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).
How to make a Freedom of Information (FoI) request
There are two ways to make an FoI request:
1. Fill out a Request for Access to Information (FoI) Form and return to:
Freedom of Information Officer
City of Greater Dandenong
PO Box 200
DANDENONG VIC 3175
2. Email your FoI request to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
- 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 Freedom of Information Victoria for up to date information on the application fee and access charges.
Responding to FoI requests
Council must respond to a request within 30 days of receiving it. This time frame may be extended if further clarification, consultation or access charges are required. 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.
Prescribed Documents available for public inspection under the Local Government (General) Regulations 2015
In addition to information made available under the FOI Act, Council is also required to make available for public inspection Prescribed Documents in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989 and Local Government (General) Regulations 2015 – Regulation 12.
City of Greater Dandenong Freedom of Information Part II Statement
Council's Part II Statement is currently being reviewed and updated in accordance with the Public Transparency Policy required by 1 September 2020 under the Local Government Act 2020.
For queries relating to the Part II Statement, please contact council's Governance Department.
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner is an independent regulator with combined oversight of information access, information privacy, and data protection.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), the public have a right to request access to documents held by Victoria public sector agencies.
For more information and to watch a video on how to make an Freedom of Information request in Victoria, visit the Office of the Victorian Information Commission.