What is the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act?
The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) is legislation that gives you the right to apply for access to documents held by government agencies such as the Shire of Capel.
These documents can be in any form – for example written materials, plans, films or copies of emails.
It is important to note that the FOI Act gives you the right to apply for access to information held by an agency. It does not guarantee that the information will ultimately be provided.
How do you apply?
Under the FOI Act, your application to apply for access to documents held by the Shire of Capel must:
- be in writing
- provide sufficient detail for us to identify relevant documents
- give an Australian address and contact details
- be lodged in person at the Shire office in Capel or posted to us
- be accompanied by a fee if relevant
If you are applying for access to your own personal information, there is no charge.
The following charges may apply for ‘non personal’ information.
- Application Fee $30.00
- Staff Time $30.00 per hour
- Copy Charges
- A4 – 40c per page
- A3 – 70c per page
- Postage & Handling As incurred
You can ask for an estimate of likely charges when you lodge your application.
What happens after you lodge your Application?
If you lodge a valid FOI application with the Shire of Capel, we are legally obliged to write to you within 45 calendar days and let you know if you will be able to access the requested information.
Remember that an FOI Application is an application for access to documents, not a guarantee of access to documents. The Shire of Capel will make every attempt to provide requested information, however there are some occasions when an agency has the right to refuse access, or provide only partial access.
These include situations where documents contain:
- personal information about other people
- information that could give you a business advantage
- information where disclosure would not be in the public interest.
If you disagree with a decision to restrict or prevent your access to documents, there are avenues of appeal. For information on these, and more detailed information about the FOI process, go to the FOI website at www.foi.wa.gov.au.