Department of Communities - Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 gives the public a right to access information held by the Department of Communities.

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) (FOI Act) creates a general right of access to documents held by all state and local government agencies. The FOI Act requires agencies to make available details about the kind of information they hold and enables people to ensure that personal information held by government agencies about them is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading. You may only apply for records in existence at the time of your application, and the Department is not required to answer questions.

It is the aim of the Department of Communities to make information available promptly, for the least possible cost, and wherever possible documents will be provided outside the Freedom of Information process.

Further information about the Department’s procedures for giving members of the public access to documents, either informally outside the provisions of the FOI Act, or through a formal application under the FOI Act, along with information on the process for seeking amendment of personal information can be found in our Information Statement. The document also includes information about the functions of the Department, the types of information we hold, information on the receipt of FOI applications, fees and charges and rights of review under the FOI Act.

Information Statement

View the Department's current Information Statement.

Informal access

Some information held by the Department is freely available, such as information about the Department, annual reports and some policy documents.

Housing clients are also able to access and update information online through the Housing Online portal.

Former children in care (from 2004 onwards) are able to access their Child History Files through their local district office.

Generally, the Department is able to provide the following types of documents informally:

  • copies of applications submitted by the requestor
  • copies of agreements, such as tenancy agreements, signed by the requestor
  • copies of correspondence sent by us to the requestor.

To make a request for informal access please contact either the relevant district office or the Freedom of Information Unit at foi@communities.wa.gov.au.

A request for information can be made for disability services related information held about you on your Department of Communities file. The type of information that can be given to you through a request for information is personal documentation that was written about you by the Department of Communities (or the former Disability Services Commission), such as funding documents, diagnostic reports and support plans. If a document has personal details of other people in it, such as their name, that information may be redacted (blanked out) before the document is released.

To make a request for information to access your personal information contact mps@communities.wa.gov.au.

Documents authored by other persons or other government agencies are not available through a request for information.  To access these or other documents not included in the above a formal application under the FOI Act should be made.

Formal access

If the information you are looking for has not been published or is not available informally you may wish to make a formal access application in writing under the FOI Act.

Applications can be made by completing Form 34: Application for Access to Information and returning by mail to the Freedom of Information Unit or by email to foi@communities.wa.gov.au.

Early childhood education records access

Records from or relating to childcare centres must be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Commonwealth) instead of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA)

To make a formal access request please complete Form 35 or contact the Freedom Of Information Unit. Forms can be returned by mail to the Freedom of Information Unit or by email to foi@communities.wa.gov.au.

Form 35: Application for Access to Information (Commonwealth)
Form 35: Application for Access to Information (Commonwealth)

RedressWA

Former RedressWA applicants are able to access a copy of their application informally by completing an Authority to Release form. The form can be emailed to RedressWA@communities.wa.gov.au or posted to the Freedom of Information Unit.

If you have an enquiry related to a RedressWA application please email RedressWA@communities.wa.gov.au or phone (08) 6277 5300.

Access to information (case files/records)

If you are, or have been in the care of the Department of Communities (formerly the Department of Child Protection and Family Support), you have the right to get information about your time in care. This flowchart was developed in collaboration with Create Foundation WA and young people with an out-of-home care experience.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

These Freedom of Information FAQs were developed in conjunction with Create WA and young children with an out-home-home care experience.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) - Freedom of information
Page reviewed 29 April 2022