Freedom of Information

Information Statement

(Part 5 s.94 of the FOI Act 1992)

Overview

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 (‘the FOI Act’) gives the public the right to apply for access to documents held by State Public Sector agencies, including those of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO).

As an agency, the Office is required to assist an applicant to obtain access to documents sought at the lowest reasonable cost, and to ensure that their personal information held by the Office is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.

When making an FOI application, you do not have to give reasons for applying for the documents, nor does the Office’s view about your reasons for applying affect your right to apply for access.

The kinds of documents which you may request can be stored in diverse formats ranging from paper files to electronically stored information.

You may also apply for access to personal information about yourself that is contained in documents held by the Office. You have the right to apply for the amendment of personal information about you (the applicant) if the information contained in a record of the Office is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

 

About the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

The new Office of the Government Chief Information Officer commenced operations on 1 July 2015.  The initial key focus of the Office has been the development of “Digital WA”, the State’s first Whole-of-Government ICT strategy.

This strategy will guide the planning, direction, management and use of ICT by WA Public Sector agencies over the next four years. Its purpose is to ensure that they have the right internal ICT capabilities and capacity to deliver whatever public services or Government policies may be appropriate in the future.

Transforming the Government ICT infrastructure is another initiative aimed at providing WA Government with the enabling infrastructure upon which the Digital WA strategic outcomes will be delivered.

From 1 July 2016, the Office became responsible for the development and administration of the State’s innovation agenda.  The initial focus of the Office is the development of a State Innovation Strategy that will showcase our State’s talent, drive innovation and raise the State’s profile as an innovation destination.

Key legislation

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer’s enabling legislation is the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

There are also a number of State Acts and Regulations that either govern the Department’s operations or constitute part of the legislation it is responsible for administering, and legislation affecting its activities.

A complete and up-to-date listing of these is maintained by the State Law Publisher (Acts with administering portfolios and public sector agencies).

Office location and contact

Level 3 Dumas House

2 Havelock Street

WEST PERTH WA 6850

Switchboard: (08) 6551 3900

 

How the Office’s functions affect you

The Office’s focus in the digital space is to provide strategic direction and advice to government that results in better service delivery to Western Australians. The innovation package being developed by the Office will provide more opportunities for the commercialisation of WA innovations.

 

Public Consultation

The Office has an Enquiries Feedback System that enables its clients to provide feedback on the Office’s services and policies. The general form can be used for complaints, suggestions, enquiries and requests for information.  All feedback is considered and a response is provided to the client. Feedback may be provided online and by telephone.  The information received into the system is one mechanism used to review the Office’s business operations and performance.

 

Documents that are usually held by the Office

If you wish to seek access to these documents, please contact the Manager Freedom of Information. Wherever appropriate, documents can be provided at no cost outside of Freedom of Information. However, particular documents may contain exempt material and will only be available with those exempt portions removed.

Public access to documents

All of OGCIO’s publications are available online through the Office’s website. These documents include but are not limited to:

  • Digital WA: Western Australian Government ICT Strategy 2016 – 2020
  • ICT Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Policy
  • Digital Security Policy
  • Digital Services Policy
  • Interoperability Policy
  • Cloud Policy
  • Open Data Policy

Copies of publications may also be obtained by contacting the Office.

As part of the broader State Government initiative to ensure accessibility to information, our publications are provided wherever possible in an accessible format. On request, publications can be made available in alternate formats.

Policy documents can be made available on request by contacting the Manager Freedom of Information. Access is available by inspection or through copies provided.

Documents not publicly available

  • Administration files
  • Internal reports
  • Personnel files
  • Official correspondence
  • Electronic correspondence (emails)
  • Financial documents

Members of the public may apply to access these documents under the general right of access to government documents created by the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (‘the FOI Act’) which came into effect on 1 November 1993.

 

How to make an FOI application

An application for access to documents and enquiries should be addressed to the Manager Freedom of Information:

In person

Manager FOI

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Level 2, Gordon Stephenson House

140 William Street

PERTH WA 6000

By mail

Manager FOI

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Locked Bag 11

Cloisters Square

PERTH WA 6850

Telephone: (08) 6551 1125

Email: foi@finance.wa.gov.au

It is the aim of the agency to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost, and whenever possible documents will be provided outside the FOI process.

If information is not routinely available, the FOI Act provides the right to apply for documents held by the agency and to enable the public to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.

Access applications have to:

  • be in writing;
  • give enough information so that the documents requested can be identified;
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent; and
  • be lodged at the agency with any application fee payable ($30.00 per application for non-personal information).

If you are acting on behalf of another party, you must provide legal proof of authority to act for them and if you are applying for access to personal information about yourself, you must provide valid identification. Applications will be acknowledged in writing.

 

FOI fees and charges

A scale of fees and charges are set under the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993. Apart from the application fee for access to non-personal information all charges are discretionary and can be waived. The charges are as follows:

Personal information about the applicant………………………………………………………………….. No fee

Application fee (for non-personal information)………………………………………………………….. $30.00

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 photocopy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. .0.20

Transcribing from tape, film or computer (per hour, pro rata)……………………………………… $30.00

Duplicating a tape, film or computer information…………………………………………………. Actual cost

Delivery, packaging and postage………………………………………………………………………. Actual cost

Deposits

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%

For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, the charge payable is reduced by 25%.

 

Processing your request

Upon receipt of a valid FOI application, the Office will endeavour to make a decision whether to grant or refuse access within the 45 calendar day period stipulated under the FOI Act. However, where necessary, an extension of time may be sought.

The Office may contact you to clarify the scope of your request.

FOI Notice of Decision

As soon as possible but in any case within 45 calendar 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 rights to seek a review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

What types of documents are exempt?

In some cases, documents may be exempt from release because the relevant information is genuinely sensitive and real harm will be caused by its disclosure. The exemptions are designed to strike a balance between the rights of applicants to disclosure of Government held documents and the need to protect the legitimate interests of Government and third parties who deal with Government.

The exemptions listed in the FOI Act are based on the premise that disclosure of the particular information would:

  • reveal personal information about an individual (whether living or dead);
  • cause damage to business interests/Intergovernmental relations or law enforcement; or
  • adversely affect the operations of agencies or their decision-making processes.

Access arrangements

Access to documents can be granted by way of inspection, by providing a copy of a document, a copy of an audio or video tape, a computer disk, a transcript of a recorded, shorthand or encoded document from which words can be reproduced.

Rights of review

Internal review

Applicants who are dissatisfied with a decision of the agency are entitled to ask for an internal review by the agency. The application for an internal review should be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Decision. There are no charges for the conduct of reviews. The internal review will be conducted by an independent officer, who is not subordinate to the original decision maker.

You will be notified of the outcome of the review within 15 days.

External review

If you disagree with the result you can then apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review. Applications for external review should be made within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Internal Review Decision. The Information Commissioner will investigate the decision made by the Office.

 

Amending personal information under the FOI Act

Applications for amendment of personal information can be lodged with the Manager Freedom of Information to the aforementioned address. The application must be in writing and include among other things details and/or reasons for amendment.

More information in relation to Freedom of Information can be accessed from the Information Commissioner’s website at: www.foi.wa.gov.au.

 

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