Access to Information
We make a range of information available for public access. You can formally request access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) to documents we hold. Alternatively, we can give you certain information if you request it through other access arrangements we have set up, as outlined below.
Requesting information or documents
Most requests for information or copies of documents can be dealt with informally and quickly – a phone call or email may be all that is required.
How to contact us
Phone: (07) 4753 4444 – please request to speak to the AIMS Privacy Officer
Postal address: PMB No 3, Townsville MC, Qld 4810 AUSTRALIA
AIMS is required to publish information as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS), set up under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)(FOI Act) to promote public access to information held by government agencies.
AIMS has prepared this Agency Plan in accordance with section 8(1) of the FOI Act to describe how AIMS implements and administers the IPS in respect of information held by AIMS.
The purpose of this Agency Plan is to:
- assist AIMS in managing its IPS entry;
- describe the information that AIMS proposes to publish, how and to whom that information will be published; and
- how AIMS will otherwise comply with the requirements of the IPS.
This Agency Plan sets out the procedures AIMS has to:
- manage its information under the IPS;
- identify and publish all information required to be published under section 8(2) of the FOI Act;
- identify and publish any optional information to be published under section 8(4) of the FOI Act;
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete under s8B of the FOI Act;
- ensure that information published under the IPS is easily accessible and user-friendly;
- ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) WCAG 2.0; and
- review the success of AIMS’ IPS entry by reference to community feedback and compliance review processes.
3. Establishing an information publication scheme
AIMS’ Commercial Services Group is responsible for managing AIMS’ compliance with the IPS, with support from the following AIMS functions:
- The AIMS FOI Contact Officer
- The AIMS Privacy Officer
- AIMS Government Relations
- AIMS Communication and Public Affairs
- AIMS Information Services
- AIMS Data Centre
- AIMS Information & Communication Technology
AIMS may impose charges for access to an IPS document if it is impractical to provide an electronic copy of that document. Charges will be the lowest reasonable cost to reimburse AIMS for its costs in providing the document.
Where possible, AIMS will ensure that documents are published to meet the WCAG 2.0 requirements. As far as practicable, AIMS will publish online information in HTML, MSWord and PDF format. Where a person requires an alternative accessible format of a document, it will be made available on request.
7. Information required to be published
In assessing which information to make available, AIMS shall have regard to the objects of the FOI Act and guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
AIMS will publish on its website the following categories of information as required under the IPS:
- Agency Plan
- Organisational Structure
- What we do: Statement of Expectations and Statement of Intent
- Details of AIMS’ functions, including decision making powers and other powers affecting members of the public
- Details of statutory appointments within AIMS
- Annual Reports and other information provided to Parliament
- Details of consultation arrangements under which members of the public can comment on specific policy proposals for which AIMS is responsible
- FOI Disclosure Log
Contact details of AIMS’ officers who can be contacted about access to information or documents under the FOI Act.
8. FOI Disclosure Log
AIMS has developed an FOI Disclosure Log to record information released in response to an FOI request that can also be published as part of the IPS.
The FOI Disclosure Log contains a summary of FOI requests received by AIMS and details of how the documents may be accessed. However, personal, family, business, commercial, financial or professional information will not be published in the disclosure log where AIMS decides it is unreasonable to publish that information.
9. Optional Information
AIMS already publishes a wide range of information online about its activities. Not all of this information is required by the IPS.
In addition to the information outlined above as being required by the IPS, AIMS include the following types of information as part of the IPS:
- AIMS’ Corporate Plan 2019-2020
- AIMS Strategy 2025
- AIMS Index of Marine Industry
- AIMS’ research publications
- AIMS Data Catalogue
- Media releases
- AIMS’ Newsletter
10. Information AIMS will not publish as part of the IPS
AIMS will not publish information that is exempt from disclosure under the FOI Act or which AIMS is prohibited from publishing by another law.
This may include:
- personal information
- confidential research results
- information about AIMS’ commercial activities
11. Administering AIMS’ IPS
In deciding which information is part of the IPS, AIMS will integrate the requirements of the IPS into AIMS’ existing policies and prepare a process for:
- identifying documents required to be included in the IPS;
- making decisions about documents to be included in the IPS as optional; and
- making decisions in relation to whether information released in AIMS’ FOI Disclosure Log can be published.
As part of this process, issues such as confidentiality, intellectual property protection and privacy will be considered.
AIMS’ ongoing compliance with the IPS is managed by the Commercial Services Group, including the FOI Contact Officer and with support from other AIMS functions such as Government Relations, Communications, Information Services, Data Centre and Information & Communication Technology.
12. IPS Review
AIMS will review and revise this Agency Plan at least annually.
AIMS 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 Office of the Australian Information Commissioner regarding IPS compliance review.
13. Comments on AIMS’ Agency Plan
AIMS welcomes any comments on this Agency Plan, addressed to FOI@aims.gov.au.
When AIMS administers or establishes a public consultation arrangement in the course of developing a specific policy proposal, details of each such arrangement will be included as part of AIMS’ compliance with the IPS.
Such arrangements may include:
- public consultation undertaken by AIMS when making a legislative instrument
- public consultation undertaken by AIMS in preparing a regulatory impact statement
- public consultation that AIMS decides to undertake for a specific policy development purpose
- public consultation AIMS has decided to establish to enable members of the public to provide ongoing comment on an existing policy or program that is administered by AIMS
For more information, please contact AIMS’ FOI Contact Officer at FOI@aims.gov.au.