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FOI

Freedom of Information  

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives any person the right to: 

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) held by us 
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading 
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record. 

You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt or otherwise not disclosable under the FOI Act.  Exempt documents may include those documents containing material obtained in confidence and or other matters set out in the FOI Act. 

You should also check the information we have published proactively on the CEFC website, under our Information Publication Scheme, and through the CEFC FOI Disclosure Log to see if what you are seeking is already publicly available. 

 

How to make a request

Your request must: 

  • be in writing 
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act 
  • provide information about the document(s) to assist us to process your request or, in the case of a request to amend or annotate personal records, details of the information that is claimed to be incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading 
  • provide an address for the purposes of our reply. 


Where to send your request

For assistance in accessing information held by the CEFC, please email the CEFC FOI Officer: 

foirequest@cefc.com.au 

 

FOI fees and charges 

There is no application fee for an FOI access request. There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. 

The most common charges are stipulated in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019.

Activity item

Charge

Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document 

$15.00 per hour

Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, making deletions, or notifying the applicant of any interim or final decision on the request 

First five hours: Nil

Subsequent hours: $20 per hour

Electronic production: provision of information not available in a discrete form in a document by using a computer or other equipment ordinarily used for retrieving or collating stored information 

An amount not exceeding the actual cost incurred in producing a document or copy 

Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, a document written in shorthand or similar codified form 

$4.40 per page of transcript 

Photocopying: a photocopy of a written document 

 $0.10 per page 

Other copies: a copy of a written document other than a photocopy 

$4.40 per page 

Replay: replaying a sound or film tape or other audio or visual recording

An amount not exceeding the actual cost incurred in replaying 

Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing of an audio or visual recording at our premises 

$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof) 

Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request 

Cost of postage or delivery 

 

CEFC approach to FOI fees and charges 

The CEFC adheres to the spirit of the FOI Act in promoting public access to information at the lowest reasonable cost. When taking into account cost recovery subject to the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019 the CEFC looks to waive charges in certain circumstances. See table.  

If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $25.00 and $100.00, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20.00, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100.00, we may ask you to pay a 25 per cent deposit before we process your request. 

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence. 

If the Applicant is

Then the following charging regime applies

A for profit or government entity (including a member or representative of that entity, and an individual acting for that entity in a professional or voluntary capacity)  

An estimate based on cost recovery subject to the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019 

A not for profit entity (including a member or representative of that entity, and an individual acting for that entity in a professional or voluntary capacity) 

An estimate based on cost recovery, subject to the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019, which can be reduced at the discretion of the CEFC CEO in whole or in part

An individual not in the above categories, including a parliamentarian or their office acting in an official capacity. 

For the first application: Free 

For each application thereafter: An estimate based on cost recovery, subject to the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019, which can be reduced at the discretion of the CEFC CEO in whole or in part. 

 

What you can expect from us

We will advise you within 14 days that we have received your request.  We will also give you an estimate of the charges that may apply to your request.  We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by a further 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days or apply to the Australian Information Commissioner for an appropriate extension if your request is complex or voluminous. 

 

If you disagree with our decision

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and outlining your review and appeal rights. 

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed: 

  • where we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document, or if we defer giving you access 
  • where we impose a charge 
  • where we refuse to change or annotate information about you that your claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading. 

A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed. 

 

Internal review 

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer from our organisation. We will advise you of the result of the internal review within 30 days of receiving your request. 

 

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances.  More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website:  www.oaic.gov.au

 

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your FOI or IPS request, you can complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman who may investigate our actions. If you wish to make an FOI or IPS complaint, please contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman: www.ombudsman.gov.au  

 

Contact us

If you require further information or assistance, please email the CEFC FOI Officer: 

foirequest@cefc.com.au