Commitment 3.2 of Australia’s first Open Government Partnership National Action Plan promotes the importance of better measuring and improving our understanding of the the community's use of freedom of information laws.
While the Australian Government and states and territories collect data and produce statistics about applications to access government information, the data isn’t uniform across jurisdictions. This makes it difficult to compare and analyse how information access rights are used Australia-wide. The statistics also vary in their consistency with international measurements of open government.
The development of uniform metrics on the use of information access rights is therefore a commitment under the National Action Plan, to improve understanding of the community's use of access rights, government processes and practices, and allow for international benchmarking, including against the World Justice Project’s Open Government Index.
Australian Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen, within the remit of each of their jurisdictions and led by NSW, have now agreed on six proposed Metrics on Public Use of Freedom of Information Access Rights, available from http://ipc.nsw.gov.au/open-government.
Australian Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen are now conducting a data collection and validation process, and anticipate consulting with civil society. The dataset for the 2015/16 metrics is scheduled to be released in December 2017.
In the meantime, you're invited to contribute to the ongoing development of the metrics. If you have ideas or comments that will assist in building a more complete picture of freedom of information access rights use in Australia, you are encouraged to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.