Version 1.1, 11 May 2012
The National Museum of Australia (Museum) is an agency 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 the NMA proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.
The Museum is a major cultural institution charged with researching, collecting, preserving and exhibiting historical material of the Australian nation. The Museum focuses on the three interrelated areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, Australia’s history and society since European settlement in 1788 and the interaction of people with the environment.
Established in 1980, the Museum is a publicly funded institution governed as a statutory authority in the Commonwealth Arts portfolio. It is headed by a Director who is appointed by the Governor-General. The Museum’s Council is responsible for the conduct and control of the affairs of the Museum.
The Museum’s building on Acton Peninsula, Canberra opened in March 2001.
The purpose of this agency plan is to show what information the Museum proposes to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how the Museum will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements.
Information held by the Museum
The Museum’s establishing legislation requires the Museum to undertake specific functions including:
- developing and maintaining the national historical collection
- exhibiting historical and other material conducting research about Australian history
- disseminating information about Australian history or the Museum and
- developing sponsorship, marketing and other commercial activities.
In performing these functions the Museum either produces or has in its possession a wide range of documents and information. While some information the Museum holds may not be suitable for publication (under the IPS or otherwise) because of cultural sensitivities, confidentiality, or copyright restrictions, the Museum is committed to reviewing and releasing its information where appropriate.
The FOI Act recognises the Museum’s role by exempting material in the historical collection from the scope of that Act. However, the Museum will consider all requests for access to its information on a case by case basis and facilitate such access where appropriate.
Establishing and administering the Museum’s IPS contribution
The IPS champion in the Museum is the Chief Operating Officer. The Museum’s ongoing compliance with the IPS will be coordinated by the IPS Project Team which comprises:
- Information Manager (chair)
- Manager, Legal Services
- Manager, Strategic Development and Policy
- Manager, Multimedia and Web.
The Project Team will take steps to ensure that any information required to be published under section 8 is identified and published on the IPS home page as soon as practicable. The Museum’s Executive Team (comprising Assistant Directors and the Chief Operating Officer) will be responsible for identifying documents created by their divisions which should be published under the IPS.
Information that is currently published on the Museum’s website will be identified and reviewed for accuracy, currency and completeness prior to being published as part of the IPS.
To ensure that IPS information is easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Museum will:
- link from its home page to the IPS section of the website
- design and publish an IPS entry point on its website
- wherever practicable, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- publish a sitemap for its website, to help individuals identify the location of information published
- provide a search function for its website
- establish links to this agency plan and to the sitemap at www.directory.gov.au and
- seek and respond to community feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.
The Museum will, so far as possible, make its IPS information holdings available for reuse on open licensing terms.
IPS information architecture and types of information to be published under the IPS
The Museum will publish the types of information set out in Table 1 below in the IPS section of the website at www.nma.gov.au/ips/. The information in the table below covers both information required to be published under the IPS, and information which the Museum has decided to publish although it is not required to do so.
Table 1: What the Museum will publish
|Topic||Details of information to be published|
|Agency plan||This agency plan|
|Who we are|
An organisation chart, the Museum’s Workplace Agreement and information about statutory appointments.
For statutory appointees, the Museum 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||Information about the functions and powers of the Museum, its Council and any committees of Council. Also, information about the Museum programs and activities.|
|Our reports and responses to Parliament|
The Museum’s annual reports from 2000–2001 onwards as tabled in Parliament.
Senate Continuing Order for the Production of Departmental and Agency File Lists
Information requested from the Museum by Parliament through a Committee
|Routinely requested information|
Information in documents to which the Museum routinely gives access in response to FOI requests.
The Museum will clearly identify these documents in its disclosure log published under s 11C of the FOI Act.
|Consultation||Information about how and to whom feedback about the Museum may be submitted by members of the public.|
|Contact us||The name, telephone number and an email address for a contact officer who can be contacted about access to the Museum’s information or documents under the FOI Act. The Museum will establish generic telephone numbers and email addresses for this purpose that will not change with staff movements.|
|Our priorities||Our corporate and strategic plans, assessments and reviews.|
|Our finances||Financial information relating to pay and grading structures; information about procurement procedures and tendering opportunities.|
|Our lists||Publication of details of agency contracts (as required by the Commonwealth Procurement framework), grants and appointments, material acquired for the national historical collection and research activities.|
|Our submissions||Submissions made by the Museum to Parliamentary committees and other agencies.|
|Our policies||Council and operational policies unless full publication is not appropriate (e.g. some security policies). The Museum will also publish its procedures, guidelines and practices relating to its functions and powers.|
Accessibility under the IPS
The Museum has migrated the content of its website to a new platform that conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0) AA. The migration was completed in December 2011. The majority of IPS information published on our current website is accessible in HTML.
Museum policies are currently published on our website in PDF format. The Museum is converting PDFs to HTML as they are reviewed and updated. We will, however, convert ‘on request’ and publish a notice on the website to that effect.
From commencement of the IPS, the Museum has published any new IPS documents in both PDF and HTML as soon as they are available for publication. From the completion of the website migration to a WCAG 2.0-compliant platform, all new IPS documents will conform with the WCAG 2.0.
Access to information which is not available online
The Museum may charge a person for accessing any IPS document which it is impracticable to publish online:
- at the lowest reasonable cost
- to reimburse specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs.
The Museum will publish on its website a list of any IPS documents that are impracticable to publish online. The website will state that a person seeking access to any of these documents may contact the Museum’s Records Officer to arrange access.
The website will include indicative charges that may be imposed for making that information available and an explanation for the charge. These charges will be consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act).
IPS compliance review
The Museum will review and revise this agency plan at least annually.
The Museum 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.