Information Publication Scheme (IPS) Agency Plan

Our Department is 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 we propose to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

This plan describes how we propose to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its information holdings, by addressing:

  • establishing and administering our IPS entry
  • information architecture
  • information required to be published
  • other information to be published
  • IPS compliance review.

We will continue to build and foster a culture within the agency, in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information holdings is embraced, leading to successful implementation and administration of its IPS entry. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes.


The purpose of the agency plan is to:

  • assist us in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS
  • facilitate public consultation about that contribution
  • show what information the agency proposes to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how we will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (s 8(1)).


Our objectives in this plan are to outline the mechanisms and procedures to:

  • manage the IPS information holdings
  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s 8(2))
  • proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published (s 8(4))
  • review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete (s 8B)
  • ensure that the information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable, and transformable
  • ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0), as much as possible
  • to measure the success of our IPS
  • reduce the number of formal requests under the FOI Act by making information that is routinely sought readily available and accessible.

Establishing and administering the IPS

The Assistant Secretary, Access to Information (ATI), with the support of the FOI Section has responsibility for the IPS. The ATI branch is responsible for reviewing and revising this plan.

Web Operations staff in liaison with the ATI branch are responsible for publishing the online content in accordance with government standards. Our IPS entry will be maintained through our web guidelines processes and procedures.

We will adhere to section 11C of the FOI Act by publishing decisions and documents released under FOI taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner.

We might impose charges for accessing information published under the IPS where a request for a document(s) is considered voluminous. Charges will be consistent with charge in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.

Currently these include:

Administrative charges
Activity itemCharge
Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document$15 per hour
Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletionsFirst five hours: Nil
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar mediumSubsequent hours: $20 per hour
Photocopy$4.40 per page of transcript
Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises$0.10 per page
Delivery: sending or delivering a copy of a document at your request$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a documentCost of postage or delivery

IPS Information Architecture

The Freedom of Information page on our website is the main entry point through which members of the public can access IPS content.

The IPS entry will be published on the website under the following headings:

Required information

  • Agency plan (s 8(2)(a)
  • Who we are (ss 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d))
  • What we do (ss 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j))
  • Our reports and responses to Parliament (ss 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h))
  • Routinely requested information and FOI disclosure log (ss 8(2)(g) and 11C)
  • Consultation arrangements (s 8(2)(f))
  • Contact us (s 8(2)(i)).

Other information

  • Our priorities (s 8(4))
  • Our finances (s 8(4))
  • Our lists (s 8(4))
  • Our submissions (s 8(4))
  • Our policies (s 8(4)).

To ensure that our IPS entry (and individual IPS documents) is easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, we have:

  • wherever possible, provided online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
  • provided search functionality on our website
  • created IPS 'featured results' in the site search engine
  • enabled the ability for feedback on the IPS to be made through the FOI section email:
  • enabled subscribers of new publications or other developments to the department’s IPS entry to be notified as soon as reasonably practical
  • put in place a process to enable copies of documents that are not accessible
  • ensure that all documentation that is published under the IPS conforms within WCAG 2.0, as much as reasonably possible as per outlined under accessibility.


The majority of documents listed on the IPS section of our website will be converted into HTML to meet accessibility requirements. A small number of exceptions might apply to:

  • Portable Document Format (PDF)s made of images of scanned documents
  • Charts, tables and forms (these can be supplied in accessible formats on request).

Information required to be published

We will publish documents required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website at information publication scheme.

We will publish these documents under the following headings:

Required Information

  • Agency plan
  • Who we are
    This will include information about us, our organisation chart, the Enterprise Agreement and information about statutory appointments.
    For statutory appointees, we will publish the name of the person appointed, the length or term of appointment, the position to which the person is appointed (and particulars of the position) and the provision of the Act under which the person is appointed.
  • What we do
    This will include information about our functions and powers, the rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those functions and powers.
  • Reports and responses to Parliament
    This will include our annual reports, Portfolio Budget Statements, Corporate Reports and Senate Orders
  • Routinely requested information and FOI disclosure log
    This will include information in documents to which we routinely gives access in response to FOI requests and information published under s 11C of the FOI Act.
  • Consultation arrangements
    This will include information about how and to whom a comment may be submitted by members of the public, where we undertake public consultation on specific discussion papers for which the agency is responsible.
  • Contact us
    Information provided will include an email address for this purpose.  This will not change with staff movements.

Other information required to be published

We will publish on the IPS section of its website other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under s 8(2)), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (s 8(4)).

We will publish as much information as possible to comply with the FOI Act and in the interests of full disclosure. Other information will be published under the following headings:

Other information

  • Our priorities
    This will include corporate and strategic plans, assessments and reviews.
  • Our finances
    This will include financial information relating to pay and grading structures, procurement procedures, tendering and contracts.
  • Our lists
    This will include the agency grants and appointments, and links to data sets.
  • Our submissions
    This will include submissions made. We publish information about our submissions to parliamentary committees and other inquiries.
  • Our policies
    This will include relevant departmental corporate policies.

IPS compliance review

We will review the operation of the IPS annually and update its plan as required. Online information, in all formats, is regularly reviewed for currency and accuracy. Outdated information is replaced and archived.

Our objective is to ensure transparency and openness with the public in its decision-making processes. We will ensure that comments made by the public, in relation to this Agency Plan will be taken into account and the plan amended as appropriate.

Feedback on the Agency's IPS Plan can be forwarded to:

Postal address
Freedom of Information Section
Department of Home Affairs
PO Box 25
Belconnen ACT 2616