Freedom of Information (FOI)

The ACT Freedom of Information Act 1989 (the Act) gives individuals the legal right to:

  • access documents held by ACT Ministers and their directorates;
  • ask for personal information to be changed if it is incomplete, out-of-date, incorrect or misleading; and
  • appeal against a decision to refuse access to a document or amend or annotate a personal record.

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Freedom of Information Requests

Documents available without an FOI access application

The Directorate may be able to give you the documents you seek without requiring you to submit a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) application. Sometimes seeking access through other ways can get you the information you want more quickly or at a lower cost. Some documents can be provided through administrative access, and others such as those containing personal information can be provided to the individual concerned. For example, current or former employees can ask to access their personnel records. You should also check if the information you seek is available on ACT Government Publications. Documents available for purchase cannot be requested through the FOI process.

You are encouraged to contact the Directorate before resorting to the more formal FOI process.

Each ACT Government directorate is responsible for responding to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that relate to their functions or roles. Before making a request for access to documents, you should first approach the directorate you think may hold the documents relevant to your request. Each directorate has an FOI officer who can assist you in making your request.

How to make an FOI application to access CMTEDD documents

Note: From 1 July 2017 new structural arrangements exist to deliver the ACT Government's land related activities. FOI requests related to the former Land Development Agency’s (LDA) documents, and the new City Renewal Authority (CRA) or Suburban Land Agency (SLA) should be submitted to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD).

Requests can be made by completing the Online Application Form or by emailing, posting, faxing or delivering your request to the FOI Coordinator.

The request should:

  • identify the document(s) sought;
  • provide as much information as possible about the document(s) requested to assist in processing the request (for example the date the documents were created, or describe in detail the subject matter in which you are interested); and
  • provide your contact details - a postal or email address is required. You may also wish to provide a telephone number so we can call you if we need to discuss your request.

The FOI Coordinator:

Email

Post

Fax

Deliver

CMTEDDfoi@act.gov.auGPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
+61 2 6207 5886Canberra Nara Centre
1 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA ACT

Further information on FOI processes is available in the Directorate's FOI Guidance Sheet:

or you can contact the FOI Coordinator, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate by phone: +61 2 6207 5883  or +61 2 6207 8175.

Exemptions

The FOI Act sets out certain types of documents which may not be accessible (called exempt documents). Exemptions are generally used to protect essential public interests, confidential matters or the private or business affairs of others.

If the Directorate decides not to grant access to the documents requested, it will provide written reasons for the decision and advise you (the applicant) of your rights of appeal.

If you are unhappy with the initial decision you may:

  • request the Directorate reconsider its initial decision (this is known as an internal review);
  • seek an independent review of the decision by the ACT Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal (ACAT review) if you are not satisfied after the Directorate has conducted an internal review;
  • complain to the Ombudsman about the Directorate's decision or action (Ombudsman review); and
  • appeal if the Directorate does not provide reasons for the decisions made on the request or there are delays in informing you.

Charges

There is no application fee for FOI requests to ACT Government agencies, but processing charges may apply. In order to minimise any charges, please consult with the FOI Coordinator to be sure that you are requesting only the documents you really need.

If you are advised that charges will be imposed, you are able to seek the remission of processing charges on the grounds of personal affairs, financial hardship or public interest.

For applicants who believe that charges should be waived on the grounds of public interest, guidelines are available at the Justice and Community Safety website img-icn-extlink

Freedom of Information Online

As part of the ACT Government's commitment to Open Government, all written documents released under the FOI Act will be available for online access by the public. Exceptions to this are documents that are exempt for privacy, commercial confidentiality or copyright reasons. The information will be made available on the Open Government website

Full details of the Online FOI Publication Policy are available at Freedom of Information Online

Section 7 - Directorate Organisation, Functions and Decision-Making

Section 7 of the Act requires directorates to provide a public statement about the structure and functions of the Directorate and public participation in decision-making processes.

Section 8 - Directorate Publications and Manuals

Section 8 of the Act requires the principal officer to prepare and make available each year a statement listing all publicly accessible documents that are used by the Directorate in making decisions under a legislative scheme.

CMTEDD has a large amount of publications available around the many functions within the Directorate. Many of these documents can be found on this website or you can contact us by emailing CMTEDDFOI@act.gov.au or phoning (02) 6207 8175.

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