Right to Information
What is the Right to Information?
The Right to Information Act 2009 commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for access to information held by government bodies by:
authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications;
authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications;
giving members of the public a right to information held by public authorities provided that access is not restricted in the limited circumstances which are defined in the Right to Information Act 2009.
The Clarence City Council collects and holds information from a variety of sources to enable us to deliver our services.
Information is routinely made available by the Council to assist the public in understanding what it is we do and how we do it. The Council also publishes reports and information required under legislation. It is the Council's practice for information such as this to be released via our website as publications and reports as well as being advertised through public notices in "The Mercury" newspaper.
Informal requests may be made for information at the Council Offices. Generally if these requests are for simple factual material and data and there is no potential for this information to be exempt under the Right to Information Act 2009 then these requests can be dealt with on the spot without the need to make a formal application.
Some information is not released in this way, because it is not of general public interest or because it is information that the Council would need to assess against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure. Such applications are referred to as "Assessed Disclosure". In such cases a form will need to be completed - the need for this will be determined at the time of your enquiry.
Your personal information is held by the Council in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act 2004. The Personal Information Protection Act 2004 provides that an individual may request access to, or amendment of, information held by a public authority about that individual.
If you cannot find the information that you are seeking or you wish to access your personal information, please contact Council's Right to Information Officer at the Council offices.
Applications for assessed disclosure
If needed a form to assist in making an application is available from the offices.
Applications for the Clarence City Council are to be addressed to:
Right to Information Officer, Clarence City Council, P O Box 96, Rosny Park 7018
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What will we do once we have your application?
- Your application will be checked to make sure we have the information we need and that you have paid the application fee.
If the Council is not best placed to provide you with the information your application may be transferred to another public authority.
Before your application is accepted, we may need to contact you to ask you about your application in order for us to clearly understand your request.
Your application will then be assessed against the Right to Information Act 2009 and we will let you know the outcome of that process in writing.
You will be notified of the decision on your application for assessed disclosure as soon as practicable, but normally this should occur within 20 working days of the application being accepted.
If your request is complex or for a large amount of information we may ask you to give us more time.
If there is a need to consult with a third party about their business affairs or about their personal information, more time is automatically allowed for and we will let you know the outcome as soon as practicable, but no later than 40 working days - we will let you know if this is happening.
- If the application or part of the application is refused, then the reasons for the refusal to provide the information will be provided. You will have a right to seek a review of the decision. This is done by writing to:
Principal Officer, Right to Information, Department of Justice, GPO Box 825, Hobart TAS 7001
If the officer assessing your request does not get back to you in the timeframe allowed then we are taken to have refused your application and you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman. Some information on reviews by the Ombudsman can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman's website at www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au/
Right to Information Manual and Guidelines
The Manual and Guidelines will provide you with a little more detail on making requests under the Right to Information Act 2009 and how they are processed by a public authority.
These are available on the Office of the Ombudsman's website at www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au/
Related Acts and Regulations
You can view, download and print the following Acts and Regulations made available by the Tasmanian Legislation Online website.