Freedom of Information

The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) Is to give the Australian community access to information held by Australian Government agencies.

In order to do this, applicants can submit a request for access to documents the Australia Council holds, and obtain copies of those documents. However, there are certain exemptions under the FOI Act which restrict the amount of documentation released.

Your Rights

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

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  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and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

You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to internal working documents, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

Documents Available Outside The FOI Act

You can get certain information, including personal information we hold about you, without following a formal process under the FOI Act. This includes copies of applications you sent to us to obtain funding or grants.

You should also check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and FOI disclosure log to see if what you are seeking is already available.

How To Make a Request

Your 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) to assist us to process your request
  • provide an address for a reply.

You can send your request to:

The FOI Coordinator
Office of the CEO
Australia Council for the Arts
372 Elizabeth Street
Surry Hills NSW 2012

FOI requests may also be lodged by email to foi@australiacouncil.gov.au 

If you require assistance with your request, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on 02 92159157 or by email at foi@australiacouncil.gov.au 

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:

Activity Item 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
Photocopy  
$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 we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some 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 a third party, we will need to consult them 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.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
  • if we impose a charge
  • if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our 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 our decision on internal review 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. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC’s website at www.oaic.gov.au. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

More Information

If you require more information, please contact the FOI Contact Officer at foi@australiacouncil.gov.au

Certain documents that we have released under the FOI Act can be obtained at our FOI disclosure log page. Information about our Information Publication Scheme can be obtained here.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DISCLOSURE LOG

Publicly available information released following an FOI access request

The Australia Council is required by the Freedom of Information Act 1982 s11C to publish a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log lists information released in response to an FOI access request. This requirement applies from 1 May 2011.

The disclosure log requirement does not apply to:

  • personal information about any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
  • information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
  • other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be ‘unreasonable’
  • any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.

The information described in this register has been released by the Australia Council under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and is available for public access.

Date listed in log Summary of FOI request Description of information released Date information will be deleted
Other Information
15 February 2017 Correspondence  between the Australia Council and Arts Minister Mitch Fifield between 25 September 2015 and 1 December 2015.
  1. Letter (plus attachment) from the Chair of the Australia Council to Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield dated 9/10/2015
  2. Letter from the Chair of the Australia Council to Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield dated 2/11/2015
  3. Letter from  Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield to the Chair of the Australia Council dated 4/11/2015
  4. Letter from the Chair of the Australia Council to Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield dated 13/11/2015
14 February 2018


Information that is not available on a website may be obtained by writing to foi@australiacouncil.gov.au. A charge may be imposed to reimburse us for the cost incurred in copying or reproducing the information or sending it to you. There will be no charge for the time spent by us in processing the FOI request that led to this information being made available. You will be notified if any charge is payable and required to pay the charge before the information is provided.

There may be documents in the disclosure log that are currently not available in HTML or PDF format. If you are unable to read the format provided please contact foi@australiacouncil.gov.au. 

We will try to meet all reasonable requests for an alternate format of the document in a timely manner and at the lowest reasonable cost to you.

INFORMATION PUBLICATION SCHEME

IPS – Operational information

Details about our roles and functions can be found on our website.

Access to the following operational documents and matters are available for viewing and download:

  1. About Us
  2. Our structure
  3. Agency IPS plan
  4. FOI 
  5. Strategic Plan 2014 – 2019
  6. Annual Reports
  7. Funding information for applicants
  8. News
  9. Resources 
  10. Research
  11. Peer Registration
  12. Peers Manual
  13. Submissions to Government
  14. Contact Us

In addition, on occasion we release further information to the public that does not fall specifically within the provisions of subsection 8 (2) of the FOI Act. Such information can be found either though the News or Resources section or through a search of the Australia Council website. You are encouraged to regularly view our website for further up-to-date information.

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