations affecting the public. AFSA will publish:
- Agency plan (s 8(2)(a))
- Organisational chart (s 8(2)(b))
- Statutory appointments (s 8(2)(d))
- What we do (s 8(2)(c))
- Who are we (s 8(2)c))
- Decision making powers (s 8(2)(c))
- Annual reports (s 8(2)(e))
- Information released pursuant to FOI requests (Disclosure Log) (s 8(2)(g))
- Consultation documentation (s8(2)(f))
- Operational information (s 8(2)(j))
- Contact information (s 8(2)(i))
AFSA will publish as much information as possible (beyond what is required under subsection 8(2)) on the IPS webpage under subsection 8(4) of the FOI, in the interests of full disclosure.
Administering AFSA’s IPS
We are committed to ensuring that AFSA’s information asset management framework not only meets legislative requirements but also provides real benefit to its clients and the public.
We ensure that all information is accurate and up to date at the time of publication. All AFSA teams are responsible for auditing their operational documentation. We will be as proactive as possible in publishing both required and optional information.
We will review this IPS plan, and the information published under the plan on an ongoing basis to ensure it remains up-to-date, accurate, accessible, and understandable.
In line with the guidelines published by the OAIC, AFSA will regularly update and maintain the information scheme and be prepared for the OAIC’s audit every 5 years.
Our objective is to ensure transparency and openness with the public in its decision-making processes. We ensure comments made by the public, in relation to this IPS plan be considered as appropriate.
Feedback on AFSA’s Agency Plan can be forwarded to:
If you require more information, or assistance with making an FOI request, please contact the FOI Coordinator on (02) 6198 3517 or by email at foi [at] afsa.gov.au.