Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act (Vic) 1982 (FOI Act) gives you the legal right of access to documents in our possession.

 

Service of Legal Documents during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please serve any Court documents such as Writs, Subpoenas or Appeals involving the Roads Corporation, the Department of Transport or the Head Transport for Victoria on the Victorian Government Solicitor by emailing to [email protected].

The Victorian Government Solicitor has instructions to accept service on behalf of these entities.

How do I lodge a FOI request?

It is important to first contact the Department's FOI Unit to confirm whether a formal request for documents is required, as information may already be available in the department’s annual report or on the department’s website.

To lodge an online Freedom of Information (FOI) request, visit the Victorian Government's Freedom of Information website which outlines the steps for making a request. Select Department of Transport as the responsible agency.

Alternatively, you may wish to lodge a request to the department directly via email at [email protected] or by mail to:

Freedom of Information and Privacy Unit
Level 5, 60 Denmark Street
KEW Vic 3101

To speed up processing your request, please ensure to provide:

  • An accurate and clear description of the documents you are seeking access to. Requests must be for specific documents, not “all documents” in a broad category. A FOI request must be specific enough to allow an agency to identify documents considered relevant to a request. Where the terms of a request are vague, assistance will be provided to applicants to help determine the type of documents being sought ; and 
  • Evidence of your identity (such as a drivers licence) if the documents you seek are about your own personal affairs; or
  • Written authority if you are submitting a request on behalf of another person (such as a law firm acting on behalf of their client) along with an evidence of your client’s identity (such as a drivers licence); and
  • A cheque or money order for $29.60 payable to “VicRoads” or evidence of hardship (e.g. a copy of your current pensioner’s/healthcare concession card).

Please note that departmental staff are working remotely to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As a result, there is limited scope to respond to any requests sent to the department by surface mail – requests and payment of the application fee should be made online through the Victorian Government's Freedom of Information website.

What is the cost of lodging a request?

All FOI requests are subject to a $29.60 application fee (as at 1 July 2020).

This fee is subject to an increase on 1 July every year.

The application fee must accompany the request at the time of lodgement, otherwise the request will be invalid.

The fee may be waived in cases where payment would cause an applicant financial hardship.

Where an applicant seeks a waiver of this fee, the request should indicate the grounds on which a waiver is being sought (for example, holder of Commonwealth health care card).

Access charges may also apply once documents have been processed and a decision on access is made. Some of these charges include a 20c per A4 page photocopying charge and a $22.20 per hour search and retrieval charge.

It should be noted that, under certain circumstances, some of these charges can be waived.

What kind of information is available for request?

The FOI Act allows people to apply for access to all documents held by an agency, irrespective of the form in which the documents are stored. This includes paper and electronic documents.

Assistance in determining documents relevant to a request can be provided by the department's FOI Unit.

Are documents requested under FOI automatically released?

In assessing whether it is suitable to release documents, the FOI Officer considers whether any material requested is exempt from release under the FOI Act.

The FOI Act outlines general categories of information that are exempt.

These include information relating to the personal affairs of third parties, information provided in confidence, information which if released might endanger the lives or physical safety of individuals, cabinet documents, commercial-in-confidence documents, internal working documents which if released would be contrary to the public interest and so on. The full list of exemptions can be found in Part IV of the FOI Act. 

Who are the decision makers under the FOI Act?

Decisions are made under the FOI Act by the Secretary of the department, or by an Authorised Officer in line with arrangements made by the Secretary under section 26 of the FOI Act.

Decision-making powers and other powers affecting members of the public are found in the legislation administered by the portfolio ministers.

Acts administered by the portfolio ministers are listed in General Orders available on the Department of Premier and Cabinet website.

Where can I access information about specific areas of responsibility of the Department?

For the benefit of members of the public, the Department of Transport releases a large amount of information through online and print publishing.

The Department of Transport’s information statements made under Part II of the FOI Act provide information about the Department and its functions, and show how the Department is making information readily available to the public.

Members of the public can also call or write directly to the Department seeking information on any aspect of its operations, including unpublished material listed in appendix 16 of the Department's annual report.

The correspondence can be addressed to either the Secretary of the Department or the director of the relevant business unit. Guidance on the relevant business unit can be taken from the department's organisation chart contained in the annual report or on the department’s website

Disclosure logs

In the spirit of promoting greater openness and transparency in government, all documents disclosed under the FOI Act (with redactions) for FOI requests from members of Parliament and the media after 1 February 2016 are available to the public.

View our FOI disclosure logs here.

Contact us

To lodge a FOI request directly to the department in writing, or for information on completing and lodging a request under the FOI Act, you can contact an FOI Officer by email at:[email protected].

 

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