Can I access all documents?
Documents available outside the FOI Act
How to make an FOI request
Fees and charges
What you can expect from us
Transferring your request
If you disagree with our decision
Freedom of Information online
For further information
We make a range of information available for public access. You can formally request access under the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) to documents we hold. Alternatively we can give you certain information if you request it through other access arrangements that we have established, as outlined under the subheading below 'Documents available outside the FOI Act'.
The FOI Act gives any person the right to:
You can ask to see any document we hold. Documents include papers, files, reports, maps, plans, photographs, sound recordings and films.
The right to access documents held by the ACT Government is subject to certain limitations that ensure that sensitive information, including personal information, is properly protected. If you request a document under the FOI Act, you may not be given access to the document if it falls within one of the categories of exemptions under the FOI Act. Exempt documents may include those containing material about an individual's private or business affairs, Cabinet material or information obtained in confidence. We may decide to refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt.
In many cases the directorate will give you access to your personal information if you ask for it, without requiring you to follow a formal process under the FOI Act. You are encouraged to contact Access Canberra before using the more formal freedom of information process.
If you are a current or former employee of the ACT Government who is seeking a copy of your personnel records you can request them directly from Shared Services instead of using the FOI process.
You should also check the information freely available on the ACT Government Publications to see if what you are seeking is already available.
Your request must:
Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
If you ask a third party to make an FOI request on your behalf, you need to provide specific, written authority to allow that person to receive copies of documents containing information about you.
If you require assistance with your request, please contact the FOI Coordinator Officer on 02 6205 5408 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no application fee for an FOI request in the ACT.
There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply for other requests. A processing charge will apply after the first ten hours and the first 200 photocopies/scans.
In order to minimise any charges, you might consider providing specific information about the documents you require and/or only request the documents you need. For further information on the processing charges refer to the FAQs.
You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced on the grounds of personal affairs, financial hardships or public interest.
If you ask for a waiver of charges, you should explain your reasons in writing to us. You may be asked to provide some evidence to support your request, such as a copy of a Centrelink concession card if you are applying on the basis of financial hardship.
If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time if your request is complex or voluminous.
We may transfer your request, or part of your request, to another ACT Government directorate with their agreement, if:
The transfer provisions of the FOI Act facilitate access by avoiding the need for an applicant to make a new request to another directorate and by providing a whole of government approach to making information accessible by the public. Transfer of a request also allows the decision to be made by the directorate best placed to make an informed assessment about disclosure of relevant documents.
We will notify you if we transfer your request. We will provide contact details of the directorate to whom the request has been transferred.
When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review, providing that the Director-General did not make the decision in the first instance. An internal review will be conducted and signed off by another decision maker in our directorate. You must apply for the review within 28 days of being told of the decision. We will advise you of our new decision within 14 days of receiving your request.
You can appeal to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) or to the ACT Ombudsman if still dissatisfied with the decision. You can also appeal to the ACAT if we do not respond within the time limits of 30 days for requests to access documents and 14 days for requests for an internal review.
ACAT is an independent body responsible for reviewing administrative decisions made by agencies. It can decide whether the decision made on your freedom of information request was correct. The tribunal can agree with the decision made or change or reject the original decision and substitute its own decision. You must apply for an ACAT review within 28 days of being told the decision. Applications to ACAT attract a fee.
You cannot apply to ACAT for a review if:
Alternatively, you may complain to the ACT Ombudsman if you are dissatisfied with the way your request was handled.
The ACT Ombudsman has the power to investigate agency actions under the FOI Act, including decisions, delays, and refusal or failure to act. The Ombudsman can review a freedom of information decision to ensure it was made in a fair and proper way. The Ombudsman cannot substitute a decision, but can recommend that the original decision be changed. There is no fee payable for an Ombudsman review.
From 4 October 2011, most documents provided to an applicant by the ACT Government under the FOI Act are also released on the Open Government website.
ACT Government directorates are required to upload digital copies of released FOI information within 15 business days of the material being provided to the applicant.
Exceptions to this are documents that are exempt for personal privacy, commercial confidentiality or copyright reasons.
If you require more information on the FOI process, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on 02 6205 5408 or by email at email@example.com.