Freedom of Information: Salaries and Allowances Tribunal

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 gives the public a right to access information held by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.

Freedom of Information Statement

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) was established in order to enhance the public’s participation in government and increase the accountability of State and local governments.

In creating a right of public access to government documents, the FOI Act requires agencies such as the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) to make available details about the kind of documents it holds and provide information as to how they can be accessed.

Along with enabling the public to understand how government and its agencies operate, the FOI Act allows people to obtain and seek amendment to personal information about themselves if they feel what is held on the public record is “inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading" (section 45 of the FOI Act).

In order to abide by the FOI Act, it is the Tribunal’s aim to make information available to members of the public promptly and for the least possible cost. Aside from documents which are freely available to the public, the Tribunal will, wherever possible, attempt to provide information to applicants outside of the FOI process.

Freedom of Information Requests

The FOI Act recognises two kinds of requests for access to information, personal information and non-personal information. Personal information is defined as "information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual, whether living or dead” (Clause 3, Schedule 1 of the FOI Act). This includes, but is not limited to, information from which the identity of an individual is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained (i.e. names or contact details).

Non-personal information is defined as information concerning people other than the FOI access applicant. This also includes, but is not limited to, information, opinions, contact details or genetic information.

Freedom of Information Applications

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, FOI applications must

  • be in writing
  • give enough information so that the requested document can be identified
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent
  • be lodged at the agency together with the application fee (if required).

Lodgement of FOI Applications

Applications may be made to the:

Executive Officer
Salaries and Allowances Tribunal
Locked Bag 3002
West Perth WA 6872

Applications and FOI inquiries can also be directed to the Executive Officer via email to

Processing of Freedom of Information Applications

Once the Tribunal receives an FOI application, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the applicant notifying them of the 45-day deadline in which his or her application shall be processed (section 13(3) of the FOI Act). Liaison may occur with the applicant and possible third parties, in order to process the application in accordance with the FOI Act. Once a decision has been made, the applicant will receive a Notice of Decision which outlines the case facts and reasons behind the Tribunal’s decision (as per section 30 of the FOI Act).

Fees and Charges

Under section 16(1)(d) of the FOI Act, no fee or charge is payable for access to, or amendment of, personal information. However, under section 12(1)(e), a fee is payable for FOI applications which request access to non-personal information. The following table details the fees and charges applicable under the FOI Act. Please note that other than the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are made at the discretion of the Tribunal.

Charge Description Fee Payable
Personal information about applicant No fee
Application fee for non-personal information $30.00
Charge for time taken dealing with the application $30.00 per hour
Charge for access time supervised by staff $30.00 per hour
Charge for photocopying relevant documents $30.00 per hour for staff time, plus 20c per copy
Charges for staff time in transcribing information from a tape or other device $30.00 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 applicants with the right to appeal an FOI decision made by the Tribunal, via an internal and external review process. Please note that no fees or charges are applicable for internal or external reviews.

In accordance with section 40 of the FOI Act, internal review applications should be made in writing to the Tribunal within 30 calendar days after the date of the Notice of Decision.

If any matter remains in dispute following an internal review, FOI applicants are advised of their right to request an external review to be undertaken by the Information Commissioner. In certain instances, questions of law that arise in the course of dealing with an FOI complaint may be referred to the Supreme Court.

The Tribunal

The Structure of the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal

  • Chair: Prof Margaret Seares AO
  • Member: Mr Barry Sargeant PSM
  • Member: Mr Colin Murphy PSM

The Governor appoints the members of the Tribunal under Section 5(2) of the Salaries and Allowances Act 1975.

The determinations and reports of the Tribunal are not subject to Ministerial approval, except in respect of recommendations to the Premier on whether there should be any adjustments to the remuneration of the Judiciary, Magistracy and the Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission.

Functions of the Tribunal

The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal is established by virtue of Section 5 of the Salaries and Allowances Act 1975.

The Act provides that the Tribunal must inquire into and determine or report on the remuneration to be paid or provided to:

  • Ministers of the Crown and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet
  • A Parliamentary Secretary appointed under section 44A of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899
  • Officers and Members of the Parliament including additional remuneration to be paid or provided to members of committees of a House or joint committees of both Houses
  • Clerk of the Legislative Council or Clerk of the Legislative Assembly or the Deputy Clerk of either House
  • Officers of the Public Service holding offices included in the Special Division of the Public Service
  • A person holding any other office of a full time nature, created or established under a law of the State that is prescribed for the purposes of this section, but not being an office the remuneration for which is determined by or under any industrial award or agreement made or in force under any other law of the State
  • Local Government CEOs and Elected Members
  • Judges, District Court Judges, Masters of the Supreme Court and Magistrates, and the Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission.

In addition, the Tribunal has a statutory responsibility to undertake the following:

Vice-Regal Remuneration

The Premier shall, before an appointment is made to the office of Governor, request the Tribunal to inquire into, and determine, the remuneration to be paid to the Governor.

Parliamentary Superannuation

The Tribunal has responsibility for all matters relating to the level of benefits and scheme rules for the superannuation of Members of Parliament. The only constraints on the Tribunal’s powers are that it may not reduce a member’s accrued entitlements and that it must comply with any applicable Commonwealth legislation.

Entitlements of Former Premiers, Ministers and Members of Parliament

The Tribunal is required from time to time, to inquire into and determine the entitlements and benefits to be paid or provided to former Premiers of the State, former ministers of the Crown and former members of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of the State.

Decision Making Functions

The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal is an independent statutory authority with specific responsibilities. The Tribunal has the powers of a Royal Commission while undertaking enquiries in respect of its statutory responsibilities.

Public Participation

In respect to the inquiries that the Tribunal conducts under the various sections of the Act, the Tribunal regularly advertises its intention to conduct an inquiry and invites submissions from interested persons, parties and organisations.

Documents Held by the Tribunal

The Tribunal maintains files in the following categories:

  • General administrative functions.
  • Annual reviewing files in relation to the Judiciary, Special Division of the Public Service, Prescribed Offices, Clerks and Deputy Clerks of the Parliament, Members of Parliament, Local Government CEOs and Local Government Elected Members.
  • General reviewing files (not annual) in relation to Former Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Superannuation and the Governor.
  • Copies of all Determinations and Reports issued by the Tribunal (most are available on the Tribunal’s website).

If you are seeking access to a specific document which cannot be located online, please contact the Tribunal’s Executive Officer on (08) 6557 7000 with your request, prior to lodging an FOI application.

How to Apply to Amend Your Personal Information

Applicants can apply to the FOI Coordinator to request a correction or amendment to any document(s) which contain their personal information.

All applications must be made in writing and clearly demonstrate how or why the Tribunal’s records are “inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading” (section 46 of the FOI Act).

As with an FOI application, the Tribunal will inform the applicant of its decision and reasoning, via a Notice of Decision. If the Tribunal decides to amend the applicant’s personal information, it will usually be done via altering the record, or adding a further note in relation to the record. The FOI Act also provides applicants with the right to appeal an amendment decision made by the Tribunal, via an internal and external review process.

Page reviewed 12 February 2021