We are responsible for responding to FOI requests for access to documents that we hold. We may be able to give you the documents you seek without requiring submission of a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) application. You are encouraged to contact us before resorting to the more formal FOI process.
A request for access to documents should:
- be in writing;
- state that the request is made under the ACT Freedom of Information Act 2016 (or for documents held by the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA), which administers the legislation covering licensed childcare services, state that the request is made under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982, as modified by the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011);
- identify the document/s to which access is being sought and provide as much information as possible about the document/s requested to assist with the processing of the request;
- provide a contact telephone number and/or email address; and
- provide a postal address to which the response to the request may be sent.
Applicants requesting documents containing their own personal information must provide evidence of identity such as a certified copy of the personal details page of a valid passport or a current Australian driver's license.
Where a request is made for personal information on another person's behalf, we will require a letter of authorisation to release any documents to that person, as well as proof of identity of the person for whom the information is being requested.
All FOI requests should be directed to:
The FOI Coordinator
Governance and Legal Liaison
Governance and Community Liaison Branch
ACT Education Directorate
Requests can be submitted by:
Post to GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Email to EDULegalLiaison@act.gov.au
The FOI Coordinator can be contacted by phone 02 6205 0720.
We will acknowledge the receipt of a request within 10 working days of receiving a valid request and provide the details of a contact officer.
We will take all reasonable steps to provide a response to a request within 20 working days of receiving a valid request. The response will explain our decision and advise applicants of their rights of appeal.
If we decide to consult with another person or organisation (a third party) in relation to information contained in the documents requested, the time frame for processing the request is extended by an additional 15 working days. Applicants will be notified if we decide it is necessary to undertake a third party consultation.
Deciding Access to Documents
Our decision about an FOI request will be:
- to give access to the information; or
- that the information is not held by the us; or
- to refuse to give access to the information because the information is contrary to the public interest; or
- to refuse to deal with the application; or
- to refuse to confirm or deny that the information is held by us because the information is contrary to the public interest; and doing so would, or could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of a person; or be an unreasonable limitation on a person’s rights under the Human Rights Act 2004; or significantly prejudice an ongoing criminal investigation.
For requests for access to documents made under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Act sets out certain types of documents which may not be accessible (called exempt documents). Exemptions are generally used to protect essential public interests, confidential matters or the private or business affairs of others.
If we decide not to grant access to a requested document, it will provide written reasons for the decision and advise applicants of their rights of appeal.
There is no application fee for FOI requests. However processing charges may be applied in certain circumstances for requests for access to documents.
A remission of processing charges will be applied if:
- the information requested was previously publicly available but is no longer publicly available; or
- the information requested is of special benefit to the public; or
- the applicant is a concession card holder and demonstrates a material connection to the information requested; or
- the applicant is a not-for-profit organisation and application relates to the activities or purpose of the organisation; or
- the applicant is a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Applicants will need to provide sufficient evidence to support a claim for the remission of processing fees.
Requests for documents relating to the applicant's personal affairs do not attract processing charges.
Requests for access to documents under the ACT Freedom of Information Act 2016 do not attract any charges for the first 50 pages provided.
Information about charges under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 can be found on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.