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AAFCANS

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Introduction

This page is about accessing information that AAFCANS holds.

A range of information about AAFCANS is available for public access.  Documents may be formally requested under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Alternatively AAFCANS may provide certain information if it is requested through the administrative access scheme as outlined below.

Information Publication Scheme

As required by the FOI Act, AAFCANS has an Information Publication Scheme entry on our website that provides
information about our structure, functions, appointments, annual reports, consultation arrangements, FOI officer,
information we routinely release following FOI requests and information we routinely provide to Parliament.

Administrative Access to Information

FOI disclosure log
Information we have release in response to requests made under the FOI Act is listed in our FOI disclosure log.

Requesting information or documents
Some basic requests for information can be dealt with informally and quickly; a phone call or email may be all that is required.  An applicant can contact our head office or enquiries email to informally request access to AAFCANS information.  An applicant also has the right to make an FOI request for documents containing information.

Freedom of information requests to AAFCANS

Your rights
The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

  • Access copies of documents (except exempt documents) that AAFCANS holds
  • Ask for information AAFCANS holds about an applicant to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • Seek a review of our decision not to allow an applicant access to a document or not to amend a personal record.

An applicant can ask to see any document that AAFCANS holds.  Access may be refused to some documents or parts of documents that are exempt.  Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

How to make an FOI request
A request must:

  • Be in writing
  • State that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • Provide information about the document/s being sought so that AAFCANS can identify the requested document and process the request
  • Provide an address for reply
  • Not include documents that are publicly available

Requests can be sent by:

  • Email: FOI@aafcans.gov.au
  • Mail: Managing Director, AAFCANS, Building E11, Lavarack Pde, Enoggera, Qld, 4051

AAFCANS must comply in full with the Privacy Act 1988.  This may result in blocks of information being redacted from the final document.

The FOI request must be sent to the specified address options (above). If sent to the email address of a staff member, this will not meet the FOI requirements.

Fees and charges
There is no charge for a request for access to documents containing only personal information.  AAFCANS may impose a charge for processing the request; the cost is to be communicated to the applicant prior to fulfilling the request.

Timeframe
An applicant will be advised that AAFCANS have received their request within 14 days.  An estimate of applicable charges will be advised at the same time.  A decision will be advised within 30 days unless there has been a time extension.  Time extensions may be requested if the request is complex or requires input from a third party or contains information about a third party.

If access is refused
An applicant can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • If AAFCANS refuse to give access to all or part of a document, or if we defer giving access
  • If we impose a charge
  • If we refuse to change or annotate information about an applicant that is claimed to be incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with our decision to provide to an applicant documents that contain information about them can also ask for a review of AAFCANS decision.

Internal review
If you disagree with our decision on your FOI request to AAFCANS, you have the right to apply for an internal review of the decision.  An internal review will be conducted by another member of our staff who did not make the original decision.
If you wish to apply for an internal review, you must do so in writing within 30 days of receiving notice of our decision.  There is no application fee for internal review.

Information Commissioner review of AAFCANS decisions
If you disagree with our decision on your FOI request, you may request a review of the decision by the Australian Information Commissioner even if you have not applied for internal review.

Complaints
If you are not satisfied with the way that we have handled your FOI request, you can complain to AAFCANS, the Information Commissioner or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Applications for internal review can be submitted to:

AAFCANS
Building 11, Lavarack Pde

Gallipoli Barracks
Enoggera  Q 4051

Or you may send your application or complaint by email to enquiries@aafcans.gov.au .

Consultation Process

Details of our consultation arrangements for members of the public, including how and to whom those comments may be made ~ AAFCANS do not create policies that impact the public and therefore do not seek public consultation