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Communities of practice

Disclosure log template

OAIC’s FOI guidelines state that:

Agencies and ministers must publish information that has been released in response to each FOI access request, subject to certain exceptions (s 11C). This publication is known as a ‘disclosure log’.

The OAIC guidelines provide some clues about the structure of such a log:

A disclosure log lists information that has been released in response to an FOI access request for documents held by the agency or minister (s 11C(1)). Three options for publishing information are specified in s 11C(3):

  • making the information available for downloading from the agency’s or minister’s website
  • linking to another website where the information can be downloaded, or
  • giving details of how the information may be obtained.

And further on:

14.29 The FOI Act does not prescribe the form of a disclosure log. The community may benefit if agencies and ministers adopt a common approach, so that disclosure logs have a consistent appearance across government and can be easily understood by the community. A disclosure log template is annexed to this document (see Annexure A). Modification of the headings in the template may be appropriate, depending on the nature of FOI requests an agency handles and its IT systems and information platforms.

14.30 A disclosure log has essentially three parts:

  • the log (or table) published on an agency’s or minister’s website, listing the information that is available for public access
  • that information, which may be accessible in different ways — for example, directly through the log as an attachment that can be downloaded, from another website, or upon request
  • a search facility applying to both the log and any attached information.

This template may not need to be much more complex than a typical content page, but a de-facto standard structured template for listing this information would be something that many agencies could benefit from.

2 Likes

OAIC’s recently-updated website has a new Disclosure Log:
https://www.oaic.gov.au/about-us/access-our-information/our-foi-disclosure-log

Just saw this. We recently added a ‘related minister’ filter to our existing disclosure log. Later, this could be used to filter by portfolio entity as part of a consolidate approach.

Thanks for sharing, @downeymilo, and welcome back to the forum! That’s a really nice implementation you’ve got there, and one that looks very suitable for re-use.

A few questions about your implementation:

  1. The OAIC’s guidance suggests that the log could include a “short summary of the FOI access request” and an “Other information” field noting the availability / accessibility of the material. Were these items something you’d considered adding to the log table, rather than deferring to the detailed FOI response?
  2. The “filter by minister” functionality seems to be a useful addition. Did you explore supporting a search facility that examines both the log and the attached information, or is this something provided by your site search?

The list includes some legacy disclosures and so our information architecture has erred on the side of simplicity (this aligns with internal policy).

The is a new addition that allows users to isolate disclosures and, although we could configure the search to index the PDFs, we have decided against this at this stage. Contextual search scope is in the backlog.