Annual Report 2005-06: Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act
- Establishment of CASA
- Freedom of information procedures and contact point
- Facilities for access
- Arrangements for outside participation
- Categories of documents
- Section 9 statement
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) requires Australian Government agencies to make available information about their organisation, functions and operations, and about rules and practices used in making decisions that affect members of the public.
Section 8 of the FOI Act requires each agency to publish detailed information about the following:
- the way the agency is organised
- powers of the agency
- types of decisions made by the agency
- arrangements for public involvement in the work of the agency
- the way in which members of the public may obtain access to relevant documents.
CASA was established on 6 July 1995 by an amendment to the Civil Aviation Act 1988.
The organisation chart shows the structure of the organisation.
Section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act provides that CASA has the function of conducting the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australian territory and the operation of Australian aircraft outside Australian territory in accordance with the Act and regulations made under the Act. CASA also has other safety-related functions, including encouraging a greater acceptance by the aviation industry of its obligation to maintain high standards of aviation safety.
Under section 15 of the FOI Act, any person is entitled to apply for access to documents that fall within the scope of the Act. A request under the FOI Act should be in writing, be accompanied by a $30 application fee, and state an address in Australia to which notices under the Act can be sent. In certain circumstances, the fee is not required or can be remitted.
For a quick response, the applicant should give as much information as possible about the documents sought. It is advisable also to include a telephone number in case clarification is necessary.
Requests under the FOI Act for access to documents in CASA’s possession, or enquiries about access, should be directed to:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Legal Services Group
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
GPO Box 2005 Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: 131 757
Fax: (02) 6217 1607
The coordinator can help applicants identify particular documents being sought.
Facilities for inspection of documents, and preparation of copies if required, are provided or arranged by the Freedom of Information Coordinator.
Subsection 9(2) of the Civil Aviation Act states that one of CASA’s functions is to promote full and effective consultation and communication with all interested parties on aviation safety issues.
Section 16 of the Act states that, in the performance of our functions and the exercise of our powers, we must consult where appropriate with government, commercial, industrial, consumer and other relevant bodies and organisations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and bodies representing the aviation industry.
The Aviation Safety Forum is a special consultative body helping the aviation community and CASA work effectively together to improve aviation safety in Australia. The forum advises us on important strategic issues.
The CASA Standards Consultative Committee is a joint CASA–industry forum, set up to involve the aviation industry formally during the development phase of regulatory material. The committee brings together CASA staff and representatives from a diverse range of aviation industry organisations, examines proposed regulatory changes to determine if they are worth pursuing, and helps us allocate priorities to those projects.
We comply with government requirements for the preparation of Regulation Impact Statements. As part of this process, we issue Notices of Proposed Rule Making in relation to any significant changes to Civil Aviation Regulations and Orders made under the Civil Aviation Act.
The categories of documents (including internal administration papers and records, working drafts, statistical records, copies of emails, telexes, cables and facsimiles) that CASA holds include:
- human and financial resource management records
- ministerial, interagency and general correspondence and papers
- policy documents, including recommendations and decisions, media releases and position papers
- papers relating to new and amended legislation, draft instructions and draft legislation
- briefing papers and submissions prepared for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Aviation Safety, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, members of the Senior Management Group and the previous CASA Board
- papers and records relating to certification, registration, manufacture, maintenance and operation of aircraft
- papers and records relating to licensing of flight crew and maintenance staff, and certification of air service operators and organisations involved in aviation activities
- papers and records relating to licensing, maintenance and operation of aerodromes
- papers and records relating to development of aviation safety standards
- papers and records relating to aviation safety education
- documents relating to aviation industry surveillance.
In accordance with section 9 of the FOI Act, CASA maintains a list of manuals and other documents that CASA officers use as a guide to procedures and practices to be followed when making decisions or recommendations that affect the public. Table 12 lists those materials. Documents available in hardcopy can be purchased from JS McMillan at http://casa.mcmillanprint.com.au.
For further information about CASA documents, contact:
Document Control Officer
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
GPO Box 2005
Canberra City ACT 2601
Telephone: 131 757 (local call)