Freedom of Information
You have a right to apply for access to documents held by an agency covered by the Freedom of Information Act. This includes documents created by the agency and documents supplied to the agency by an external organisation or individual.
What information is available?
You can apply for access to:
- Documents about your personal affairs, regardless of the age of the documents
- Documents of a non personal nature, not older than 5 July 1978
- Documents held by Council not older that 1 January 1989.
Not all information is automatically available. The Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to refuse access to certain documents or information. These documents or information are called 'exempt' documents. In some cases you may be refused access to an entire document. Alternatively, you may be given access to a document with exempt information deleted. Some documents that you may not have access to include:
- Cabinet documents
- Some internal working documents
- Law Enforcement Documents
- Documents covered by legal professional privilege (such as legal advice)
- Documents containing personal information about other people
- Documents containing information provided to an agency 'in confidence'
- Documents containing information provided to an agency by a business
- Documents which are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation.
There are two costs associated with making a Freedom of Information request:
- The application cost
- The access cost
The application fee is a fixed cost which in non-refundable. The only exception is for people suffering hardship who can ask for the fee to be waived.
Access charges relate to costs incurred in granting access to the document(s) you have requested. These costs may or may not apply depending on the nature of your request. The following table outlines these costs*. All fees and charges are exempt from GST.
|Application Fee||$27.90 non refundable unless fee is waived|
|Search charges||$19.90 per hour (or part thereof)|
|Supervision charges||$19.90 per hour (or part thereof)|
|Photocopying charges||$19.90 per hour (or part thereof)|
|Providing access in a form other than photocopying||The reasonable costs incurred by the agency in providing the copy|
*Charges are set by Government Regulations. You can access a copy of these regulations and obtain information relating to Freedom of Information at the following websites: