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Appendix 3 - Freedom of information matters

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Freedom of information statement

From 1 May 2011 agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. An agency plan showing what information is published in accordance with the IPS requirements is accessible from agency websites. The Department’s information is published at <​https://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/FOI/Pages/InformationPublicationScheme.aspx>

Set out below is the information required by section 8 of the former FOI Act as it existed prior to 1 May 2011. Similar information is also set out in relation to the Copyright Tribunal of Australia, the Solicitor-General and Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal (none of which publishes its own annual report). Reporting arrangements for portfolio agencies are set out at Appendix 1.

Attorney-General’s Department

Establishment

The Department was one of the original departments established at Federation in 1901.

Organisation

The organisational chart (Figure 3 in Chapter 4) shows the structure of the Department.

Functions

The broad functions of the Department are described in Chapter 4. Legislation administered by the Attorney-General is published in the Administrative Arrangements Order, available at <http://www.pmc.gov.au/docs/aao.cfm>.

Arrangements for outside participation in policy development

A variety of bodies, through their association with the Department, enable people or organisations outside the Commonwealth administration to be involved in the Department’s policy-making functions or in its administration of various schemes and enactments.

Examples of such bodies are:

  • Accessible Public Transport National Advisory Committee
  • Administrative Review Council
  • Admiralty Rules Committee
  • Anti-Money Laundering Assistance Team Strategic Priorities Reference Group
  • Anti-Money Laundering Council
  • Attorney-General’s Non-Government Organisation Forum on Domestic Human Rights (25 peak human rights bodies)
  • Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration
  • Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
  • Australian Institute of Criminology Board of Management
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies
  • Australian National Council on Drugs
  • Australia–New Zealand Crime Prevention Senior Officers’ Group
  • Banking and Finance Infrastructure Assurance Advisory Group
  • Biannual Ministerial Meeting with Financial Institutions
  • Board of the Australian Crime Commission
  • Building Access Policy Committee
  • Business–Government Advisory Group on National Security
  • Communications Security and Enforcement Roundtable
  • Criminology Research Council
  • CrimTrac Board of Management
  • Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection Futures Expert Advisory Group
  • Emergency Management Infrastructure Assurance Advisory Group
  • Family Law Council
  • Family Relationship Services Australia
  • Firearms Policy Working Group
  • Intellectual Property Enforcement Consultative Group
  • Interception Consultative Committee
  • Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs
  • Intergovernmental Committee on the Australian Crime Commission
  • International Legal Services Advisory Council
  • Law Council of Australia
  • Law Enforcement Advisory Committee
  • Mass Gatherings Infrastructure Assurance Advisory Group
  • Model Criminal Law Officers Committee
  • National Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee
  • National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council
  • National Association of Community Legal Centres
  • National Committee for Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • National Corrective Services Statistics Unit Board and Advisory Group
  • National Crime Statistics Unit Board and Advisory Group
  • National Criminal Courts Statistics Unit Board and Advisory Group
  • National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund
  • National Government Advisory Group on Chemicals of Security Concern
  • National Identity Security Coordination Group
  • National Industry Reference Group on Chemicals of Security Concern
  • National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group
  • National Judicial College of Australia
  • National Legal Aid
  • National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce
  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council
  • National Pro Bono Resource Centre
  • National Roundtable on People Trafficking
  • National Working Group on the Prevention of the Diversion of Precursor Chemicals into
    Illicit Drug Manufacture
  • Native Title Consultative Forum
  • Personal Property Securities Review Consultative Group
  • Sporting Shooters and Firearms Advisory Council
  • The Crown Copyright Working Group
  • The Shire of Christmas Island
  • The Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council
  • Water Services Infrastructure Assurance Advisory Group
  • The Risk Management Working Group on Chemical Security
  • The Chemical Security Risk Assessment Technical Working Group
  • Aviation Security Advisory Forum
  • Aviation Security Identification Card Working Group
  • Maritime Industry Consultative Forum
  • Maritime Security Identification Card Working Group
  • AusCheck Consultative Committee
  • Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security
  • Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council and associated sub-committees
  • National Critical Infrastructure Resilience Committee, and
  • National Emergency Management Committee and its sub-committees and reference groups.

Categories of documents held by the Department

The Department holds the following categories of documents:

  • briefing papers, discussion papers and submissions prepared for the Attorney-General,
    the Minister for Justice and Customs, the Minister for Home Affairs, and other bodies
  • copies of documents prepared for the Executive Council
  • copies of draft Cabinet documents, Cabinet submissions and associated briefs
  • copies of questions in the Parliament and related replies
  • copies of various public addresses, speeches and other statements, including those made by the Attorney-General, Ministers and departmental employees
  • documents relating to casework and program administration
  • documents relating to meetings (agenda, minutes and reports)
  • documents relating to royal commissions and inquiries (including grants)
  • documents relating to the management of appointments
  • internal administration papers and records, including working drafts, statistical records, copies of cables and facsimiles, and records relating to human and financial resource management
  • media releases
  • ministerial, interdepartmental and general correspondence and papers
  • papers relating to new and amending legislation, drafting instructions and draft legislation
  • policy documents, including guidelines, recommendations and decisions
  • registers
  • requests for legal advice and copies or notes of advice given, and other legal documents
  • reports relating to research and investigations, and
  • tender documents.

Facilities for obtaining access to documents held by the Department

Many documents the Department holds are available free of charge upon request; others are publicly available for purchase.

Subject to certain exceptions, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 also gives people a legally enforceable right of access to documents the Department holds.

Enquiries and requests to obtain access to any document the Department holds should be directed to:

Director
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section
Attorney-General’s Department
3–5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

Telephone: 61 (2) 6141 2550

Copyright Tribunal of Australia

Establishment

The Copyright Tribunal of Australia was established by the Copyright Act 1968.

Organisation

Section 138 of the Copyright Act 1968 provides for a Copyright Tribunal consisting of a President and such number of Deputy Presidents and other members as are appointed.

Functions

In summary, the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is:

  • to hear and determine applications for the granting of licences under licensing schemes
  • to arbitrate disputes in relation to the terms of existing and proposed licensing schemes to fix the amounts of royalties or equitable remuneration payable under compulsory licences, and
  • to make ancillary orders with respect to the operation of compulsory licensing schemes.

Categories of documents held by the Tribunal

The Tribunal maintains the following categories of documents:

  • those relating to matters heard by, or applications or references to, the Tribunal, including applications and supporting documents and copies of decisions
  • a register of matters coming before the Tribunal
  • those concerning administrative and financial aspects of the Tribunal’s operation
  • general correspondence
  • those filed with the Tribunal, and
  • copies of the reasons of the Tribunal.

Facilities for obtaining access to documents held by the Tribunal

Enquiries and requests to obtain access to documents the Tribunal holds should be forwarded to:

Registrar
Copyright Tribunal
Level 17
Law Courts Building
Queens Square
SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: 61 (2) 9230 8567
Facsimile: 61 (2) 9230 8535

Solicitor-General

Establishment

The office of Solicitor-General was established under the Law Officers Act 1964.

Organisation

The Solicitor-General is the Second Law Officer of the Commonwealth (the Attorney-General is the First Law Officer).

The Solicitor-General is a holder of public office to whom administrative services are provided by the Attorney-General’s Department.

Functions

The Law Officers Act 1964 sets out the functions of the office, which include acting as counsel for the Commonwealth, giving opinions on questions of law to the Attorney-General, and carrying out such other functions, ordinarily performed by counsel, as the Attorney-General requests.

Categories of documents

The Solicitor-General maintains the following categories of documents:

  • briefs, working notes, papers and advices for litigious and non-litigious matters
  • correspondence, reports and minutes relating to the Special Committee of Solicitors-General, and
  • miscellaneous papers, correspondence and reports.

Facilities for obtaining access to documents

Enquiries and requests to obtain access to documents should be directed to:

Director
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section
Attorney-General’s Department
3–5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

Telephone: 61 (2) 6141 2550

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

Establishment

The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal was established under the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Act 1955.

Organisation

The Tribunal consists of a President, Deputy President and members. It has a Registrar and Deputy Registrars. The Principal Registry of the Tribunal is located in Melbourne, Victoria.

Functions

Pursuant to the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Act 1955, the Tribunal can hear appeals against conviction, prescribed acquittal and punishment relating to prosecutions before a courts martial. Further, the Tribunal can also hear questions of law referred to it by the Director of Military Prosecutions.

Categories of documents held by the Tribunal

The Tribunal maintains the following categories of documents:

  • those relating to a particular proceeding, transcript of the hearing, the Tribunal’s reasons for the decision, the decision, and related general correspondence
  • those concerning procedures before the Tribunal
  • those concerning administrative and financial aspects of the Tribunal’s operation, and
  • general correspondence.

Facilities for obtaining access to documents held by the Tribunal

Enquiries and requests to obtain access to documents the Tribunal holds should be forwarded to:

Federal Court of Australia
Registry (VIC)
Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building
Level 7, 305 William Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Telephone: 61 (3) 8600 3504
Facsimile: 61 (3) 8600 3522

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