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Analysis of performance against Purpose 2: Publication

Overview

OPC’s second purpose is to “ensure Commonwealth laws and instruments are freely available and accessible to everyone by publishing those laws and instruments on the Federal Register of Legislation website”.

The Publications group achieves this purpose by:

  • managing the Legislation Register;
  • registering legislative instruments and lodging them for tabling in the Parliament;
  • preparing compilations and information relating to Commonwealth laws;
  • publishing Commonwealth legislation and legislative information;
  • publishing the Government Notices Gazette;
  • proofreading and editorial checking of OPC drafted legislation; and
  • developing and operating the whole-of-government Legislation Register website.

OPC has met all but one of the performance targets for this purpose in 2019-2020.

New legislative and notifiable instruments and gazette notices lodged for registration were registered promptly on the Legislation Register.

100% of legislative and notifiable instruments and gazette notices were registered on a specific date as required by lodging entities, meeting the performance target of 100%.

100% of other legislative and notifiable instruments and gazette notices were registered no later than two business days after lodgement, exceeding the performance target of 98%.

New Acts were registered promptly on the Legislation Register.

100% of Acts were registered on the Legislation Register no later than two working days after receipt of notification of Royal Assent, exceeding the performance target of 98%.

Act and legislative and notifiable instrument compilations were registered promptly on the Legislation Register in accordance with statutory requirements.

88% of Act and legislative and notifiable instrument compilations required to be prepared by OPC were registered on the Legislation Register 28 days after commencement of the prospective amendments. This is marginally lower than the performance target of 90%.

During the financial year there was a substantial increase in the number of compilations prepared on a user-pays basis. This had an impact on compilation output and affected this measure.

Staffing

Staff have continued to be trained in all the areas of responsibility within the Publications group to allow resources to be better utilised and directed during peak periods.

Mid-way through the financial year a new Senior Publishing Officer Training position was established to provide a focus on providing consistent and thorough training as well as enhancing the existing training program by developing more online training materials. This has assisted and sped up the training of our newest staff members particularly in the current COVID-19 environment.

The Legislation Act and Legislation Register

OPC charges an annual fee for standard Legislation Register services based on each agency’s proportion of usage of the Legislation Register. Fees for some agencies have declined over the last 5 years as they continue to change their registration practices. The Legislation Register fees continue to be consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines and attribute costs that recognise the whole-of-life cost (including IT infrastructure costs) in publishing legislation.

OPC meets the demand for current versions of legislation by providing free online public access to the Legislation Register. Commercially printed copies of versions, if required, can be ordered online using the print-on-demand function on the Legislation Register.

Work continues on the project to redevelop the Legislation Register. This project is expected to run for a number of years.

Data acquisition

The Publications group has continued to undertake data acquisition projects to make difficult-to-find historical legislative material more accessible.

These projects are complex and time-consuming and are worked on by staff alongside other core business functions.

The Publications group is currently focusing on:

  • preparing versions of as-made legislation from 1901 in multiple formats;
  • publishing House of Representatives Bills, explanatory memoranda and associated documents from 1901; and
  • back-capturing historical metadata on the Legislation Register to make it consistent with current standards and therefore easier to search and retrieve information about older legislation.

Publishing statistics

The volume of work in 2019-2020, as reflected in the publishing statistics, was similar in most areas to the volume of work in 2018-2019. The exceptions this year was a noticeable increase in the number of OPC prepared instrument compilations (prepared for agencies on a user-pays basis), and a decrease in the number of agency-prepared instrument compilations.

Statistics—Publishing

Registration/Publication

Number of items

Number of pages

2018-2019

2019-2020

2018-2019

2019-2020

Legislative instruments

1,808

1,640

30,756

30,885

Notifiable instruments

178

138

817

720

Gazette notices

1,080

1,146

2,369

2,907

Numbered Acts

159

137

4,908

5,214

Act compilations

462

338

287,116

260,914

OPC prepared instrument compilations—budget-funded

357

284

63,582

52,981

OPC prepared instrument compilations—user-pays

374

403

49,118

61,543

Agency prepared instrument compilations

401

338

36,291

35,438

Note: The above statistics relate only to new items. They do not include back-captured or republished historical documents.

Statistics—Legislative (LIs) and Notifiable (NIs) instruments registered and repealed

Year

LIs registered

LIs repealed

NIs registered

NIs repealed

2019-2020

1,640

1,735

138

52

2018-2019

1,808

1,316

178

59

Statistics—Legislation Register website

Year

Total visits

Total unique visits

Total page views

2019-2020

16,555,495

8,337,626

39,799,853

2018-2019

12,688,251

6,283,978

32,401,488

Note: Total unique visits is the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors. Total page views is the total number of pages viewed. For page views, repeated views of a single page are counted.