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Freedom of Information


The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives the public a legal right to see Council documents created after 1 January 1989 and also any personal documents relating to individuals (regardless of how long they have been held).


Making a Freedom of Information (FoI) request

There are two ways to make an FoI request:

  • Fill out a Request for Access to Information (FoI) form (Word - 261KB), and return to:
    Freedom of Information Officer
    City of Greater Dandenong
    PO Box 200
    DANDENONG VIC 3175
  • Email your FoI request to council@cgd.vic.gov.au, ensuring that you state:
    - that you are making a request under the Freedom of Information Act
    - which documents are required (please be as specific as possible)
    - what type of access you require (to obtain copies forwarded via mail or to view via inspection)

What you can access

You have a right to apply for access to documents that are held by Council in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. 

This includes:

  • Documents created by Council
  • Documents supplied to Council by external organisations or individuals

You can apply for access to:

  • Documents about your personal affairs, regardless of the age of the document
  • Documents of a non-personal nature held by Council not older than 1 January 1989

What you cannot access

Not all documents are automatically available.

The Freedom of Information Act allows Council to refuse access to certain documents or information.  These documents or information are often called ‘exempt’ documents.

In some cases you may be refused access to an entire document and in some cases you may be given access to a document with exempt information deleted.

Under the Freedom of Information Act you may not be able to access:

  • Cabinet documents
  • Some internal working documents
  • Documents covered by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice
  • Documents containing personal information about other people, (including names , address or other contact details)
  • Documents containing information provided to Council in confidence
  • Documents containing information provided to Council by a business
  • Documents which are covered by secrecy provisions in other legislations

This information should not deter you from asking for access as each document is assessed on its own merits before a decision is made. 

Costs associated with FoI requests

Please note the following fees and charges for processing a 'request for access to information (FoI)' request. All fees are GST free. Some fees and charges may be waived due to financial difficulty, if the request is routine or if the request is in the public's interest.

All FoI fees are determined by the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulation 1993. Other charges may apply - go to www.foi.vic.gov.au for up to date information on the application fee and access charges.

Request

2017-18 fees

FoI application fee

$28.40

FoI photocopying fee

$0.20 per A4 black & white page

FoI search fee

1 hours = $21.30; 2 hours = $42.70; 3 hours = $64.00 (or part of an hour)

FoI supervision charges

$21.30 per hour to be calculated per quarter hour or part of a quarter hour.
(eg. Up to 15 minutes = $5.30; 15-30 minutes = $10.70; 30-45 minutes = $16.00; 45 minutes-1 hour = $21.30)


Responding to FoI requests

Council must respond to a request within 45 days of receiving it. Sometimes a request is refused to protect personal privacy or for other special reasons. If a request is refused, applicant has up to 28 days to appeal.


Documents available for public inspection

In addition to documents made available for public inspection under Section 11 of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2004, Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) (Part II Statement) requires Council to make certain documents available for inspection and purchase. This applies to documents that are provided by Council for the use or guidance of Council or its officers in:

  • making decisions/recommendations
  • providing advice to persons outside Council with respect to rights, privileges, benefits, obligations, penalties

Documents available publically can be found in the Council Documents section of this website. If searching for a specific topic, more thorough results may be obtained by using the search facility on this website or by contacting Council.


Further information

Freedom of Information frequently asked questions (PDF - 28KB)

Freedom of Information policy (PDF - 39.5KB)