Benalla Rural City - Freedom of Information
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What is Freedom of Information?
The freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you the right to access information held by state and local government agencies. The Act lets you access documents held including those about your personal affairs. Council is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and responds to requests directly related to its operations. Any person may request access to information that is held by Council. Many documents are available outside the requirements of the FOI Act such as information which is available on a public register. In these instances a request under the FOI is not necessary.
Exempt Documents
Some documents are exempts under the Act. Some of the common exemptions are:
 Documents affecting personal privacy such as names and addresses
 Documents relating to trade secrets (putting a commercial business at an unreasonable disadvantage)
 Documents of copyright status such as plans, drawings and photos
 Documents affecting legal proceedings
 Documents prepared and used for a meeting closed to the public.

How to make an FOI Request
All requests for information under the FOI Act must be made in writing by mail, email or fax and be accompanied by an application fee of $27.90. Your request must clearly describe the document(s) being sought. It must include contact details and in what form the documents are required eg copy or inspection.

The request must contain sufficient information to enable the FOI Officer to identify the documents requested. If your request relates to the correction or amendment of your own personal information held by Council, you need to specify how and why you believe the information is incorrect, incomplete, misleading or out of date and detail the amendments you wish to make.

On receipt of the request and fee, the application will be processed. Council will notify applicants of a decision within 45 days from receipt of the request. Decisions relating to the correction or amendment of your own personal information will be made within 30 days.

When you receive a decision about your request you will be advised of your rights to seek a review.

Fees and Charges
Application fee    $27.90     
Search and retrieval documents (black and white)   20 cents per A4 page     
Supervised inspection of documents    $5.20 per quarter hour or part of a quarter hour     

If charges are likely to exceed $50 you will be notified. A deposit of $25 will be required if you wish to proceed with the request.

More Information

It is recommended that you make contact with Council's FOI Officer prior to submitting a request to ensure a valid application is made. The FOI Officer can be contacted on 03 5760 2600.

External Web Links
 Freedom of Information Victoria
Benalla Rural Council
  Benalla Rural Council

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