Information Publication Plan

Introduction

The Reserve Bank of Australia (the Bank) is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements in the FOI Act.

The Reserve Bank is Australia's central bank. It was established by Commonwealth legislation in 1911. Its functions, powers and responsibilities are specified in the Reserve Bank Act 1959, the Banking Act 1959, the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998, the Payment Systems and Netting Act 1998, Part 7.3 of the Corporations Act 2001 and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, and in Regulations and Rules made under those Acts. An outline of the role of the Reserve Bank, explaining its functions as the nation's central bank, can be found on our website under About the RBA. In particular, the key roles and functions of the Bank are summarised in Our Role and an overview of the structure of the Bank is provided in the section of our website dealing with our Organisational Structure.

This information publication plan (‘the Plan’) describes how the Reserve Bank proposes to comply with the IPS requirements as required by Part II of the FOI Act. The Plan describes how the Bank proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings by addressing:

  1. the establishment and administration of the Bank's IPS;
  2. information architecture;
  3. information required to be published;
  4. accessibility of information published; and
  5. periodic review of compliance.

Purpose

The purpose of the Plan is to:

  1. assist the Reserve Bank to put appropriate procedures in place proactively to disclose its information holdings, in accordance with the objects of the FOI Act;
  2. ensure that (notwithstanding the Bank's proactive approach to disclosure), information and documents the Bank is prohibited from disclosing are protected and not disclosed; and
  3. demonstrate the Bank's compliance with section 8(1) of the FOI Act.

Objectives

The Reserve Bank intends the Plan to result in the following:

  1. the proper management of its information holdings relevant to the IPS requirements of the FOI Act;
  2. the proactive identification and publication of all information required to be published, and the publication of other optional information where permissible, subject to secrecy provisions and any other applicable restrictions on disclosure of information by the Bank;
  3. regular review to ensure that the published IPS information is accurate, up-to-date and complete;
  4. published IPS information that to the extent practicable is discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-usable and transformable; and
  5. satisfactory conformance over time with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (‘WCAG 2.0’).

Establishing and Administering the Reserve Bank's IPS

Establishing the Reserve Bank's IPS

Secretary's Department is responsible for leading the Reserve Bank's work on administering compliance with the IPS. The Secretary is designated by the Bank as the senior officer responsible for compliance with the IPS.

The Reserve Bank is developing a register of information required or permitted to be published under the IPS and a ‘disclosure log’ of information released in response to FOI requests.

Administering the Reserve Bank's IPS

The Reserve Bank has an existing records and information management policy framework, including a Records Disposal Authority and Records Management Policy, which applies to information of the Bank published under the IPS.

The Reserve Bank's compliance with the IPS is co-ordinated by Secretary's Department.

The Reserve Bank will continue to meet its IPS obligations by:

  1. maintaining and improving its information management framework;
  2. identifying any information that is required to be published that is already available;
  3. identifying on an ongoing basis information that is required to be published;
  4. publishing information that is required to be published as soon as reasonably practicable and, wherever possible, publishing it online;
  5. ensuring that to the extent practicable the information published is discoverable, understandable, accessible and useable;
  6. ensuring that the information published is accurate and up-to-date;
  7. without limiting paragraph (e), ensuring that this Plan and the Bank's FOI Disclosure Log are accessible on the Bank's website using the IPS icons recommended by the Information Commissioner for the Information Publication Scheme and the FOI Disclosure Log respectively; and
  8. ensuring information about any FOI access charges and how they will be calculated are published on its website.

As part of managing the administration of the IPS information holdings, Secretary's Department (together with Information Department) will assist staff to identify, on an ongoing basis, any required or optional information to be published under the IPS.

The charges the Bank imposes in relation to requests for access to documents and how they are calculated are outlined on our Freedom of Information page. They are consistent with the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.

Information Architecture

To ensure that the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Bank will:

  1. design and publish (in English) an IPS entry point on its website;
  2. wherever practicable, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed;
  3. display on each page ‘breadcrumb’ navigation to provide in-context orientation for the user;
  4. provide a search function for its website to help individuals identify the location of information published under the IPS;
  5. provide an alert service to notify subscribers of new publications under the IPS or other developments in relation to the Bank's contribution to the IPS and information about how to subscribe to the alert service; and
  6. seek and respond to feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

Information Required to be Published

The Reserve Bank will publish:

  1. this Plan;
  2. information about the governance and organisation of the Bank, including its Boards (namely the Reserve Bank Board and the Payments System Board), and its organisational structures;
  3. information about the Bank's powers and functions;
  4. details of appointments of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistant Governors and others that are made under the Reserve Bank Act 1959;
  5. its reports and responses to Parliament, including its annual reports;
  6. details on how comments and submissions may be made on policy and other regulatory proposals;
  7. information in documents to which the Bank routinely gives access in response to an access request under Part III of the FOI Act;
  8. documents required by law to be tabled in Parliament and documents routinely tabled in accordance with Senate Standing Orders;
  9. contact details for accessing Bank documents under the FOI Act; and
  10. operational information consistent with the requirements of section 8A. Such operational information includes data series, research, reports, speeches and media and other releases that provide insight and background about how the Bank carries out its functions.

Other Information to be Published

The Reserve Bank regularly publishes a wide range of information on its website.

The release of this information (in the form of regular statements, speeches and media and statistical releases) is regarded by the Bank as being consistent with the Bank's IPS obligations under the Act.

Accessibility

The Reserve Bank will also ensure that it publishes accessible versions of its IPS information holdings on its website in accordance with the requirements of WCAG 2.0 and guidelines issued by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

Compliance Review

The Reserve Bank will review and revise this plan at least annually to coincide with the Bank's annual reporting processes. These actions will include (among other things) identification of changes to the information required to be published under section 8 of the Act.

The Bank will review the operation of its IPS, in conjunction with the Information Commissioner, within the statutory review timeframes.

This plan was last reviewed in December 2015.