The Grains Research and Development Corporation is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Part 2 of the FOI Act establishes an Information Publication Scheme (IPS). The IPS commences on 1 May 2011 and requires agencies to publish a broad range of information on their websites. This agency plan explains how the GRDC intends to implement the IPS, in accordance with s 8(1) of the FOI Act.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation is a statutory authority established to plan and invest in R&D for the Australian grains industry. Its primary objective is to drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the industry and wider community. Its primary business activity is the allocation and management of investment in grains R&D.
The agency plan describes how the GRDC proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings, by addressing:
- the establishment and administration the GRDC’s IPS contribution
- information required to be published
- other information to be published (optional information)
- accessibility to information published
- compliance review.
Staff are encouraged to routinely make information in the public's interest available on the GRDC's website and other mediums, rather than to wait for access to be provided following an FOI request.
The GRDC will continue to build and foster a culture within the agency in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information holdings is embraced. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes.
The purpose of this agency plan is to show what information the GRDC intends to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how the GRDC will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements.
Note: in this plan, information to be published by the GRDC under the IPS is referred to as the IPS information holdings, or as the IPS documents when referring to individual documents.
The GRDC’s objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the IPS information holdings
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published
- proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete
- ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
- ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0).
The GRDC Executive Manager Corporate Services is the senior officer responsible for ensuring the GRDC’s compliance with the IPS.
Administering information published under the IPS
The Executive Manager Corporate Services will have ongoing overview of the GRDC's compliance with the FOI Act and the management of ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings.
The information published under the IPS must be ‘accurate, up-to-date and complete’ (s 8B). IPS documents will be biannually reviewed.
The FOI page on the GRDC’s website includes information about charges associated with FOI requests, and an explanation for the charge. These charges are consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act).
In accordance with guidance issued by the OAIC, the IPS information holdings available on the GRDC’s website have been published under the following headings:
- Agency plan
- Who we are and what we do
- Statutory appointments
- Reports and responses to Parliament
- Consultation arrangements
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log
- Contact us
- Operational Information.
To ensure that the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the GRDC has:
- wherever possible, it has provided online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- provided a search function for its website.
The GRDC will make its IPS documents available and easy to find by providing links to the IPS documents published on the GRDC’s website from the IPS section of the website.
The GRDC has published documents and a list of other documents that are required to be published under the IPS in the IPS section of the website at www.grdc.com.au.
The GRDC will ensure that all information published on its website under the IPS will comply with current web content accessibility requirements.
The GRDC’s dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not yet available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format on request, by contacting the FOI Officer (whose contact details will be provided).
From commencement of the IPS, the GRDC will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication.
The GRDC will ensure that all information newly published on the website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as soon as possible.
The agency plan is a living document, and will be reviewed periodically—at least annually—to ensure it remains relevant and to incorporate feedback.
The GRDC 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.