The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives members of the community a right to:
- access copies of documents (except certain exempt documents) CFA hold
- ask for information CFA hold about you to be changed or annotates if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
- seek a review of CFA's decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.
You can ask for any document that CFA hold. CFA can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to legal professional privilage, law enforcement investigations, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.
How to make a request:
Your request must:
- be in writing
- be accompanied by the application fee of $27.90 as of 1 July 2016
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
- provide information about the document(s) to assist CFA to process your request
- provide an address for reply.
Your letter should set out clearly the document(s) you require from CFA, as well as providing sufficient detail to enable the document(s) you are seeking to be identified.
If you are an unrepresented applicant you can use the CFA FOI request form (DOC 610k).
If you are a solicitor you can use the CFA Represented FOI request form (DOC 613k) designed for solicitors, law firms, unions and other parties representing FOI applicants.
The request should be sent to the FOI Officer at:
Freedom of Information Officer
8 Lakeside Drive
BURWOOD EAST VIC 3151
Telephone: (61 3) 9262 8512
What happens to your request?
Once CFA has received your valid FOI request and application fee, CFA must respond to you in writing as soon as practicable but not later than 45 days outlining its decision on your request.
If CFA refuses you access to the documents sought, you can appeal to the Freedom of Information Commissioner for a review of the decision. You must do so within 28 days of the date the decision was sent to you. The FOI Commissioner has 30 days to conduct its review, unless the applicant agrees to an extended period in writing. The lodgement of a request for a review is not subject to any fees or costs. For further information see www.foicommissioner.vic.gov.au
If you wish to appeal further to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal you must do so within 60 days of the date you were notified of the FOI Commissioner's decision.
Need more information?
Further information regarding Freedom of Information can be obtained from the Department of Justice and Regulation Freedom of Information Online website at www.foi.vic.gov.au.