How to gain access to information

To gain access to documents, requests must:

  • be in writing to the agency holding the information (although a letter will usually suffice, most agencies have their own printed application forms that can be used. It is also a good idea to keep a copy be kept for personal records);
  • specify that the request is made under the State Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA);
  • be accompanied by any relevant application fee (which may be waived or reduced in cases of hardship);
  • contain enough information to reasonably identify the document(s);
  • give an address in Australia to which notices can be sent; and
  • be lodged at an office of the agency.
    [Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA) s 13]

Agencies cannot refuse an application merely because it does not sufficiently identify a document. The agencies must reasonably assist applicants to provide any necessary information [Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA) s 15].

Agencies must respond within 30 days of receiving the request [s 14]. However an extension may be granted if there is a large number of documents or consultation on the release of those documents is required. If an extension is granted then the applicant has to be given written notice of this [see s 14A]. If the agency has not determined an application after this time, the agency is deemed to have refused the request [s 19(2)].

How to gain access to information  :  Last Revised: Tue Oct 21st 2014
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.
Link to sa.gov.au - find what you're looking for

© Legal Services Commission - All Rights Reserved
Funded with the support of the Governments of Australia and South Australia Website by CeRDI