Monday, May 25, 2009

Online Availability of Government Entities' Documents Tabled in the Australian Parliament

The Australian National Audit Office recently released the report “Online Availability of Government Entities' Documents Tabled in the Australian Parliament”,

The report begins:
Every year, documents are presented to the Senate, the House of Representatives, or to both Houses of the Parliament for their consideration.2 The tabling of documents is an important means of keeping the Parliament informed of the Government’s activities. It demonstrates the accountability of the Government to the Parliament and the community, and provides an important source of information to Senators and Members as well as placing information on the public record.

The objectives of the audit were to:
• determine the extent to which government entities complied with the requirement to publish and maintain documents online that were presented to the Parliament; • evaluate selected government entities’ policies and practices regarding online publishing; and
• assess AGIMO’s policy and guidance in support of online publishing.

The ANAO recommends that government entities that do not have a web presence, table multiple documents in the Parliament each year, and/or have been affected by a Machinery of Government change, implement arrangements to ensure the online availability of their tabled papers in accordance with Australian Government policy.
Recommendation No.3
The ANAO recommends that the Australian Government Information Management Office and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in consultation with other relevant government entities, review their guidance and clarify the requirements to publish and maintain documents presented to the Parliament.

ALIA will write to ANAO congratulating them on the report and to Australian Government Information Management Office and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to urge them to work on the recommendations as a high priority.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2009-10 Research and Scholarship program offered by the Australian Prime Ministers Centre (APMC)

The Australian Prime Ministers Centre aims to provide a national focus for research and scholarship in the field of Australian prime ministerial history. Based at Old Parliament House in Canberra, the Centre combines a research centre with an exhibition showcasing over a century of political leadership. The Centre also works collaboratively with relevant cultural institutions to support and improve access to prime ministers’ personal and official records.

The Australian Prime Ministers Centre research and scholarship program offers research assistance to established scholars in the form of Fellowships, as well as Summer Scholarships for those in the early stages of their research careers. Fellows are encouraged to submit proposals for research projects that result in the production of an academic paper, bibliography or creative project, while Summer Scholars generally work on a project set by Old Parliament House. A number of scholarships and Fellowships are offered each year.

The closing deadline for applications for the 2009-10 Fellowship program is 31 July 2009. Applications for the Summer Scholarship program close on 2 October 2009. Application forms and more detailed information on the Research and Scholarship Program is available on the website at