The Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The VRB is required to comply with the FOI Act's Information Publication Scheme (IPS). The IPS will help promote an open and transparent culture across Government which recognises that Government information is a national resource to be managed for public purposes.
The purpose of this Agency Plan is to comply with section 8(1) of the FOI Act by showing:
- what information the VRB will publish for the purposes of the IPS
- how, and to whom, that information will be published
- how the VRB will otherwise comply with the requirements of the IPS.
This Agency Plan will assist the VRB in planning and developing its contribution to the IPS, including putting procedures in place to proactively disclose information in accordance with the objects of the FOI Act.
The objectives of this Agency Plan are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures for the VRB to:
- manage information relevant to the IPS
- proactively identify and publish all information that must be published
- proactively identify and publish additional information in accordance with principles of open government
- review published information on a regular basis to ensure it is accurate, up-to-date and complete
- ensure the VRB’s online content conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0)
- measure the success of the VRB's implementation of the IPS.
Establishing, administering and reviewing the IPS within the VRB
The Principal Member is responsible for leading the VRB’s compliance with the IPS.
Establishment and administration
The VRB has taken the following steps in establishing an IPS:
- Consulted with other agencies including the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner about their approach to the IPS.
- Developed this plan
- Identified documents that must be published under the IPS and other documents to be published under the IPS
- Created a register of IPS documents
- Reviewed information on its website to ensure that it conforms to WCAG 2.0
- Updated its website structure to be more accessible
- Created dedicated web pages for IPS information.
The VRB proposes to take the following further steps in establishing and administering the IPS:
- Publish IPS documents that are accurate, up-to-date and complete on its website from 1 May 2011
- Continue to update IPS documents and publish accurate, up-to-date and complete documents on its website
- Consider what access charges, if any, should be imposed for providing IPS documents in hard copy, and publish details About any such charges on its website
- Ensure this plan and the register of IPS documents are updated on a regular basis, including considering whether any newly created or amended documents should be added to the register and published
- Ensure that all documents published on its website continue to conform to WCAG 2.0
- Monitor the usage of IPS-related pages of its website and evaluate the effectiveness of those pages
- Respond to feedback from members of the public and government agencies about the information published under the IPS.
The VRB will review and, where necessary, revise this Agency Plan at least annually. Part of this review will be to ensure all published documents remain accurate, up-to-date and complete.
With the assistance of the Information Commissioner, the VRB will undertake a review of the operation of the IPS in the VRB within 5 years of the commencement of the IPS, as required by section 9 of the FOI Act.
IPS information architecture and accessibility
The VRB will publish information to members of the public on its website. The information published under the IPS will be accessible through an ‘Access to information' logo on the VRB website homepage.
Where possible, the information will be published in HTML, Rich Text Format (RTF), and Portable Document Format (PDF).
The VRB will publish the following information:
Information that must be published
- Agency plan (this plan)
- Who we are (including statutory appointments)
- What we do
- Our reports and responses to Parliament (including Annual Reports)
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log
- Consultation arrangements
- Other information (including service charter and commitments)