File Index

Following the creation of a standing Senate Order in 1995, all Australian Government agencies are required on a six monthly basis to produce an indexed list of files created during that reporting period. In the past, these lists were tabled before Parliament.

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to give Australians greater access to relevant government information quickly and easily, the original Senate Order was amended in 1998.

The Continuing Order of the Senate – Indexed Lists of Departmental and Agency Files now requires departments to provide, on their internet home page, access to an indexed list of the titles of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files, created from 1 January 1998 in the central office of that department or agency. (Departments and agencies may choose to maintain online an indexed list of all new files created from that date or to maintain online an indexed list of, as a minimum, the most recent year’s file creations.)

The Senate Order specifies that the list need not include:

  • files transferred to the National Archives of Australia
  • files related to the internal administration of the Department (staff or personnel, accounts, training or general administrative matters)
  • case-related files (for example personal representations or dealing with the affairs of department or agency clients)
  • file titles whose national security classification is Confidential, Secret or Top Secret or their equivalent.

Prior to July 2008, file listings for IBA were under the ownership of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and prior to that Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The relevant minister signed off on these listings and no provision was made to incorporate a separate listing for IBA’s website.

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