Introduction

The Federal Circuit Court is an independent federal court established to handle less complex matters in the areas of family law and general federal law.

The Federal Circuit Court is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) in relation to administrative matters and is required in that regard to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements. This plan describes how the Court proposes to do this, as required by the FOI Act.

This plan describes how the Court proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings, by addressing:

  • establishing and administering the Court’s IPS;
  • IPS information publication and information architecture;
  • accessibility to information published under the IPS; and
  • IPS compliance review.

Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to:

  • assist the Federal Circuit Court in developing its contribution to the IPS; and
  • describe the information the Court proposes to publish (referred to as the IPS information holdings), how and to whom the information will be published and how the Court will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements.

Note: in this plan, information to be published by the Federal Circuit Court under the IPS is referred to as the IPS information holdings, or as the IPS documents when referring to individual documents. 

Objectives

The Federal Circuit Court’s objectives are to develop appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:

  • manage the Court’s IPS information holdings;
  • identify and publish all information required to be published under the scheme (s 8(2));
  • identify and publish any optional information to be published under the scheme (s 8(4));
  • review and ensure regularly that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete (s 8B);
  • ensure that all information published under the IPS conforms, or will conform as soon as practicable, to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0), and is or will be easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable; and
  • adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering the Federal Circuit Court’s contribution to the IPS.

Establishing and administering the Family Court’s IPS contribution

The Family Court of Australia provides administrative services to the Federal Circuit Court. The Chief Information Officer of the Family Court is the senior officer responsible for leading the Courts’ compliance with the IPS.

Establishing the Federal Circuit Court’s IPS contribution

The Family Court’s Chief Information Officer is supported by the Family Court’s IPS Project Team to establish the Federal Circuit Court’s contribution to the IPS.

That IPS Project Team comprises:

  • the Court’s legal counsel;
  • staff responsible for administrative law matters;
  • staff with information technology expertise to publish the relevant documents; and
  • staff responsible for communications and publications.
  • The Principal Registrar of the Federal Circuit Court provides FCC specific input to the Project Team.
  • The Project Team deliverables
  • The project team has audited documents currently published on the Federal Circuit Court’s website and identified the documents that will form part of the IPS from 1 May 2011;
  • IPS documents that are not accurate, up to date or complete have been identified and will be revised as soon as possible;
  • A draft register of information required or permitted to be published under s 8(2) and 8 (4) is being developed; and
  • An ongoing program to develop and enhance compliance with the IPS will be developed and implemented.

(b) Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011

The Federal Circuit Court will develop an information management framework which will apply to Court information published under the IPS.

The Federal Circuit Court will engage with the community about the Court’s contribution to the IPS. This includes:

  • making IPS documents as easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable as possible;
  • inviting members of the public to contact an FOI contact officer with comments on the IPS information holdings, particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable; and
  • inviting feedback on the IPS section of the Federal Circuit Court website.

The Court will also arrange for any Federal Circuit Court IPS documents which are not available on the website, to be made available where possible upon request.

The Court may charge a person for accessing any IPS document which it is impracticable to publish online. If these circumstances apply, it will be at the lowest reasonable cost with consideration given to reimbursement of specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs (s8D(4)). 

IPS information publication and information architecture

The IPS information holdings that are available on the Federal Circuit Court website will be accessible through links under the following headings:

To ensure that the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are, to the greatest extent possible, easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Court will:

  • publish a direct link to the IPS section of the website under Quick Links;
  • design and publish an IPS entry point on its website;
  • wherever practically possible, 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 under ss 8(2) and 8(4);
  • provide a search function for its website;
  • establish links to this agency plan and to the sitemap at www.directory.gov.au; and
  • respond to community feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.

Accessibility to information published under the IPS

Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS

The Court will ensure that optional information published on its website conforms, as soon as practicably possible, with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0).

Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS

From commencement of the IPS, the Court will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication.

The Court will ensure that all information newly published on the Federal Circuit Court website conforms as soon as practicably possible with the WCAG 2.0.

IPS compliance review

The Court will review the IPS Plan annually, and the operation of its IPS from time to time and at least every three years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review (better practice guidance material to assist agencies to comply with the IPS – to be published in the Information Commissioner’s regulatory capacity).

Related Information