Information Publication Scheme Plan

Freedom of Information Act 1982

RTF version RTF version (455 KB)

1. The Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) in relation to matters of an administrative nature and is required in that regard to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements under Part II of the FOI Act.

2. Subsection 8(1) of the FOI Act requires the Federal Court to prepare an information publication scheme plan showing:

  • the information that the Federal Court publishes for the purpose of the IPS;
  • how, and to whom, that information is published; and
  • how the Federal Court otherwise complies with the IPS requirements (the Plan).

3. The Federal Court implements the IPS and maintains its IPS obligations, including by preparing the Plan, for the Federal Court as well as for three of the Tribunals it supports. Those Tribunals are the Australian Competition Tribunal, Copyright Tribunal, and the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal.

4. Each of those three Tribunal operates under its own legislative framework and publishes information about its operations, practices and decisions through individual websites (although all may also be accessed from the Federal Court's website). None of the three Tribunals provides an annual report to the Parliament but information about the operation of each Tribunal over the preceding year is included in the Federal Court's annual report to Parliament.  Further information about the operations of the Tribunals is provided on the Court's website.[1]

Establishing and administering the agency's IPS entry

5. The Plan and its revision have been approved by the Federal Court's General Counsel. The General Counsel is responsible for leading the Federal Court's work on IPS compliance. Ad hoc working groups of Federal Court staff with appropriate expertise and experience have and will be set up as required to assist.

6. Each District Registry, as well as designated staff within the Court's Office of General Counsel, will be responsible, as required, for tasks associated with compliance with the IPS within their areas of control and influence. Where appropriate, those staff members may consult with the General Counsel.

7. The Federal Court has developed, and will continue to develop and review, integrated processes and systems to support the administration of the IPS. The work includes the development of associated plans, policies and procedures supported by technology or other solutions to information and records management needs.

8. In particular, the Federal Court has established a register of documents to which access has been provided under the FOI Act (otherwise known as the FOI Disclosure Log) in accordance with its obligations under Part 14 of the FOI Guidelines.

9. Moreover, the Federal Court has developed an Information Asset Management Policy to support its management of applicable information assets that are produced in the course of conducting the Federal Court's business, including to support its IPS compliance (the Policy). All staff of the Federal Court, contractors and consultants are responsible for the creation and management of information assets under the Policy. The Federal Court has set up an Information Governance Committee which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Policy.

10. All new documents and information identified through the process of preparation as necessary or desired for IPS publication will be published as soon as possible after receiving approval. The Federal Court is taking steps to build an IPS information register to assist it to efficiently identify documents for publication, record decisions made in relation to publication and systematically review IPS information for accuracy, currency, and completeness.[2] The Federal Court will implement the IPS information register as part of its annual review of the operation of the IPS in the Federal Court.

11. The Federal Court may charge a person for accessing any IPS information which is impracticable to be published online to reimburse for specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs[3] or for other charges as published on the Federal Court's and the Tribunals' websites. These charges will be consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.

Structure of the IPS

12. To assist the public to locate information published by the Federal Court, the Federal Court has adopted the headings suggested by the Information Commissioner both in its publication framework[4], and well as in the publication of this Plan.[5]

13. The IPS information for the Federal Court and the Tribunals it supports is available on the Federal Court website. The Federal Court makes the information:

  • downloadable in RTF, PDF or HTML formats as practicable;
  • accessible through links to webpages or websites, if the information is already available elsewhere online; and
  • accessible through certain staff members. The Federal Court provides contact details of staff members who can assist in providing access to information that has not been published online (for example, if the information is only available in hardcopy).

14. The Federal Court is taking steps to ensure that the IPS information published on its website is easily discoverable, accessible and conforms to WCAG 2.1. These steps remain ongoing.

Information required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2))

15. The information required by subsection 8(2) of the FOI Act to be published will be made available on the dedicated IPS web page under the following headings and include:

  • Agency plan[6]
    • The Plan or any revisions of it
  • Who we are[7]
    • An organisational chart
    • A list of relevant statutory appointments made under the Federal Court Act, the legislation under which each of the Tribunals supported by the Federal Court operate and other relevant legislation
  • What we do[8]
    • An outline of the functions and powers of the Federal Court
    • A list of the statutes of the Parliament which confer original jurisdiction on the Federal Court
  • Our reports and responses to Parliament[9]
    • Annual reports prepared by the Federal Court under section 18S of the Federal Court Act
    • Information routinely compiled or provided in response to an order from the Parliament
  • Routinely requested information and disclosure log[10]
    • Any information which is regularly provided in response to requests to the Federal Court (subject to the exceptions in paragraph 8(2)(g) of the FOI Act)
  • Consultation arrangements [11]
    • An outline of the arrangements and processes adopted by the Federal Court in consulting with the public or segments of it on any specific policy proposals for which the Federal Court is responsible
  • Contact us[12]
    • Contact details for the Federal Court's FOI contact officer, who can be asked about access to the Federal Court's information and documents under the FOI Act.

16. When a person has been given access to a document under the FOI Act, the information from that document, or details about that information, will be made available on the Federal Court's FOI Disclosure Log web page (subject to the exceptions in paragraph 11C(1) of the FOI Act).[13]

17. The information published may be by way of online link to the relevant document or information.

Other information to be published (s 8(4))

18. The Federal Court may, from time to time publish other information pursuant to the pro-disclosure objects of the FOI Act. Such information will also be made available on the dedicated IPS web page. The information will be made available under the headings:[14]

  • our priorities;
  • our finances; and
  • our lists

as well as such other headings as may be appropriate depending on the nature of the information.

19. The information published may be by way of online link to the relevant document or information.

IPS compliance review (s 8F)

20. The Federal Court will review its IPS compliance:

  • Annually; and
  • after any significant change in the guidelines in relation to the IPS, FOI Disclosure Log and Agency Websites issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act from time to time; and
  • in conjunction with the Australian Information Commissioner, as appropriate from time to time, and at least within each period of 5 years from the completion of the previous review (in accordance with section 9 of the FOI Act).

21. As part of its review, the Federal Court will complete a basic evaluation of its performance in implementing and administering the Plan and the IPS, including reviewing any changes to its operational and 'other' information and considering whether such information would be appropriate to publish. The evaluation will have regard to the number of visits being made to the FOI, IPS, and FOI Disclosure Log web pages and any feedback received from users in relation to those web pages as well as other relevant information. It will also consider better practice material published for such evaluations by any Australian public sector agency or the Australian Information Commissioner.

[1] See
[2] Paragraph 13.34 of the FOI Guidelines; see also paragraphs 13.40 – 13.43 of the FOI Guidelines.
[3] See subsection 8(4), FOI Act.
[4] Paragraphs 13.152 and 13.153 of the FOI Guidelines.
[5] Paragraph 13.31 of the FOI Guidelines.
[6] See paragraph 8(2)(a), FOI Act
[7] See paragraphs 8(2)(b) and (d), FOI Act
[8] See paragraphs 8(2)(c) and (j), FOI Act
[9] See paragraphs 8(2)(e) and (h), FOI Act
[10] See paragraph 8(2)(g), FOI Act
[11] See paragraphs 8(2)(f), FOI Act
[12] See paragraphs 8(2)(i), FOI Act
[13] See section 11C of the FOI Act.
[14] See paragraph 13.153 of the FOI Guidelines.


at 23 October 2023