Freedom of Information (FOI) gives you the right to apply for access to government information held by this agency. It is about enhancing government accountability and participation in our democratic system of government. Who the person is or why they are requesting the information does not affect this right.
Generally, much information is already available without a formal FOI request. However, some documents may contain “exempt material” as defined in the Information Act and as such may not be available for public release.
Government information means records required to be kept by the Department as evidence of its activities and to support its current business. It may include hard-copy records, electronic records, computer records, audio tapes, video tapes and CDs. It may include personal information about people and information about private businesses. Applications are limited to records held by the Department.
It does not cover knowledge or views held by staff unless they have been recorded. It does not cover documents that once existed but may have been destroyed.
A person also has a right to access his/her personal information, however proof of ID must be provided.
Information held by DME is identified in the Statement of Information.
A formal application needs to be submitted in writing either using the Department's Request to Access Government/Personal Information or by letter or email. The Act requires you to provide proof of identity when lodging applications sucsh as a driver's icence, passport or birth certificate. Applications by email should be accompanied by a photocopy of one of these means of identification if you are requesting personal information.
For an application to be accepted it must:
• be in writing
• Specify the name of applicant
• Provide contact details including an address to which correspondence can be sent regarding the application
• Provide sufficient details to identify the information requested
• Provide identification to satisfy the organisation as to your identity and
• Include payment of application fee (for government information requests only)
A fee of $30 is required to lodge an application for Government information only. EFTPOS facilities are available at the Territory Business Centres. Applications by mail should be accompanied by a cheque or money order. There is no application fee when requesting personal information only.
If you disagree with DME’s decision on your application, you are able to request that the decision be reviewed by submitting a request for internal review of a decision. The review will be undertaken by a departmental officer who was not the person who made the decision on your first application.
The Act provides for an appeal to the Information Commissioner, Brenda Monaghan, where an applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of a review. Should you wish to raise an issue of concern with the Office of the Information Commissioner, please contact the office on 08 8999 1500 or freecall 1800 005 610 or via the website at www.infocomm.nt.gov.au/