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Process of Lodging a FOI Application

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​This page will help you to understand the process of lodging a valid freedom of information (FOI) application under the FOI Act.

Enquiries, correspondence, applications and payments may be directed to:

Manager, Freedom of Information      
Dumas House
2 Havelock Street
Tel: (08) 6552 5591      

Our Information Statement

Section 96 of the FOI Act requires government agencies to publish an annual Information Statement about the agency and the kinds of documents it holds.  The Information Statement may assist potential FOI applicants in directing their FOI application to the correct agency.  If the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's Information Statement does not list the kind of documents you are seeking, you may need to pursue your enquiries with another agency.

View the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's current Information Statement.

Access to information outside the FOI application process

Our information Statement indicates whether applications for access to information need to be made under the FOI Act, or whether they can be made outside the FOI application process. If in doubt, please don't hesitate to contact the FOI Unit.

How to apply for access to documents under the FOI Act

Section 12 of the FOI Act sets out the criteria for a valid FOI application:

"(1) The access application has to:

a. be in writing;
b. give enough information to enable the requested documents to be identified;
c. give an address in Australia to which notices under this Act can be sent;
d. give any other information or details required under the regulations; and
e. be lodged at an office of the agency with any application fee payable under the regulations."

The FOI Act recognises two kinds of requests for access to information - 'personal' information or 'non-personal' information.

The Glossary in Schedule 2 to the FOI Act defines personal information as meaning

"information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual, whether living or dead -
a) whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion; or
b) who can be identified by reference to an identification number or other identifying particular such as a fingerprint, retina print or body sample."

Fees and Charges

Personal Information

Applications for access to, and amendment of personal information are free.  Accordingly, if you would like to apply for access to information under the FOI Act for documents of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, you may do so in writing by letter, by e-mail, fax or by regular mail. 

Non-Personal Information

Applications for access to non-personal information (a request that includes information about persons other than you) must be accompanied by the $30 application fee.  Processing charges may also be applicable. 

FOI Regulations

The FOI Regulations and section 17 of the FOI Act refer to the processing charges that may be levied by agencies in dealing with FOI applications.  We will forward applicants a preliminary estimate of costs if such charges are likely to apply.

You can view or download a copy of the fees and charges payable under FOI Act:

Application Form

Requests for Amendment of Information

If you believe that 'personal information' held by an agency about you is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading, you may apply to that agency, requesting an amendment .

No fees or charges apply.

Section 46 of the FOI Act states:

"(1) The application for amendment has to -

a. be in writing;
b. give enough details to enable the document that contains the information to be identified;
c. give details of the matters in relation to which the person believes the information is inaccurate,
d. incomplete, out of date or misleading;
e. give the person's reasons for holding that belief;
f. give details of the amendment that the person wishes to have made;
g. give an address in Australia to which notices under this Act can be sent;
h. give any other information or details required under the regulations; and
i. be lodged at an office of the agency."

In making your request, please also advise us whether you would like the amendment to be made by -

1. altering information;
2. striking out or deleting information;
3. inserting information;
4. inserting a note in relation to information, or
5. in 2 or more of those ways" (section 46[2]).

Exempt Information

Schedule 1 to the FOI Act sets out various provisions under which matter may be exempt information.

Notice of Decision

If you make an FOI application to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, we provide you with a written 'Notice of Decision', in accordance with section 30 of the FOI Act, outlining our decision and the reasons for that decision.  

In accordance with section 13 of the FOI Act, we will endeavour to reply to you as soon as possible, or in any event by the 45 calendar day deadline.  You can assist us in expediting your request by ensuring that it is specific and not so large in scope that additional liaison and resources are required to deal with it within the statutory timeframe.

Right of Review

If you are dissatisfied with the decision we make in relation to your FOI request, then you are entitled to have the decision reviewed.  The FOI Act uses the term 'review' rather than 'appeal'.

Internal Review

The first review process is called 'internal review'. This is undertaken by an officer of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet who is either equal or superior in rank to the initial decision maker.

External Review

If this does not resolve the matter, then you may apply in writing to the Information Commissioner for an 'external review'.

There are no fees or charges for either internal and external reviews.


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Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.