Other legal requirements

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) enables the public to apply for access to documents held by the FPC. Guidance on how to apply, and obtain, requested documents is set out in the FPC’s Information Statement, which is available to the public on the FPC website. 

The Information Statement is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act and provides guidance in obtaining access to documents held by the FPC. 

The FPC received five FOI applications during the 2019-2020 financial year.

Internal control

The FPC, through the Audit and Risk Committee oversees the corporate governance responsibilities of the financial reporting process, internal control system, risk management, audit process, and compliance monitoring with applicable laws and regulations.

Compliance with public sector standards and ethical codes

We comply with the Public Sector Code of Ethics, through our own Code of Conduct. Our employees are required to complete the Public Sector Commission’s Accountable and Ethical Decision Making (AEDM) refresher training every two years. AEDM training for all employees, Executive and Commissioners was completed in 2019. The FPC’s Individual Development Plan (IDP) process requires employees to reaffirm they have read and understood the information provided in the Code of Conduct.

Public interest disclosure

In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003, a public interest disclosure (PID) is made when a person discloses to a proper authority, such as a PID officer, information that tends to show past, present or proposed future improper conduct by a public body in the exercise of public functions. Public Interest Disclosure Officers for the FPC have been appointed. Internal procedures relating to our obligations under the Act have been implemented. During the year, no public interest disclosures were received by the FPC.

Information management

State Records Act 2000

The FPC’s 2013 Recordkeeping Plan has been reviewed and revised in order to continue compliance with all areas of the State Records Act 2000. The most significant change over the last few years has been the transition to managing digital information and moving away from hardcopy records. Reflecting this transition from a paper to a digital process, the Recordkeeping Plan 2020 sets out the FPC’s intention to further develop and implement policies and procedures for the management of digital records.

The following information is provided in accordance with the State Records Act 2000 Section 61 and the State Records Commission Standard 2, Principle 6.

Efficiency and Effectiveness of the FPC’s Information Management Systems and Practices

Ongoing monitoring, reviewing and evaluation ensures the efficiency and effectiveness of the FPC’s information management systems and practices.

The Recordkeeping Plan has been reviewed and revised in order to continue compliance with all areas of the State Records Act 2000.

Record keeping is regularly incorporated in our information management, environmental management system and independent forest certification external audits to ensure compliance with the relevant Standards. The audit requirements have been either met or highlighted areas for improvement.

A positive for the FPC has been the upgrading of its Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) to incorporate and enhance stakeholder management. This will ensure there is a process and strategy in place for effectively engaging our stakeholders. The implementation of the workflow module in the EDRMS will assist in ensuring stakeholders are responded to in an appropriate timeframe.

Training and induction program

Our in-house online training package provides an effective way of ensuring staff have an awareness of their roles and responsibilities in compliance with the Recordkeeping Plan.

Additionally, all new staff participate in record keeping training within two weeks of commencing with the FPC. The training incorporates: 

  • use of the EDRMS; and 
  • completion of the online induction and training package. 

Record keeping policies, procedures and EDRMS user guides are available to everyone through the FPC’s intranet. Work Instructions have also been produced as videos. Provision of additional record keeping advice and training are also available.

Disability access and inclusion plan

We developed our first Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) in 2015 to meet the requirements of the Disability Services Act 1993 (the Act). The DAIP sets out initiatives to ensure that people with disability have the same access to the FPC’s buildings, information, stakeholder consultation and recruitment processes as anyone else. Measures include, for example, providing disability access to the FPC’s buildings, raising awareness of people with disability in the FPC’s induction process for both staff and contractors, and ensuring that the FPC’s website is accessible for people with disability.

The Act requires that public authorities review the DAIP at least every five years. This year’s review of the DAIP assessed progress of the strategies in the seven outcome areas to achieve access and inclusion. Following the review, we developed the DAIP 2020– 2025 and drafted an Implementation Plan to ensure action items are completed and monitored to achieve continuous improvement. The new DAIP is available from the FPC website.

Reportable expenditure

In accordance with section 175ZE of the Electoral Act 1907, the FPC incurred the following expenditure in advertising, market research, polling, direct mail and media advertising. Total expenditure for 2019-2020 was $19,355 (including GST).

Expenditure type Description Amount Total
Advertising agencies   $0 $0
Market research agencies   $0 $0
Polling organisations   $0 $0
Direct mail organisations   $0 $0
Media advertising organisations      
Initiative Recruitment $6,394 $7,033
Forest operations notices $11,202 $12,322
Total   $17,596 $19,355