The Australian National Audit Office recently released the report “Online Availability of Government Entities' Documents Tabled in the Australian Parliament”, http://www.anao.gov.au/uploads/documents/2008-09_Audit_Report_37.pdf
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.
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.