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External Scrutiny

Freedom of information

Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) requires Commonwealth Government agencies to make available information about their organisation, functions and operations, and about rules and practices used in making decisions that affect members of the public.

How to get information

Under Section 15 of the FOI Act, any person is entitled to apply for access to documents that fall within its scope. If you need further information or wish to lodge a formal request for information under the FOI Act, please contact:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Department of Transport and Regional Services
GPO Box 594
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: (02) 6274 7844
Fax: (02) 6274 6775
Email: foi@dotars.gov.au

A request under the FOI Act must be in writing (email is acceptable), accompanied by a $30 application fee, and stating an address in Australia to which notices under the FOI Act can be sent. In certain instances the fee is not required or can be remitted. For a quick response, provide as much information as possible about the document(s) you are seeking. It is advisable to include a telephone number in case clarification of your request is necessary.

For the purposes of the FOI Act, the records of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics and the administrations of Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island are records of the Department.

Table 9: Freedom of information statistics, 200102

Requests received No.
On hand at 1 July 2001
15
Received 1 July 2001 - 30 June 2002
83
Response time (days)
0-30
14
31-60
31
61-90
6
91+
2
Withdrawn
25
On hand at 30 June 2002
20

Comments by the Ombudsman

During 200102 the Ombudsman received 40 complaints concerning the Departments actions. Of those, 36 complaints were addressed during the year with 48 separate issues identified. The Ombudsmans Office exercised its discretion not to investigate in 62.5 per cent of issues. Of the 18 issues investigated, the Ombudsmans Office found an arguable agency defect in four cases. There were no formal reports to the Minister under the provisions of the Ombudsman Act 1976.

The Department received no complaints under the Privacy Act 1988 in 200102.