Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives you the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold
  • ask for information we hold about you to be corrected if it is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading, and
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

There are some documents you can access without making a Freedom of Information request because the FOI Act requires us to publish documents we use in making decisions and policy documents. You can access these documents by searching our website.

There are also some documents or parts of documents we may not grant you access to because they are exempt, or conditionally exempt, documents under the FOI Act.

Exemptions may apply to a document:

  • that affects national security, defence or international relations
  • of the Federal Cabinet
  • that affects law enforcement and public safety
  • where the secrecy rules of a law applies (for example, information collected under taxation, child support, gene technology and patent laws)
  • where legal professional privilege applies
  • that has material collected in confidence
  • whose disclosure would be in contempt of parliament of in contempt of court
  • disclosing trade secrets or commercially valuable information
  • electoral rolls and related documents
  • that is in relation to our commercial activities.

Conditional exemptions may apply to a document that has:

  • personal information that would be unreasonable to disclose
  • information about certain operations of the agency (such as an agency’s operations, audit, examination or employee management)
  • information about the deliberative processes relating to an agency or minister’s functions
  • information that could damage federal and state government relations
  • information that may damage the Australian economy
  • information about the Australian Government’s financial or property interests

Where a conditional exemption applies, IBA must decide whether releasing the document would be against the public interest.

How to make a Freedom of Information Request

Your request must:

  • be in writing addressed to IBA (by email or letter)
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide enough information about the document(s) to enable us to identify the document(s) sought
  • provide details of where notices may be sent to you (email or postal address)

Your request should be  sent to:

[email protected]

or

IBA Legal and Governance Services
Indigenous Business Australia
PO Box 650
Fyshwick ACT 2609

Fees and Charges

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests.

The most common charges are:

 

CHARGE
Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document $15.00 per hour
Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties and making deletions First five hours: Nil
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium $4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopying $0.10 per page
Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request Cost of postage or delivery

If IBA decides to impose a charge, you will be given a written estimate and the basis of the calculation. We will ask you to pay the charge before your request is processed.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced on the basis of financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you will need to explain your reasons and provide evidence.

What you can expect from us

We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will also give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about third parties, we will need to consult those parties and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

If you disagree with our decision

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights. If you are unhappy with our decision in relation to your FOI application, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or internal review decision within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, more information is available on the OAIC’s website. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. More information can be found about the Commonwealth Ombudsman on its website.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to determine who should investigate the matter and to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

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