Freedom of Information 

The Shire of York is an open and accountable Local Government and whenever possible will make documents available for public inspection outside of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1992. The public can view a variety of Shire publications at the Shire Office at 1 Joaquina Street York, or online at the Shire's website. 

 Requests for information that is not otherwise available to the public will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1992.

 APPLYING FOR DOCUMENTS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1992 gives people the right of access to documents held by Ministers, State Government departments, Local Governments and other statutory authorities subject to some limitations. These bodies are called agencies.

People have the right to apply for access to the documents of an agency or a local government. This right is not affected by any reasons the person has for wishing to obtain access or the local government's belief as to what the reasons are for wishing to obtain access.  

However, you cannot apply to access documents under the FOI Act if those documents are available for purchase or free distribution to the public or available for inspection under legislation.

The FOI Act also provides that certain documents or information are exempt. The exemptions in the FOI Act protect some documents from disclosure because their release would have an adverse effect on the private and business interests of individuals or would hinder the proper functioning of government.

 Sometimes access to only part of a document will be provided if it contains information considered to be exempt.

 Lodging a Freedom of Information Request

Application forms are available from the Shire Administration Office, can be downloaded or completed online.

 It is not mandatory to use the application form, however a valid application must be in writing and:

  • Provide an Australian address for correspondence
  • Be accompanied by the prescribed application fee if the document request is for non-personal information. The application fee, set under the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993, is currently $30.
  • Provide enough information to enable the requested document to be identified.

 Acknowledgement of Applications

Applications will be acknowledged in writing, within five (5) working days. Your application will be dealt with as soon as possible after receiving your valid application.

Within 45 days, applicants will be given a written Notice of Decision. This notice will include the following information:

  • the date when the decision was made.
  • the name and designation of the employee who made the decision.
  • the reason why a document is considered exempt or why access is given to an edited document.
  • information on the right of review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

 Freedom of Information Charges

Fees and charges are set out in the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information (information that is not personal information about the applicant) all charges are discretionary. The fees and charges are as follows:

Application - personal information about the applicant

Free of charge

Application Fee non-personal information

$30

Charge for time taken by staff dealing with the application

$30/hour or pro-rata

Charge for access time supervised by staff

$30/hour or pro-rata

Charge for photocopying - staff time

$30/hour or pro-rata

Charge for photocopying - per copy

$0.20

Charge for transcribing from tape, film or computer

$30/hour or pro-rata

Charge for duplicating a tape, file or computer information

At cost

Charge for delivery, packaging and postage

At cost

Deposits

 

Advanced deposit may be required of the estimated charges

25%

 

An estimate of charges will be provided if the cost is expected to exceed $25.00. For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, any charges are reduced by 25%.

Refusal of Access

There are a number of reasons why access to information may be denied.  In the event applicants are unhappy with the decision, they can:

  • Request in writing an internal review, by the Chief Executive Officer. 
  • If you are dissatisfied with the Chief Executive Officer's decision, you can apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review.

Related Links

FOI Application Form

Online FOI Application Form

Fees & Charges (Regulated)

Internal Review Rights

External Review Application

Freedom of Information Statement

Third parties and their rights

Contact

Shire of York

1 Joaquina Street (PO Box 22)

YORK WA 6302

08 9641 0500

records@york.wa.gov.au

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following:

The Office of the Information Commissioner

Albert Facey House

469 Wellington Street

PERTH WA 6000

Telephone: 6551 7888

Country WA Callers: 1800 621 244 (toll free)

Facsimile: 6551 788

Email: info@foi.wa.gov.au

Internet: www.foi.wa.gov.au