Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) gives you the right to request access to government-held information. This includes information they hold about you or about government policies and decisions. You also have the right to access your personal information and have it amended or annotated if you think it’s inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, misleading or incorrect under FOI Act.
An application for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 does not automatically ensure you will obtain the documents you request. Access may be refused, or you may only receive heavily redacted copies of documents based on exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 1992.
The Act is written to facilitate access to documents held by government bodies, and to ensure that your personal information in those documents is correct. It is not designed as a tool to assist in neighbourhood disputes or civil legal action. The type of government documents or records that can be requested extends to all manner of information, however recorded, in the possession or under the control of an agency.
Documents available for inspection
Many documents are available for public inspection at the Shire, and some are also accessible via the Shire’s website. Please note that there may be limits to
inspection rights for certain documents under s5.95 of the local Government Act 1995. Some of these documents are:
- Annual Budget
- Annual Report
- Code of Conduct
- Registers (Complaints, Gifts, Financial Interests, Tenders, etc.)
- Council, Committee and Electors Agendas and Minutes * (excluding sections closed to the public)
- Council Local Laws and proposed Local Laws
- Delegations Register
- Freedom of Information Statement
- Laws enforced by the Shire of Carnamah
- Owners and Occupiers Electoral Roll
- Strategic Community Plan and Corporate Business Plan
- Policy Manual
- Rate Record
- Schedule of Fees and Charges
Amendment of Council records
You may gain access to Council documents to seek amendments concerning your personal affairs by making a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1992. A member of the public may request a correction to any information about themselves that is incomplete, misleading, or out of date.
Applications for access to documents
Under the FOI legislation, an application must be made in writing with:
- sufficient information to enable the identification of the relevant documents,
- an Australian address to which notices can be sent, and
- the payment for the application fee where applicable. (Application fees only apply when non personal information is requested.)
Making a Freedom of Information application
Access to documents can be granted by way of visual inspection or supply of hard copies, email attachment copies (digital files), or placed on a USB.
Requests for information will, if appropriate, be considered in accordance with the FOI Act. Under this legislation, an application fee must be forwarded with the request in writing. To make a FOI application, you can:
- complete the online FOI Application Form (see form below)
- apply in person at the Shire’s office, 33-37 Macpherson Street Carnamah
- by post, by printing, completing and posting the pdf form below to:
The Freedom of Information Coordinator
Shire of Carnamah
PO Box 80
CARNAMAH WA 6517.
Proof of identity may be required. If access to documents is sought on behalf of another person, the Shire will require written authorisation.
The application is considered as officially lodged when the application fee has been paid and both parties agree on a manageable scope.
Freedom of Information Application Form (PDF)
The Shire is required to provide the applicant with an estimated cost should the charges for dealing with the application exceed $25.00.
An advance deposit of 25% of the estimated cost may be required as a sign of good faith that full payment will be provided once the Notice of Decision is issued. This is in accordance with Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993.
For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, the charge payable is reduced by 25% or may be waived in certain circumstances.
Fees and charges
A scale of fees and charges is set under the FOI Regulations. The application fee for non-personal information is $30.00. All other charges are discretionary. The charges are as follows:
|Personal information (about the applicant)||Free|
|Charge for time dealing with the application (per hour, or pro rata)||$30.00|
|Access time supervised by staff (per hour, or pro rata)||$30.00|
|Photocopying staff time (per hour, or pro rata)||$30.00|
|Per photocopied A4 page||20c|
|Transcribing from tape, film or computer per hour, or pro rata)||$30.00|
|Duplicating a tape, film or computer information||TBC|
|Delivery, postage and packaging||TBC|
|Advance deposit may be required of the estimated charges||25%|
|Further advance deposit may be required to meet the charges for dealing with the application||75%|
Fees for financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, (apart from the Application Fee) may be reduced by 25%.
Applicants will receive a response as soon as possible, and always within the statutory 45 days of Council receiving a valid application, together with the appropriate fee.
The Shire of Carnamah’s Records Officer is the Freedom of Information Coordinator and is authorised to perform the required functions of the Act.
Notice of Decision
As soon as possible but in any case, within 45 days you will be provided with a notice of decision which will include details such as:
- the date on which the decision was made
- the name and the designation of the officer who made the decision
- if the document is an exempt document the reasons for classifying the matter exempt; or the fact that access is given to an edited document; and
- information on the right to review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.
Applicants who are refused access or are dissatisfied with a decision of Shire of Carnamah are entitled to ask for an internal review.
If dissatisfied with the Shire’s decision, an application for an internal review can be lodged. Application for a review should be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the notice of decision. Internal review will be undertaken by a senior officer from Shire of Carnamah. Review applications should be addressed to:
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 80
CARNAMAH WA 6517
or via email
You will be notified of the outcome of the review within 15 days. If the result of the internal review is not to the applicant’s satisfaction, an external review may
be requested by contacting the Office of the Information Commissioner.
If still dissatisfied with the Shire’s decision after the internal review has been completed, a review by the Information Commissioner can be sought. External review requests must be made in writing to the Information Commissioner and give details of the application and decision to which the request relates.
More information and contacts
The State Records Office is the Official repository for all state archives, including information transferred by government agencies such as the Shire of Carnamah. Access to information held by The State Records Office is free. The State Records Office is located on the Ground Floor of the Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre.
For general information and advice on Freedom of Information you can also contact the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Freedom of Information Statement
To assist potential application, an Information Statement has been published as required under section 96(1) of the FOI Act. It details information made available to the public outside of the FOI Act and includes information regarding the Shire’s vision, structure, decision making functions and legislation administered, as well as documents held by the Shire.
What is personal information?
Personal information includes a broad range of information, or an opinion, that could identify an individual. What is personal information will vary, depending on whether a person can be identified or is reasonably identifiable in the circumstances.
For example, personal information may include:
- an individual’s name, signature, address, phone number or date of birth
- sensitive information
- credit information
- employee record information
- internet protocol (IP) addresses
- voice print and facial recognition biometrics (because they collect characteristics that make an individual’s voice or face unique)
- location information from a mobile device (because it can reveal user activity patterns and habits).