Purpose of Freedom of Information (FOI)The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 , (“the FOI Act”) is to give members of the public rights of access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth and of its agencies. Under the FOI Act, members of the public can seek access to documents held by the Department of Health (the Department).
Making a Freedom of Information (FOI) requestRequests to access documents from the Department must:
- be made in writing;
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act;
- provide enough information to clearly identify the documents sought.
application form (Word 513 KB)
application form (PDF 887 KB)
FOI requests should be sent to:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601
requests may also be lodged by e-mail: email@example.com
There is no fee for making an FOI request. The FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information). Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until a response to the estimate is received by the Department.
Health may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.
Freedom of Information Disclosure Logs
The Department of Health is required by s 11C of the FOI Act to disclose access decisions through a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log provides access to information which has been released in response to an FOI request.
The disclosure log requirement does not apply to:
- personal information about any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
- information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
- other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
- any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.
Information Publication Scheme (IPS)
The 2010-11 reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) have established the OAIC Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for relevant Australian Government agencies.
The IPS requires agencies to publish a broad range of information on their websites, and to make it available for downloading where possible. The IPS enhances the amount of government information that is available to the public and underpins a pro-disclosure culture across government. As part of this, agencies are also required to publish an Agency Plan to explain how they intend to implement the IPS.
Contacts and further information
If you would like further information about making a Freedom of Information request, please contact the FOI Unit on +61 2 6289 1666 or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website provides useful information about the FOI process, publications and resources.