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Annual Report 2001-2002: Appendix 4

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Annual Report 2000-2001

Appendix 4

Freedom
of Information

The Freedom of
Information Act gives the general public legal access to government
documents.

Freedom of Information Statistics

During 2000-01,
the Commission received the following 19 requests for access to documents
under the Freedom of Information Act:

  • 17 access requests
    to documents relating to complaints; and
  • 2 related to
    administrative matters

A total of 27 applications
were processed, including the resolution of applications from 1999-2000.

Categories of documents

Documents held
by the Commission relate to:

  • administration
    matters, including personnel, recruitment, accounts, purchasing, registers,
    registry, library records and indices;
  • complaint handling
    matters, including the investigation, clarification and resolution
    of complaints;
  • legal matters,
    including legal documents, opinion, advice and representations;
  • research matters,
    including research papers in relation to complaints, existing or proposed
    legislative practices, public education, national inquiries and other
    relevant issues;
  • policy matters,
    including minutes of Commission meetings, administrative and operational
    guidelines;
  • operational
    matters, including files on formal inquiries; and
  • reference materials,
    including press clippings, survey and research materials, documents
    relating to conferences, seminars and those contained in the library.

Freedom of Information procedures

Initial inquiries
about access to Commission documents should be directed to the Freedom
of Information Officer by either telephoning (02) 9284 9600 or by writing
to:

Freedom of Information
Officer
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
GPO Box 5218
Sydney, NSW 1042

Procedures for
dealing with Freedom of Information requests are detailed in section
15 of the Freedom of Information Act. A valid request must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Be accompanied
    by a payment of $30 application fee;
  • Include the
    name and address of the person requesting the information;
  • Specify the
    documents to be accessed; and
  • Be processed
    within 30 days of receipt.

HREOC Consultancy Services
2000 - 01

During 2000 - 01
the Commission used a range of consultancy services where there was,
for example, a need for rapid access to latest technology and experience
in its application; limitations on executive time; lack of in-house
resources; the need for independent study; or a need for a change agent
or facilitator. There were 8 consultants under engagement during the
financial year and total payments of $439,780.00 were made to consultants.
A full listing of the names and amounts is available
on the Commission website.