Freedom of information

Freedom of information

You can request access to documents held by the Commission under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Your rights

The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

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  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and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

A request for access to documents can be refused if they are exempt. Documents may be exempt if, for example, they relate to national security, contain material obtained in confidence or are subject to legal professional privilege, are Cabinet documents or contain personal information about another person.

You may wish to access our FOI Disclosure log to see if the information you are seeking has already been made available.

Documents available outside the FOI Act

In some circumstances you can request access to information, including personal information we hold about you, without following a formal process under the FOI Act.

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 an FOI request

Applications for access to documents must:

  • be in writing;
  • state that the application is made under the FOI Act;
  • provide enough information concerning the documents sought as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the National Skills Commission to identify them; and
  • give details of how notices may be sent to the applicant (for example, a postal or email address).

You can send your request:

By post

FOI Contact Officer
National Skills Commission
Department of Education, Skills and Employment  
GPO Box 9880 

CANBERRA ACT 2601

By email foi@skillscommission.gov.au

If you require assistance with your request, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on 02 6240 0393 or by email at foi@skillscommission.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 acknowledge your request within 14 days of receipt. If a decision is made to impose a charge, we will give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. A decision on a request will be provided within 30 days of receiving a valid request unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we may 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 a decision about your FOI request is made, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • decisions where we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or we defer giving you access
  • decisions where we impose a charge
  • decisions where 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. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website.

FOI 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 Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website

More information

If you require assistance with your request, please contact 02 6240 0393 or email foi@skillscommission.gov.au