Applying for access
Requests for access to documents under Right to Information (RTI) and Information Privacy (IP) legislation exclude documents that are already available via other means.
For example, minutes of North Burnett Regional Council are readily available public documents, which can be accessed by the community. So before making a formal Right to Information application, check Council's website or contact Council about the location of information.
For documents that are not available, via other avenues of access, applications need to be made in writing by downloading and completing an application form.
The completed application form must be addressed and forwarded to:
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 390
Gayndah QLD 4625
All applications must clearly identify the specific documents requested or provide sufficient information about the documents, to enable the RTI Officer to identify the documents being sought.
To find out more about Right to Information, visit the Queensland Government website.
Fees and charges for accessing information
Access to documents that are not related to an individual's personal information will incur an application fee of $43.35 and possibly processing charges of $6.70, for each 15 minutes or part thereof, if the time spent dealing with the application is more than 5 hours.
An access charge of $0.25 will be incurred for each black and white copy of an A4 document.
No application fee or processing charges are incurred for access to documents or parts of documents that relate to an individual's personal information, but access charges may be payable. Examples of personal information are described below. However, documents which contain both personal information and non-personal information will incur an application fee and processing and access charges as detailed above.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion. Examples of personal information include:
Applying for Complaint Documents
This information is intended to assist people who were involved in a complaint and are now applying to access documents about, or arising out of, that complaint. It applies both to people who made a complaint and to people who were complained about. It does not apply to documents arising out of a workplace investigation.
Will I get access to the documents?
You are not likely to be given access to all the documents you ask for. You will likely get access to documents that contain only your personal information and to procedural documents.
Personal information of other people
Other people's personal information (such as any information which identifies the complainants) is generally considered to be contrary to the public interest to disclose and you are not likely to get access to that.
Releasing someone else's personal information (such as other people's observations, opinions, concerns or recollections) or information which infringes their right to privacy has been found to be contrary to the public interest. You may be refused access to this sort of information. Personal information of other people will include information which enables you to work out who made the complaint-it is very unlikely that you will be given access to this information.
In some circumstances it will not be possible to separate your personal information from the personal information of other people. An example of this may be a complaint containing the thoughts and feelings of the complainant about an incident or situation which you were involved in. If it is not possible to separate personal information, access to all of the personal information-yours and the other people-may be refused. This means that you may not receive a complainant's complaint letter, even where it is a complaint made against you.
Confidential sources of information
Anything that would reveal a confidential source of information which relates to the enforcement or administration of the law is exempt information. When considering complaint documents the Council may have to consider if the documents you have applied for would reveal the existence or the identity of a confidential source of information. If so, you are likely to be refused access to the information.
Prejudice the flow of information
It has also been previously decided that releasing information that could prejudice the flow of confidential information to government is contrary to the public interest. For example, where witnesses or complainants understand that the information they provide to investigators will be held in confidence and they would be less likely to provide that information in the future if it is released, that sort of information may not be disclosed.
What about accountability in conducting investigations?
There will often be a broad public interest in the Council being accountable to the public for its actions. It is necessary, however, for the facts in each case to be considered to decide whether the interest in accountability is:
In most cases, the broad general interest in accountability has not been found sufficient to outweigh the above factors against disclosure.
Information sourced from: Office of the Information Commissioner, Queensland (2013)