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.
We collect and hold information from a variety of sources to enable us to deliver our services. We routinely make information available to assist the public in understanding what it is we do and how we do it. We also publish reports and information required under legislation. It is our 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 we 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.
Applications for assessed disclosure
To make an application for assessed disclosure, an application form is available from council by contacting 03 6217 9500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are to be addressed to Manager Governance, Clarence City Council, PO Box 96, Rosny Park 7018 or emailed email@example.com.
The minimum information you will be required to provide on the application form for assessed disclosure is:
- Your name.
- Your postal or email address to be used for communication on matters relating to the application.
- Your contact details for business hours.
- General subject matter of your application.
- Details of the information you are seeking, including all relevant dates and time periods that may relate to the information being sought, if they are known to you.
- Details of any efforts you have made to find the information from any other publicly available source.
- If you are seeking personal information, proof of your identity.
- The application will need to be signed and dated by you.
Any application will need to be accompanied by the applicable application fee. The fee is prescribed under legislation and indexed annually. As of 1 July 2023, the application fee is $44.50.
There are select circumstances where the application fee may be waived. These circumstances are for financial hardship, Parliamentarians, journalists and if the information is in the public interest or benefit. Proof of any of these grounds must be included in the application and will be subject to approval.
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 we are 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 2009and 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.
If you cannot find the information that you are seeking or you wish to access your personal information, please contact us on 03 6217 9500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.