6.1 Availability


The Government has a responsibility to ensure that information about its policies, programs and services is made available to the public in the short and long term (see Policy statement 1). This means that particular attention should be given to ensuring that information can be found through sources that are commonly available to the public. It also requires information to be well catalogued, easily retrievable and securely maintained.

Policy requirements

Agency information must be made available in accordance with the Right to Information Act 2009 (commenced 1 July 2010), which encourages the release of information held by Tasmanian public authorities, including government agencies, without the need for a formal process. The underlying principle of the Act is that information held by public authorities belongs to the people of the State, and has been collected for them and on their behalf.

Agency information must be recorded in a format that complies with the records management policies and procedures of the agency and with the Archives Act 1983.

In complying with disclosure and deposit requirements of the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Archives Act 1983, agencies must also ensure all requirements of the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 are met.

Agencies must:

  • maintain a register or record of all publications for publishing each year in its annual report
  • maintain a current, comprehensive and well-structured identification or classification records system that provides an effective means for organising, locating and retrieving published information
  • ensure all publications feature:
    • contact details for the originating agency and unit so questions, comments, feedback, requests for further information or complaints can be received and dealt with promptly
    • acknowledgement of copyright
    • the title of the publication
    • the date of publication
  • ensure information about an agency's mission, structure, programs and services is publicly accessible through their agency website and/or the Service Tasmania or portals
  • comply with Australian and Tasmanian legal deposit requirements.
  • Publishers in all Australian jurisdictions are required to legal deposit print and electronic publications with the National Library of Australia in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968. If both formats are available, electronic is preferred. The National Library does not collect audio-visual material or preserve all websites.
  • Legal deposit with Libraries Tasmania is required for print, electronic and audio-visual publications, including government publications, in accordance with the Libraries Act 1984.
  • If your publication is available in electronic format, you can fulfill both your Australian and Tasmanian legal deposit obligations by submitting it to the National eDeposit (NED) service.
  • However, if your publication is only available in hard copy, you’ll need to submit two copies to the National Library of Australia and two copies to Libraries Tasmania.

In addition, it is recommended that:

  • where applicable, agencies include author names, volume/issue number and International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) in publications.