Follow us on:

C4 Freedom of information

The object of the ACT Freedom of Information Act 1989 (the FOI Act) is to extend as far as possible the right of the Australian community (in particular the citizens of the ACT) to access information in the possession of the ACT Government.

That right is limited only by exceptions and exemptions necessary for the protection of essential public interests. This includes the private and business affairs of persons in respect of whom information is collected and held by agencies, including the Department.

The Department is required to prepare statements under Sections 7 and 8 of the FOI Act. The Section 7 statement is about the publication of information concerning functions and documents of the Department. The Section 8 statement refers to documents in the possession of the Department that are available for inspection and purchase. Both statements are available on the Department’s website.

Section 7 statement

In accordance with the requirements of section 7 of the FOI Act, the following statement is correct as at 30 June 2010.

Organisational functions and powers

The organisational functions and powers of the Department are described in section C5 of this report. Legislation administered by the Department is listed in section A2.

Public participation in decision-making

Arrangements for public participation in decision-making include:

  • calling for public submissions
  • holding public meetings and forums with opportunities for public discussion
  • establishing committees for consultation on specific issues
  • circulating draft documents, including policies, for public comment
  • circulating draft bills before the Legislative Assembly
  • community representation on public school boards
  • engaging with the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations
  • receiving feedback through the Office of the Minister.

Categories of documents

The Department holds several categories of documents including those:

  • available on request and without charge
  • that are part of a public register
  • available for a fee
  • exempt under the relevant sections of the FOI Act
  • available under the FOI Act.

Contracts executed by the Department after 1 October 2007, with a value of $20,000 and over, may be found on the ACT Government Contracts Register at http://www.contractsregister.act.gov.au

Documents available on request and without charge

Documents within this category include publications produced by the Department on various aspects of its activities. These publications are often distributed from public schools throughout the ACT and are usually available on the Department’s website, http://www.det.act.gov.au. Other documents within this category include discussion papers, information pamphlets, census data and annual reports.

Documents of other kinds that may be available under the FOI Act

Such documents may include:

  • general records, including internal, interdepartmental and public documents such as minutes of meetings, agendas, background papers, and policies
  • statements, correspondence and administrative records
  • personnel records
  • student records
  • records held on microfilm, computer or paper in connection with departmental functions
  • financial records
  • details of contracts and tenders
  • operational policies.

Facilities for access

People seeking information are encouraged to first contact the Department before using the more formal freedom of information (FOI) process. The departmental contact for FOI is:
The FOI Coordinator
Governance Branch
ACT Department of Education and Training
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601

The physical location of the FOI Coordinator is:
220 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
Telephone: (02) 6205 8229
Fax: (02) 6205 9453

A regular bus service is available from most locations in the ACT to within walking distance of this location. Advice on bus services and times is available from http://www.action.act.gov.au or by calling 13 17 10.

Short-term parking is available at the main entrance, with reserved parking for people with disabilities.

For assistance with specific arrangements for access to the physical location, phone the Department on (02) 6205 9400.

Section 8 statement

Section 8 of the FOI Act requires the Chief Executive of the Department to make available a list of documents departmental staff use when making decisions. Examples include policies and publications; a full list is available on the Department’s website.

Section 79(2) statement

In accordance with section 79(2) of the FOI Act, the Department provides the following information regarding FOI requests received by the Department during the reporting year.

Access decisions in relation to FOI requests are categorised as full release, partial release, entirely exempt, technical refusal (no documents located), still being processed, transferred and withdrawn.

Requests for access

In 2009-10, the Department processed a total of 21 new requests, and two carried over from 2008-09 for access to documents. This compared with 19 requests for 2008-09.

Table C4.1: Freedom of information requests, 2009-10

Requests

Number

New requests

21

Requests carried over from previous year

2

Total

23

Source: Department of Education and Training, unpublished data

The following table outlines the access decisions made for these requests.

Table C4.2: Freedom of information decisions, 2009-10

Decisions

Number

Full release

5

Partial release

16

Technical refusal (no documents)

2

Entire exemption

0

Transferred

0

Withdrawn

0

Incomplete at 30 June 2010

0

Requests handled outside the Act

0

Total

23

Source: Department of Education and Training, unpublished data

Internal Review and ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal applications

Three applications were received under Section 59 of the FOI Act for review of a decision. These requests resulted in additional information being provided to the applicants.

Fees and charges

The Department did not collect any fees in relation to the processing of requests in 2009-10.

Amendment of personal records

The Department did not receive any requests under Section 48 of the FOI Act for the amendment of personal records in 2009-10.

For more information contact:
Director
Governance Branch
Telephone: (02) 6205 7661

« Public Interest DisclosureInternal Accountability »