Freedom of Information Act
The Victorian Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request information held by us.
The Act gives you the right to access documents about your personal affairs and our activities, and the right to request any incorrect or misleading information we hold about you is amened or removed.
What information is available?
Do I need to use FOI to access docments?
How do I make a request?
What information is not available?
What costs are associated with my request?
You have a right to apply for access to documents we hold which are covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
- documents created by us
- documents we are supplied by an external organisation or individual
You can apply for access to:
- documents about your personal affairs, regardless of the age of documents
- other documents held by us which are no older than January 1, 1989
Please note it is not only paper documents that are accessible. The word 'documents' covers a broad range of media including maps, films, microfiche, photographs, computer printouts, emails, computer disks, tape recordings and videotapes.
Many documents are available outside the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. In these instances requests will not be processed under FOI.
Information which you may obtain without and FOI application include:
- information which is available publicly, such as on public register
- information which is available for purchase (e.g. plan search, Form 10 Application)
Please note if you need documents for a court case or some type of litigation, speak to your legal adviser about other processes for accessing those documents.
You can make a request, or authorise another person (for example a solicitor) to make a request on your behalf. If you want someone to make a request in your behalf for your personal information, you must give that person your written authorisation.
- be in writing
- clearly describe the documents you are requesting access to
- include a $25.70 application fee or evidence you qualify to have the application fee waived or reduced.
We will respond to your request within 45 days, provided the above criteria have been met.
If the documents are about your personal affairs, you should provide evidence of your identity (e.g. a photocopy of our current driver's license).
If you would like us to consider reducing or waiving the fee, include evidence the payment of the fee would cause you financial hardship.
Not all information is automatically available.
The Freedom of Information Act allows us to refuse access to certain documents or information. There documents or information are referred to as exempt documents.
Here is a list of some documents you may not be able to access:
- some internal working documents
- law enforcement documents
- documents covered by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice
- documents containing personal information about other people
- documents containing information provided to us in confidence
- documents containing information provided to us by a business
- documents which are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislation
Your application may also be refused if it is considered 'voluminous in nature', meaning if we were to respond to the request it would interfere unreasonably with the our operations or performance.
There are two costs associated with making an FOI request:
- the application cost
- the access cost
The application fee is a fixed cost and is non-refundable. The only exception is for people suffering hardship, who may ask us to waive or reduce the application fee.
Access charges relate to the costs incurred in granting access to the documents you have requested. An indication of the costs you may incur are outlined below.
- application cost $25.70 (non-refundable, unless waived)
- search charges - $20 per hour or part of an hour
- supervision charges - $5 per quarter hour
- photocopying charges - .20c per black and white A4 page (other charges apply for documents larger than A4 or reproduced in colour)
- providing access in a form other than photocopying - the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing the copy
- charge for listening or viewing a tape - the reasonable costs incurred by us in making arrangements to listen or to view (supervision charges also apply)
- charge for making a written transcript out of a tape -the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing a written transcript.
All fees and charges are exempt from GST.
If you would like more information contact the Information Management team on 9294 6210 or email