Proactive Release of Government Information Policy
The purpose of this policy is to promote proactive public release of Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade information in compliance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) and provide a governance framework for the proactive release of government information.
This procedure applies to all Department employees, consultants, contractors or temporary workers undertaking work for the Department regarding the Department’s obligations under the GIPA Act. The GIPA Act authorises and encourages the proactive release of government information by agencies. This policy provides details of the Department’s legislative obligations, as well as the steps involved in proactively releasing government information in accordance with sections 6 (Mandatory Proactive Release) and 7 (Authorised Proactive Release) of the GIPA Act.
1. Guiding Principles
- The object of the GIPA Act is to promote fair, transparent and accountable government by opening government information to the public.
- The Department is authorised to make any government information held by the Department publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
- The Department is committed to proactively releasing its information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
- The information released should be available to members of the public for free (or at the lowest reasonable cost).
This procedure outlines the process for identifying, reviewing and obtaining approval to proactively release information.
2.1 Identifying information for proactive release
All staff are responsible for identifying government information held by the Department for proactive release.
Examples of information that may be considered for proactive release include:
- fact sheets, factual information and reports
- DEIT publications
- internal manuals
- discussion/research papers
- guidelines that relate to employment conditions and managing staff
Open access information
Agencies must publish certain information on their website, free of charge. This includes:
- a register of government contracts
- documents tabled in Parliament
- policies that affect members of the public
- a disclosure log of information released following a GIPA decision
- an Agency Information Guide
- a record of any open access information that is not made publicly available due to an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The Department’s compliance with its open access information obligations are coordinated by the Department’s Legal branch.
Procurement is responsible for the contracts register, ensuring all Government contracts with the private sector to the value of $150,000 or more have mandatory information disclosed on the eTendering website within 45 days after the contract becomes effective.
2.2 Assess information for release
Information identified for proactive release is to be reviewed for any public interest considerations against disclosure of the information; see Schedule 1 and the section 14 Table of the GIPA Act. The Department’s legal branch can provide advice to the business area in conducting the review.
For more information about public interest considerations, you may wish to refer to the Information and Privacy Commission factsheet.
2.3 Approval of information for proactive release
All Senior Executives and certain members of the Department’s legal team are authorised under section 7 of the GIPA Act to proactively release information under the GIPA Act.
Business areas will review their information holdings with a recommendation for their ELT members on whether documents should be proactively released.
Once approved by the relevant ELT member or the Information Unit, the Communications team will publish the information on the Department website or elsewhere as appropriate.
3. Key stakeholders
3.1 Business areas
Business areas from across the Department have responsibilities including:
- promoting the Department’s compliance with relevant open government instruments
- actively identifying documents and datasets within the Department that could be of public interest and proactively released
- monitoring proactive release efforts of the Department.
3.2 Information Unit
The Information Unit is responsible for:
- providing expert advice regarding the statutory obligations under the GIPA Act as they relate to the proactive release of information
- monitoring the Department’s proactive release of government information, and maintaining the proactive release register
- reviewing the Department’s proactive release policy annually
- actively engaging in, and providing assistance to Business areas in identifying information for proactive release.
4. Further assistance
For further advice and assistance, please contact the Information Unit, Office of General Counsel.
The Department may amend this policy from time to time as appropriate.
Next Review Date
|General Counsel||October 2023||July 2024|