Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information - Request Form [PDF 135KB] [Word 103KB]
Health Records Request Form [PDF 145KB] [Word 101KB]
Freedom of Information - Section 7 and 8 Statements [PDF 217KB] [Word 128KB]
Territory Records Act 2002 Section 28 Exemptions Register [PDF 71KB] [Excel 27KB]

Freedom of Information Act 1989

Information Sheet [HTML] [PDF 197KB] [Word 135KB]

What are my rights under the ACT Freedom of Information Act 1989?

The Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) gives individuals the legal right to:

  • access documents (including those about your personal affairs) held by ACT Ministers, their Directorates and some statutory authorities
  • ask for information concerning you to be changed if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • appeal against a decision not to grant access to a document or amend or notate a personal record

Freedom of Information Requests

Each ACT Government directorate is responsible for responding to FOI requests that relate to their functions or roles. Individuals seeking information are encouraged to seek access by contacting the directorate before resorting to the more formal FOI procedure. Each directorate has an FOI officer who may assist you in making your request.

A request should be made, in writing, requesting access to documents under the FOI Act. Requests can be made by letter or by using the FOI online application form.
The request should:

  • identify the document(s) sought;
  • provide as much information as possible about the document(s) requested to

assist in processing the request (for example the date the documents were created, or describe in detail the subject matter in which you are interested);

  • supply a contact telephone number and postal or email address; and
  • Proof of identity, ie: Drivers Licence.

Requests relating to the Community Services Directorate should be posted to the following address:


Housing ACT

All other areas of the
Community Services Directorate
(includes Child and Youth Protection Services)

Information Coordinator
Housing and Community Services

Locked Bag 3000
Belconnen ACT 2616

Telephone: 6207 4549
Housing.customerservice@act.gov.au

Senior Freedom of Information Officer
Organisational Governance
Community Services Directorate

GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 6207 6547 or 6205 0244
CSD.FOI@act.gov.au

Further information regarding FOI processes is available in the Directorate's FOI Information Sheet.

Information Sheet

Top

Exemptions

The FOI Act sets out certain types of documents which may not be accessible (called exempt documents). Exemptions are generally used to safe guard essential public interests, protected or confidential matters or the private or business affairs of others.

If the Directorate decides not to grant access to the documents requested, you will be provided with written reasons for the decision and advised of your rights of appeal.

If you are unhappy with the initial decision you may:

  • request the Directorate reconsider its initial decision (this is known as an internal review);
  • seek an independent review of the decision by the ACT Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal (ACAT review) if you are not satisfied after the Directorate has conducted an internal review;
  • complain to the Ombudsman about the Directorate's decision or action (Ombudsman review); and
  • appeal if the Directorate does not provide reasons for the decisions made on the request or there are delays in informing you.

Top

Charges

There is no application fee for FOI requests to ACT Government agencies.
However, processing charges may apply for requests for information that is not personal information. In order to minimise any charges, please consult with the FOI Coordinator to be sure that you are requesting only the documents you really need.

If you are advised that charges will be imposed, you are able to seek the remission of processing charges on the grounds of personal affairs, financial hardship or public interest.

For applicants who believe the charges should be waived on the grounds of public interest, guidelines are available at the Justice and Community Safety websiteExternal Link

Freedom of Information Online

As part of the ACT Government's commitment to Open Government, all written documents released under the FOI Act will be available for online access by the public. Exceptions to this are documents that are exempt for privacy, commercial confidentiality or copyright reasons. The information will be made available on the Open Government websiteExternal Link

Full details of the Online FOI Publication Policy are available at Freedom of Information OnlineExternal Link

Top

How to Access Health Records (including Therapy ACT records)

Health records include reports from a range of health professionals as well as documents that contain personal health information. Under Section 6 of the FOI Act, an agency is exempt from the processing documents that are Health records as defined under the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997.

Consumers (as distinct from their legal representative) have a right of access to a health record if it contains their personal health information. These documents will be processed under the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997, Section 12 and NOT the Freedom of Information Act, 1989. To assist you in accessing your health records held by the Directorate, you may complete the Request for Access to Health Records form.

Further Information
For further information, please contact the Community Services Directorate's Senior Freedom of Information Officer on Tel: (02) 6205 0244 or 6207 6547 or email CSD.FOI@act.gov.au.

If English is not your first language and you require translation and interpreter services, please telephone 131 450.

If you are a Text telephone (TTY) user, phone 133 677 then ask for 133 427.

Top