What is FOI?

Freedom of Information gives the public a right to access government documents, subject to some limitations. In Western Australia, under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the FOI Act), the right applies to documents held by most State government agencies (such as departments, public hospitals, public universities and State government authorities), Ministers and local government. Together, these bodies are referred to as “agencies”.

Documents accessible under the FOI Act include paper records, plans and drawings, photographs, tape recordings, films, videotapes or information stored in a computerised form.

Agencies are required to assist applicants to obtain access to documents at the lowest reasonable cost.

Anyone can also apply to have personal information about themselves in government documents amended if that information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner is an independent officer reporting direct to the WA Parliament who deals with complaints about decisions made by government agencies under the FOI Act (read more).

Access to police and medical records?

FOI Statistics 2015/16
 Access Applications 16,969 
 Outcome of Applications (%) 
  Access in full  44.9 
  Edited access  44.3 
  Docs not found/do not exist   6.6 
  Access refused  3.1 
  Access deferred  0.8 
  Access given (s.28)  0.3 
 Total  100.0 
 External reviews received 186 

Applications for external review
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