Freedom of Information operations
The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act), which came into effect on 1 November 1993, created a general right of access to documents held by State and Local Government agencies. The FOI Act requires agencies to make available details about the kind of information they hold and enables persons to ensure that personal information held by government agencies about them is ‘accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading’.
It is the aim of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (the Department) to make documents available promptly, at the least possible cost and wherever possible documents will be provided outside the FOI process.
Receipt of FOI applications
FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general inquiries may be directed to:
Manager, Freedom of Information
2 Havelock Street WEST PERTH WA 6005
Telephone: 61 8 6552 5000
An application form is available at the bottom of this page or by contacting the Manager, details above.
Processing of applications
The Department’s FOI Unit is responsible for administering the processing of FOI applications within the Department, its related agencies and Ministerial offices. The Manager, Freedom of Information, and FOI Coordinators liaise with the Department’s designated decision makers/internal reviewers or Ministerial offices to facilitate the processing of all applications in accordance with the FOI Act.
The FOI Unit is the initial contact point for members of the community, applicants, third parties, the Office of the Information Commissioner and other public sector agencies for all FOI-related matters.
Fees and charges
The rate of fees and charges are set under the FOI Act. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary.
Fees and charges are:
- Personal information about applicant - no fee
- Application fee (for non-personal information) - $30
- Charge for time taken dealing with the application - $30 per hour
- Charge for access time supervised by staff - $30 per hour
- Charges for photocopying - $30 per hour for staff time and 20c per copy
- Charges for staff time in transcribing information from a tape or other device - $30 per hour
- Charge for duplicating a tape, film or computer information - Actual cost
- Charge for delivery, packaging and postage - Actual cost
Rights of review
The FOI Act provides that applicants who are dissatisfied with a decision of the Department have the right to have that decision reviewed. In accordance with section 40 of the FOI Act, internal review applications should be forwarded in writing to the Department within 30 calendar days after receiving the Department’s initial Notice of Decision.
Following an internal review, if any matter remains in dispute, applicants are advised of their right to request the Information Commissioner to conduct an ‘external review’ of the matter. In certain instances, questions of law that arise in the course of dealing with a complaint may be referred to the Supreme Court. No fees or charges apply to internal or external reviews.
There is no right to an internal review of a Ministers decision. Instead, the applicant is advised of their right to request the Information Commissioner to conduct an external review.
Documents held by the agency
The Department can trace its history through records back to the colonial settlement of Western Australia. These historical records (archives) are available for research at the State Archives. Records about the Department’s role and responsibilities will continue to be an important part of the State’s history.
The Department’s records are arranged using activities-based classification and include information about the following functions and activities:
- Aboriginal Policy
- Cabinet Support
- Constitutional Centre
- Community Relations
- Community Response (correspondence received by the Premier on current issues)
- Contract Management
- Digital Government
- Elected Members (administrative support matters for elected members of the State Government)
- Equipment and Stores
- Executive Council
- Federal Policy
- Financial Management
- Fleet Management
- Governance (legislative and parliamentary processes)
- Government Initiatives (projects of the elected government managed by the Department)
- Government Priorities
- Government Relations
- Information Management
- Infrastructure Western Australia
- Intergovernmental Relations
- International Relations
- Ministers’ Support (administrative support matters for Ministers)
- National Policy Reform
- Native Title
- Parliamentary Support
- Premier’s Support (administrative support matters for the Premier)
- Property Management
- Royal Commissions
- Royal Visits
- Security & Emergencies
- Strategic Management
- Technology & Communications
- Vice Regal
The State Library of Western Australia holds an extensive collection of information relating to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet on their website https://www.slwa.wa.gov.au
Internal manuals can take the form of an instruction or operations manual, handbook or guidelines for managing or working the Department’s various internal systems.
Each division has internal manuals in one or more of the forms described which are used in connection with the performance of their business functions. The primary purpose is to provide advice to Departmental officers in the exercise of their duties and to be an ongoing guide which is reviewed and updated, as required.
If you wish to obtain any additional information in relation to the Department’s internal manuals, contact the FOI Manager via the details above.
Public participation in the formulation of policy and performance of agency functions
The Department’s primary mission lies in the provision of services to the Premier and Cabinet. The avenues for public participation in the formulation of the agency’s policy making and performance are limited and depend largely upon the nature of the particular portfolios held by the Premier of the day.
How to apply to amend your personal information
You can apply to the Manager, FOI, for correction or amendment of any documents containing your personal information.
The application must be in writing, and you must give as much information as you can to show how or why the Department’s records are inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.
If the Department decides to amend the information it will usually alter the record, or add a further note in relation to the record.
The Department will inform you of its decision, and reasons, together with your right of review if you are not satisfied.
Structure and functions of the agency
For a complete statement on the structure and functions of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet see the Annual Report.