We will help you to access documents at the lowest reasonable cost and ensure that personal information the Department holds is accurate, complete, up-to-date and not misleading.
Your right to apply is not affected by any reasons you have for wishing to obtain access. The kinds of documents to which you may request access include paper files, computer records, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films, video tapes and electronically stored information.
How to apply for access to information
If you wish to apply under the provisions of the FOI Act to be given access to information held within the Department or the WAPC, these are the steps that you need to take. Under section 12 of the FOI Act all these points must be satisfied to make the application valid.
The application has to:
- be in writing (please use the application form below or a hard copy can be obtained from our office. Please read the application notes to assist your application)
- give enough information to enable the requested documents to be identified
- give an address in Australia to which notices under the Act can be sent
- give any other information or details required under the regulations
- be lodged at an office with any application fee payable under the regulations (AUD$30 per application).
We will make a decision whether to grant or refuse access within 45 calendar days and will advise you of any charges that may be applicable in dealing with the application.
We will also provide the following information:
- the right to a review of the decision and the process involved in seeking that review
- full details of the decision to either give or deny access
- the date of the decision
- name of decision-makers
- any reasons for exemptions including the applicable clause in the FOI Act that relates to that exemption
- if giving access to an edited copy, state the reasons why the material is to be edited
- if deferring access, state the reasons why the matter is being deferred
- state the arrangements for giving access.
Fees and charges fall into three categories
- Application for documents (i.e. which are non-personal in nature) require an AUD$30 application fee to be paid when the application is lodged.
- Processing fees which include decision-making, any consultation (with third parties), preparing a notice of decision and if necessary photocopying. A fee of AUD$30 per hour is charged for staff time taken to deal with each application. In addition photocopying will be charged at AUD20 cents per copy.
- Actual costs to the Department for postage, special arrangements for access and for specialised access such as reproductions.
There is a 25% reduction of charges for financially disadvantaged applicants or those in receipt of health benefits. No fees are applicable for internal or external reviews.
No fees or charges apply for personal information or amendment of personal information about yourself (e.g. your medical records, details of employment etc.).
To assist you in finding the information you need, an information statement has been prepared that describes:
- the structure and functions of the Department and the WAPC
- the ways in which the functions of the Department and the WAPC affect members of the public
- any arrangements that exist to enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of the Department or WAPC policy and the performance of the Department and the WAPC functions
- the types of documents that are usually found at the Department and the WAPC
- the Department and the WAPC arrangements for giving members of the public access to documents including details of library facilities.