What is “Freedom of Information”?
The Victorian Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request information held by Kerang District Health. The Act gives you;
- The right to access documents about your personal affairs and the activities of Kerang District Health; and
- The right to request that incorrect or misleading information held by Kerang District health about you be removed or amended.
What information is available?
You have a right to apply for access to documents that are held by Kerang District Health. This includes;
- Documents created by Kerang District Health
- Documents supplied to Kerang District Health by an external organization or individual.
You can apply for access to:
- Documents about your own personal affairs, regardless of the age of the documents.
- Documents relating to another person’s personal affairs, where conditions are met.
- Documents of a non-personal nature, not older than 5th July 1978.
What information is not available?
Not all information is automatically available.
The Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to refuse access to certain documents or information. These documents or information are often called “exempt” documents.
In some cases you may be refused access to an entire document. Alternatively, you may be given access to a document with exempt information deleted.
Documents that you may not be able to access include;
- Some internal working documents
- Documents covered by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice.
- Documents containing personal information about other people.
- Documents provided to Kerang Distinct Health in confidence.
- Documents containing information provided to Kerang District Health by a business.
- Documents which are covered by security provisions in other legislation.
This should not deter you from asking for access as each document is assessed on its merits before a decision is made.
How to apply—make a request
Applications must be made in writing and can be made by completing the application form. The application should include a legible photocopy of your photo identification that shows your signature (e.g. Driver’s license, Passport), as well as the application fee. All of these requirements will ensure your request is valid and can be processed in a timely manner.
If you wish to request another person’s information, that person’s written and signed authority or documentation which proves guardianship or Power of Attorney must be supplied with the application form.
If the person is deceased, the Legal Representative (executor of Will or administrator of estate) or Senior Next of Kin’s written and signed authority must be provided with the application.
For persons between 16 and 18 years of age, it is preferable that the person apply for access to their own record. If this is not possible, written and signed authority from the person must be supplied with the application. If there are any Family Court Orders in place, a copy of the order should be provided with the application.
You can authorise an organization (eg. Solicitor, Police) to make a request on your behalf. For someone to make a request on your behalf for your personal information, you must give them your written authorisation.
Once we have received your request and payment of fees the Freedom of Information officer will review all the information you are requesting access to. When your request has been processed you will be sent a letter with our decision to either;
- Release all documents you requested.
- Release part of the documents you requested.
- Release none of the documents you requested.
The Freedom of Information Act requires us to complete your request within 30 days from the date received.
This time limit only applies if your request is sufficiently clear for the Freedom of Information Officer to process it and the application fee has been paid.
If you are not happy with the decision:
If you are unhappy with the decision made by the Freedom of Information Officer you can ask for an internal review by writing to the Chief Executive Officer within 28 days of receiving the decision. If the decision was made by the Chief Executive Officer you would need to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision. Within 60 days of receiving the internal review decision.
For further information:
Department of Justice Freedom of Information Website
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
The application form must be accompanied by:
- $31.80 (non refundable) application fee,
- A photocopy of a form of identification which has a photograph eg. Drivers licence
- Supporting documentation if you are applying for another persons information.
This form must be accompanied by:
- Application fee $31.80
- Search fee of $20 or part there of per hour
- Photocopying charge of 20 cents per A4 page
- Viewing charge of $5 per 15 minutes (if applicable)
- Date & time of birth $10
Address your application to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Kerang District Health
PO Box 179
Or email to: [email protected]
Please click on the link below to access the Freedom of Information request form:
Please return your FOI Application form with a cheque or money order of $31.80 made payable to Kerang District Health along with supporting documentation.