Open Government Partnership – Australia

3.2 - Freedom of Information metrics

Overall status:

This commitment aims to better measure and improve our understanding of the public’s use of rights under freedom of information laws.  We will do this by working with states and territories to develop uniform metrics on public use of freedom of information access rights, and by collecting and publishing this data.

The outcome will be a national view of the use of FOI laws which will help build a more complete picture of freedom of information rights in Australia and could help governments improve processing of information access requests.

The commitment directly addresses the access to information and public accountability values by providing a national perspective on the operation of laws, for example identifying the extent to which decisions are made on time.

Current status

The development of the metrics is being led by the NSW Information Commissioner on behalf of Association of Information Commissioners. The proposed suite of metrics was agreed by Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen in March 2017 and published on the NSW Information and Privacy Commission website in May 2017.

Consultation on the metrics includes publicity by the NSW IPC and other jurisdictions, seeking feedback via, and will include targeted consultations with key representatives of civil society from July 2017.

Data on the metrics for both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 reporting years has been collected from jurisdictions and used to create a draft dataset dashboard for validation with Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen.

The commitment is on track to meet the target of publicly releasing the 2015/16 dataset dashboard by December 2017.


NSW Information and Privacy Commission



Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


Other stakeholders

Government: The membership of the AIAC comprises Information Commissioners (New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia), the Australian Information Commissioner, the Queensland Right to Information Commissioner and the Ombudsman from other state jurisdictions (South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania).

Non-Government: The IPC has established contact with the OpenAustralia Foundation and is currently planning engagement with other civil society representatives, including the Australian Press Council, Councils of Social Services, and Environmental Defender Offices.

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Status

Information Commissioners and Ombudsman to agree and publish metrics on information access rights, aligned with the Open Government Index. (Mar 2017)


Undertake pilot for data collection and validation for the 2014/15 financial year. (May 2017)


Consultation on published metrics:

  • this is underway. Publicity through OGP Blog post, IPC Bulletin, Twitter and circulation to jurisdictions for further publicity opportunities.

  • engagement with civil society has commenced and targeted consultation will be conducted in July/August.

(Apr - Aug 2017)


Data collection and validation for the 2015/16 financial year.

  • this is underway. Data on the metrics for the 2015/16 reporting year has been collected from jurisdictions and used to create a draft dataset dashboard

  • the dataset is expected to be circulated to AIAC members in July 2017 for validation

  • consultation feedback will be incorporated into the metrics and dataset

  • final metrics and 2016/16 dataset will be presented to the September 2017 meeting of the AIAC for approval

(Jul - Nov 2017)


Publicly release dataset on 2015/16 metrics. (Dec 2017)

Last updated: 09/08/2017

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