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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Overview

The objectives of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) are to give the Australian community access to information held by Australian Government agencies and to increase recognition that information held by the Government is to be managed for public purposes, and is a national resource.

Reforms to the FOI Act, which came into effect on 1 May 2011, are aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture across government, building a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government operations. CRDC is committed to a proactive approach to publishing information which it holds to the benefit of cotton growers, the wider cotton industry, and the broader Australian public.

CRDC Documents

CRDC publishes or holds documents that are corporate documents such as the Annual Report, Strategic Plan and Annual Operational Plan. These are free while stocks are available, and are also available for free download from CRDC's publications page. In addition, CRDC’s library of final reports will soon be made available via the Publications page of the CRDC website.

In many cases, an application under the FOI Act may not be required as information or documents may be readily available. Up-to-date information on projects funded by CRDC is detailed in the Research and Development section of this website.

Making an FOI Request

If you do wish to make an FOI request to CRDC, your request must:

  • be made in writing
  • state that you are seeking information in accordance with the FOI Act
  • provide enough information for the CRDC to clearly identify the scope of your request, the time period your request falls under, and the category of documents sought (ie. reports, minutes, emails, etc).
  • specify an address (email or postal) so the CRDC can correspond with you about your request.

Although not a requirement under the FOI Act, you may also wish to provide a phone number to make it easier for us to talk to you about your request. More information on making an FOI request, and the FOI process, can be found on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

FOI requests should be sent to:

FOI Officer
Cotton Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 282
Narrabri NSW 2390
Ph: 02 6792 4088
Fax: 02 6792 4400
Email: comms@crdc.com.au 

Processing of FOI Requests

Processing an FOI request can take some time, especially if the number of documents sought is large. If the request for documents contains information about a person, company or organisation other than the applicant, CRDC is required to consult with them before making a decision.

Upon receipt of your FOI request, CRDC will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days, and in accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the FOI applicant within 30 days of receipt. However, if a third party consultation process is required, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days, and applicants will be informed accordingly.

It is important to note that it may not be possible to obtain access to all of the documents sought in the request because some may be exempt from release under the FOI Act.

Fees and Charges for FOI

The FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information). Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until you provide a response to the estimate.

The below table outlines the fees that apply to FOI requests:

Request

Charge

Application

No fee

Search and retrieval

$15 per hour

Decision making and consultation

First five hours free, after that $20 per hour

When a FOI request is not responded to within the statutory time limit

No fees

Internal review

No fee

Request for personal information

No fee

Additional fees apply for photocopying, transcripts, supervised inspections and delivery. CRDC may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.

Review Rights                                               

Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision. If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision. Alternatively, you may write to the OAIC seeking a review of CRDC's decision.

Further Information

The CRDC FOI Coordinator can be contacted on 02 6792 4088 or via comms@crdc.com.au to discuss any prospective request. For more information on the FOI Act and the FOI application process, please visit the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Information Publication Scheme

An Information Publication Scheme (IPS) has been established under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). It requires agencies to publish a broad range of information on their websites, including an agency plan, information about their organisation and operations, and information accessed in response to FOI applications. This requirement has applied since 1 May 2011.

Information is grouped according to the following classes.

Agency Plan

CRDC's Agency Information Plan describes how it intends to comply with the IPS.

Our Contact Details

Building address: 2 Lloyd St, Narrabri NSW 2390
Postal address:
PO Box 282
Narrabri NSW 2390
Ph: 02 6792 4088
Fax: 02 6792 4400

Who We Are

Information about CRDC as an organisation, including information on our Board of Directors, our management team and our corporate governance and structure is available in the About CRDC section of this website.

What We Do - Our goals and strategic direction

CRDC’s goals, strategic direction and priorities are outlined in the Strategic Plan, with further information on how we intend to achieve these outlined in the CRDC Annual Operating Plan. Copies of both documents are available from the About CRDC and Publications sections of this website.

Information on our research, development and extension programs are found in the Research and Development section of this website. This information includes our current research priorities and projects.

Information for researchers on how to apply for CRDC funding is available from the For Researchers section of this website, while information on CRDC’s community and grassroots support programs are available from the For Growers section of the site.

Statutory Appointments

The CRDC Board comprises of a Chair (selected and appointed by the Minister for Agriculture), an Executive Director (selected by the Board), and five to seven non-executive Directors (nominated by an independent Selection Committee).

Appointment of non-executive Directors is subject to Ministerial approval and directors (other than the Executive Director) are appointed for three-year terms. You can find information about the CRDC Board in the About CRDC section of this website.

Our Reports and Responses to Parliament

CRDC tables an Annual Report to Parliament each year in October. You can find the latest Annual Report in the About CRDC and Publications sections of this website. Previous versions are also available by contacting CRDC.  

Working With Us

CRDC values social and cultural diversity and is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and the provision of a safe and healthy work environment. More information on employment with the CRDC is available from the About CRDC section of this website, while information for researchers seeking to work with the CRDC is available from the For Researchers section of this website.

Routinely requested information and disclosure log

The CRDC disclosure log, found within this section of the website (see tab: Disclosure Log) includes details of non-personal information CRDC has released under the FOI Act that can reasonably be released to the wider public.

Consultation

CRDC is committed to providing high quality research products and services and effectively engaging with its stakeholders. CRDC consults extensively with cotton growers (through Cotton Australia’s grower advisory panels), industry representatives, advisors, researchers and government to tailor its investment portfolio. These consultation processes are described in the CRDC’s Annual Report and in the Research and Development section of this site. 

An annual grower practices survey helps CRDC to measure performance against key performance indicators and to identify opportunities for improvement. Independent consultants are commissioned to enable stakeholders to provide feedback on an anonymous basis and to ensure objectivity in the collection and analysis of survey responses. A report from the annual grower practices survey is found in the Publications section of this website.

Our Finances

Information about what we spend and how we spend it, including financial statements, grants we administer, and financial information relating to procurement procedures, tendering and contracts is available in our Annual Reports and Annual Operating Plans, accessible via the About CRDC and Publications sections of this website. The CRDC’s Portfolio Budget Statement is available via the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website

Our Publications

CRDC’s recent publications (corporate documents and industry-specific publications)  are available for viewing and free downloading from the Publications page of this website. Previous editions of all publications are available on request from CRDC. CRDC’s library of final reports will soon be made available via the Publications page of the CRDC website. Publications specifically designed for researchers (CRDC Researchers Handbook) are available from the For Researchers section of this website. The CRDC’s Portfolio Budget Statement is available via the Department of Agriculture website.

Our lists

CRDC provides access to an indexed list of the titles of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files, as required as part of the Standing Orders of the Senate. You can find our current file lists in the About CRDC section of this website.

Contact Us

You can contact the CRDC FOI Coordinator by phone, email or post.

Cotton Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 282
Narrabri NSW 2390
Ph: 02 6792 4088
Fax: 02 6792 4400
Email: comms@crdc.com.au 

How to Access the Information

Where this information is available online, you can access the information by:

  • Browsing the classes of information shown above.
  • Searching for the information using this site's search engine.

CRDC’s Agency Information Plan 

CRDC is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The 2011 reforms to the FOI Act included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This plan describes how CRDC intends to comply with the IPS, in accordance with s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to:

  • identify information CRDC proposes to publish for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act;
  • identify how and to whom CRDC proposes to publish information for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act;
  • how CRDC will otherwise comply with Part II of the FOI Act.

Objectives

The CRDC's objectives are to outline appropriate procedures to:

  • manage its information holdings relevant to the IPS;
  • proactively identify and publish all information required to be published;
  • proactively identify and publish all operational information;
  • review information published under the IPS on a regular basis to ensure that is accurate, up-to-date and complete;
  • ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable and re-useable;
  • ensure that the format of online content conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).

Establishing CRDC's Contribution to the IPS

The CRDC Executive Director has overall responsibility for leading CRDC’s work on implementing the FOI reforms, including the IPS. The Communications Manager is responsible for administration of Freedom of Information, communications and publishing.

Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011

The CRDC Communications Manager has ongoing overview of the CRDC’s compliance with the FOI Act and the management of ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings.

The information published under the Information Publication Scheme must be ‘accurate, up-to-date and complete’ (s 8B). Information Publication Scheme documents will be reviewed periodically as part of the CRDC’s quality management systems review process.

The FOI page on the CRDC’s website includes information about charges associated with FOI requests. Any charges imposed by the CRDC will be consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act).

Information Publication Scheme Information

In accordance with guidance issued by the OAIC, the IPS information holdings available on the CRDC’s website have been published under the following headings:

  • Agency Plan
  • Our contact details
  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • Statutory appointments
  • Our priorities
  • Reports and responses to Parliament
  • Working with us
  • Routinely requested information
  • Arrangements for public consultation
  • Operational information
  • Our finances
  • Our publications
  • Our lists
  • Contact us

To ensure that the Information Publication Scheme information holdings (and individual Information Publication Scheme documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, CRDC has:

  • wherever possible, provided online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
  • provided a search function for its website.

CRDC will make its Information Publication Scheme documents available and easy to find by providing links to the Information Publication Scheme documents published on the CRDC’s website from the Information Publication Scheme section of the website.

Information required to be published under the Information Publication Scheme

CRDC has a list of documents that are required to be published under the Information Publication Scheme section of the website.

Accessibility under the IPS

CRDC will ensure that all information published on its website under the Information Publication Scheme will comply with current web content accessibility requirements.

CRDC’s dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not yet available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format on request, by contacting the FOI Officer. CRDC will publish any new Information Publication Scheme documents as soon as they are available for publication.

CRDC will ensure that all information newly published on the website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as soon as possible.

Information Publication Scheme Compliance Review

The agency plan is a living document, and will be reviewed periodically as part of the CRDC’s quality management systems review process to ensure it remains relevant and to incorporate feedback.

CRDC will review the operation of its Information Publication Scheme from time to time and at least every five years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about Information Publication Scheme compliance review.

Disclosure Log

CRDC is required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (s 11C) to publish a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log lists information which has been released in response to an FOI access request. This requirement has applied since 1 May 2011. 

The disclosure log requirement does not apply to: 

  • personal information about any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'
  • information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'
  • other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable'
  • any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.

A link is provided if the information can be downloaded from this website or another website. Information that is not available on our website or in this disclosure log, or that is not available in HTML format, may be obtained by writing to: 

The FOI Officer
Cotton Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 282
Narrabri NSW 2390
Ph: 02 6792 4088
Fax: 02 6792 4400
Email: comms@crdc.com.au 

A charge may be imposed to reimburse the CRDC for the cost incurred in copying or reproducing the information or sending it to you. There will be no charge for the time spent by the CRDC in processing the FOI request that led to this information being made available. You will be notified if any charge is payable and required to pay the charge before the information is provided. 

We will try to meet all reasonable requests for an alternative format of the document in a timely manner and at the lowest reasonable cost to you. 

Information attached to, or referred to, in the CRDC's disclosure log will generally be removed after 12 months, unless the information has enduring public value. The information described in this disclosure log has been released by CRDC under the FOI Act and is available for public access. 

FOI Ref. No.

Date released to applicant

Summary of FOI request received

Summary of documents released
(and whether released in full or part)

Other information

FOI-201401

24 July 2014 An FOI application seeking access to documents relating to correspondence between the CRDC Chair and the Minister for Agriculture from Sept 2013 to Jan 2014. Five documents: three released in full; two released in part.