Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) provides for access to documents held by State and local government agencies. The Department of Local Government and Communities takes its obligations under the Act seriously and is committed to complying with the aims of the Act.
The aims of the
Freedom of Information Act are to:
They are to be achieved by:
Where possible the department will release documents outside of the Freedom of Information process. However, at times some documents can only be obtained under Freedom of Information.
Documents may comprise any written material, plans, drawings, photographs, tape recordings, films, and videotapes.
Freedom of information applications must:
Fees and charges are set out in the
Freedom of Information Regulations 1993 (WA). The fees and charges are as follows.
Personal Information is defined as any information or opinion, whether true or not, about an individual, whether living or dead, that can identify or reasonably identify that person.
Applications for Personal Information can only be made by that individual and not a third party. There is no application fee for Personal Information. Certified proof of identity will be required prior to processing an application for Personal Information.
Documents that are not directly about the applicant are considered to be non-personal information and a $30 application fee is payable. Where documents contain the names of third parties, those parties must be consulted prior to the documents being released.
The department may apply charges when processing a Freedom of Information application. All charges are calculated on an hourly (or pro-rata) rate and are discretionary. The following charges may be applicable:
In cases where charges are expected to exceed $25, applicants will be provided with an estimate of charges as soon as possible. DLGC has the right to request a deposit of between 25-75 per cent of the estimate. Where charges are applied, no documents will be released to the applicant until all charges are paid.
There is a 25 per cent reduction in charges for financially disadvantaged applicants or those in receipt of health or social welfare benefits. Proof of evidence will be required.
Payment may be made by cheque or credit card. All cheques must be made out to: Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. If you have elected to pay via credit card, you will be contacted and the payment processed over the phone.
As soon as possible, but within 45 days of an application being deemed valid, applicants will be provided with a Notice of Decision. This notice is designed to enable the applicant to understand what information was taken into account when making the decision and will include details such as:
Not all documents held by the DLGC will be able to be released with access being refused on a range of grounds. These grounds are set out in the
Freedom of Information Act. If this is the case the Notice of Decision will provide the reason for refusal of access.
Applicants have the right of review if they do not agree with a decision made by the department’s decision maker. In the first instance, DLGSC will conduct an internal review. There are no fees or charges for requesting an internal review.
A request for an internal review must be received within 30 days of the receipt of the Notice of Decision and must set out the parts of the decision to be reviewed. An independent decision maker will deal with the application for internal review.
The outcome of an internal review may result in a confirmation, variation or reversal of the initial decision under review.
Applicants will be advised of the outcome of the review within 15 days.
If the applicant disagrees with the result of the internal review, an applicant can request an external review from the Office of the Information Commissioner on contact details below. There are no fees or charges for requesting an external review.
All review rights and procedures to exercise those rights are set out in the Notice of Decision.
Arrangements for access to the documents are negotiable between the DLGSC and the applicant. Where a large number of documents are to be released and there is no charge for photocopying, the documents may be provided on a USB drive.
Applicants have the right to amend personal information held by the DLGSC, which the applicant considers incomplete, inaccurate, misleading, or not up to date.
Applicants must provide details and, if necessary, documentation to support any claim on the information sought to be amended. In addition, the applicant must indicate how the amendment is to be made, which may include:
Further information on Freedom of Information can be obtained from the Office of the Information Commissioner via the following:
Albert Facey House
469 Wellington StreetPerth WA 6000
(08) 6551 8700
Freedom of information coordinator Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Gordon Stephenson House, 140 William Street, Perth WA 6000
PO Box 8349, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
140 William Street PERTH WA 6000
(08) 6551 8700 / (08) 6551 1784