How much does it cost?
No application fee or charges apply if you are seeking personal information that is just about you (e.g. your medical records, details of employment, etc). However, if your application is just for your personal information, the agency is entitled to delete all other information from the requested documents (e.g. the names of doctors or co-workers).
If you wish to access information that is not just about yourself, you will need to pay a $30 application fee. In such a case, an agency may also impose other charges but only as set out in Schedule 1 to the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993. Those charges are:
- $30 per hour of staff time for dealing with an application. (Agencies cannot charge for locating the documents within the scope of your request.)
- $30 per hour for supervision by staff when access is given to inspect documents; or the time taken by staff to prepare a transcript from a tape or make photocopies.
- The actual cost incurred by the agency for preparing a copy of a tape, film or computerised information, or arranging delivery, packaging and postage of documents.
- 20 cents per photocopy.
There are no application fees or charges for internal or external reviews.
Estimate of charges
You can ask the agency for an estimate of charges when lodging your access application. If the charges are likely to exceed $25, the agency must give you an estimate of charges and ask whether you want to proceed with the application (section 17).
You must notify the agency within 30 days of your intention to proceed. In some instances, the agency may require an advance deposit. If you are financially disadvantaged, advise the agency as a 25% reduction of charges may apply.
If you do not respond to an agency’s estimate of charges or its requirement to pay a deposit within 30 days, the agency is entitled to conclude that you have withdrawn your access application (section 19).
You can apply for review of an agency’s decision to impose a charge or require a deposit.