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Annual Report 2008-2009: Appendix 4

Appendix 4:
Freedom of Information

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The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) gives the general public legal
access to government documents.

Freedom of
Information statistics

During 2008-09, the Commission received 13 initial requests for access to
documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The Commission was also asked to
conduct an internal review of one of those decisions.

Of the 13 initial requests for information, ten were brought by individuals
or organisations seeking access to documents relating to themselves.

A total of ten applications and one internal review were processed in this
financial year.

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
  • 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
Australian Human Rights Commission
GPO
Box 5218
Sydney, NSW 2001

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 $30 application fee
  • include the name and address of the person requesting
    the
    information
  • specify the documents to which access is
    sought.

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