The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) provides a legislative framework for access to documents held by Victorian public sector organisations. It is underpinned by the principles of open and accountable government and that people have the right to access information that is held about them.
The FOI Act gives you the right to request documents held by Victorian public sector organisations including Sustainability Victoria (SV).
The FOI Act gives you the right to:
Documents include those held in files or records and may include electronic mail messages in either paper or electronic format.
The FOI Act exempts some types of documents from access, including:
You can make a request for information under the FOI Act or you can authorise another person (for example a solicitor) to make a request on your behalf.
If you want someone to make a request on your behalf for your personal information, you must give them your written authorisation and this be provided to us before your request can be assessed.
Before you make a request for documents under the FOI Act, you should consider whether the documents are available in other ways, including on our website.
If you still want to access documents under the FOI Act the request must:
You can make a freedom of information (FOI) request to SV by writing to:
Freedom of Information OfficerSustainability VictoriaLevel 28, 50 Lonsdale StreetMelbourne, Victoria 3000
Or you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SV has 30 days from the time that it receives your request to notify you of its decision.
Sometimes, particularly where requests are complex or necessitate us to contact a third party, delays can occur. SV will make its best efforts to contact you and inform you of the progress of your request if there are delays.
If you believe you have been unfairly denied access to documents, you can apply for internal review of the decision by the Information Commissioner within 28 days of being notified of the decision.
For more information see the Victorian Government FOI website.
In line with SV's commitment to protecting personal information under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, you must provide evidence of your identity when you request access to documents containing personal information about you.
Evidence of your identity is best provided through the provision of a photocopy of current photo identification (ID). If you are unsure about what ID to provide, contact the FOI Officer.
The Act does not apply to privately-owned businesses.
There are two costs associated with making an FOI request:
The application fee is a fixed cost which is non-refundable. The exception is for people suffering hardship who can ask SV to waive the application fee.
Access charges relate to the costs incurred in granting access to the documents that you have requested. These costs may or may not apply depending on the nature of your request.
All fees and charges are exempt from GST.
These charges are set by Government regulations.
If you want the fee to be waived, include evidence that payment of the fee would cause you financial hardship. For example, a photocopy of your current health care card. Processing your request cannot begin if any of the required information is not supplied. If you are unsure about what to include with the request, contact the FOI Officer.