Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act extends as far as possible the right of the community to access information in the possession of La Trobe University by:

  • Making available to the public information about the operations of La Trobe; and
  • Creating a general right of access to information held in the possession of La Trobe.

Documents available for access

Types of documents you can request from La Trobe are:

  • Documents created by the University;
  • Documents supplied to the University by an external organisation or individual;
  • Documents relating to your own personal affairs, regardless of the age of the documents; and
  • Documents of a non-personal nature which are not older than 5 July 1978.

Documents not available for access

Where exemptions apply to documents, the information is not required to be released, whether it is the whole document or part of the document. The types of documents exempted include:

  • Cabinet documents
  • Documents containing matter communicated by any other State
  • Documents affecting national security, defence or international relations
  • Internal working documents
  • Law enforcement documents
  • Documents affecting legal proceedings
  • Documents affecting personal privacy
  • Documents relating to trade secrets etc.
  • Documents containing material obtained in confidence

Making a request

Requests should be made in writing to:

Freedom of Information Officer
La Trobe University
Bundoora VIC 3086

Your written request must be clear and concise. Your request must define with as much detail as possible the documents sought. The FOI Officer receiving your request should have a clear understanding as to the documents you are requesting within your written request.

All requests must be accompanied with an application fee either as a cheque or money order made payable to La Trobe University. As of 1 July 2017 the application fee is $28.40.

Other costs

In addition to the application fee of $28.40, the FOI Act also allows for access charges to be applied. Charges can apply for searching, retrieving and copying documents and supervising an inspection of documents. Costs that can apply include:

  • Search and retrieval - $21.30 per hour
  • Supervision (inspection) - $5.00 per 15 minutes
  • Photocopying - $0.20 per A4 page

These charges can be waived if the request is a routine request for access to a document(s) or that the document(s) contains information relating to the personal affairs of the applicant.

What happens when I make a request?

Once your request has been received the FOI Officer will send you a letter acknowledging your application. Your request will then be circulated to relevant areas of the University and documentation will be compiled. The FOI Officer will then make a decision on access to the documentation and notify you of that decision within the statutory 45 days of receiving your application.

Requirements of staff

All FOI requests should be directed to the FOI Officer for processing. All staff members are required under the FOI Act 1982 to provide all existing documentation as requested by the FOI Officer within the allocated time frame.

The FOI Officer has the responsibility of making the decision as to which documentation will be released and withheld after collecting all documentation relating to the request.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with the decision?

If you are not happy with the decision made by the FOI Officer you have the right to seek review from the FOI Commissioner. This must be done in writing and within 28 days of receiving the decision and should be addressed to:

FOI Commissioner
PO Box 24274
Melbourne Vic 3001

T: 1300 842 364
E: enquiries@foicommissioner.vic.gov.au
W: www.foicommissioner.vic.gov.au

You do have the right to appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 60 days of receiving the Internal Review decision.

Further information

Please contact the Freedom of Information Officer if you have any questions concerning Freedom of Information at La Trobe.