Making a formal request for information

Making an RTI or IP application

Before we can process your Right to Information (RTI) or Information Privacy (IP) request you must make sure that you complete the application correctly and give us enough information to identify the documents you are seeking access to.

Use the approved application form

You will need to complete the approved RTI and IP access application form. You can apply for documents:

Credit card payments will only be accepted in hard copy via post or as part of an online application process.

Post

Right to Information and Information Privacy Officer 
Queensland Family and Child Commission
PO Box 15217
Brisbane City East QLD 4002

Email

rti@qfcc.qld.gov.au

Fax

(07) 3900 6050

Making a valid application

  • Pay the RTI application fee with your RTI access application, which cannot be waived (please note: there is no application fee for IP applications).
  • Provide an address where we can send written correspondence, this can be either a postal address or an email address.
  • If the application is for information that contains your personal information, provide us with an original certified copy of your identification (either when making your application or within 10 business days after submitting your application). This is to protect your privacy and ensure your personal information is not disclosed to any other person.
  • An original certified copy is considered valid if it is witnessed by a lawyer or notary public, a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations.
  • Appropriate evidence of identity must enable us to verify your name, address and signature, for example a current drivers licence.

Information needed to be able to search for documents

You must give us enough information about the documents you are requesting to help us identify them.

Please note that if you don’t provide us enough information it may delay the processing of your application.

Apply to the correct agency

You will need to apply to the agency which has the documents you want to access. If more than one agency has documents you are interested in, you will need to complete an application form and submit to each agency.

It is important to note that the Minister and agencies are separate entities under the RTI and IP Acts. Therefore, if you are interested in documents held by the QFCC and by the Minister, you will need to make two applications.

If you apply only to an agency for access to documents, we cannot include the Minister’s Office in the search for documents. Similarly, if you apply to the Minister’s Office, the searches will be confined to that office only.

What happens after you apply to access documents?

Once we receive your application we will review it to make sure it contains everything that we need to process it. If we need more information then we will contact you within 15 working days of receiving your application. Once we officially accept your application we will send you a written acknowledgement that your application has been received.

If you don’t provide us with the requested information within the allocated timeframe, we may refuse to process your application due to it being noncompliant.

Decisions

Notice of decisions

Once we have processed your request, we will send a letter setting out the decision and the reasons for the decision explaining what documents were located and why you may have been refused access to documents (or parts of documents).

Time required to make decisions

We generally have to make a decision on your application within 25 business days from the date of receiving a valid application. This period may be extended by 10 business days if another person or agency needs to be consulted. We also may negotiate an extension with applicants due to delays in locating documents, staff availability or workload.

Failure to make a decision in time

If a decision on your application is not made within the legislative timeframe, the RTI and IP Acts ‘deems’ us to have made a decision refusing you access to requested documents. At this stage you may apply to the Information Commissioner for external review.

Charges

Application fee only applies to RTI applications

An application fee is payable for RTI applications that include documents that do not contain your own personal information. This fee is mandatory for all applications.

Your application fee must accompany your application.

There is no application fee for applications made under the IP Act. However, you may be required to pay access charges before you are given access to any documents.

Processing charges

Processing charges are charged per 15 minutes (or part of 15 minutes). You do not have to pay processing charges for documents that contain your personal information.

We will send you a notice that will state how many hours it is likely to take to process the application and how much it is likely to cost. If it is likely that the processing time will be five hours or less, there will be no charge. The notice will also give you some information about the documents that have been located that fall within the terms of your request as stated on your access application form.

Contact us if you would like to discuss ways to reduce the charges by, for example, reducing the number or types of documents you are requesting. If you narrow the terms of the application another notice will be issued to confirm the new charges. At this stage of the application you may withdraw without having to pay processing charges.

You have 20 business days in which to reply to the notice. If you do not reply within this period then we will consider your application to be withdrawn and the file will be closed. It is important that you take note of this date.

If you miss the due date you will need to lodge a fresh application and meet all the compliance requirements again, including paying another application fee.

There are no processing charges for applications under the IP Act.

Access charges

In addition to processing charges, you may also have to pay access charges. We will advise how much you have to pay in your notice of decision.

There are no access charges for applications under the IP Act.

Waiving charges (processing and access charges only)

The sole ground for waiving charges is financial hardship. For individuals, financial hardship is simply assessed by whether or not you hold a:

  • health care card
  • pensioner concession card from Centrelink
  • pensioner concession card from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

You must provide a certified copy of your concession card (both sides) when you apply in writing for the charges to be waived.

If you lodge your application in person, bring along your original concession card and we will sight it and return to you. If you post your application, you will need to have a copy of your original concession card certified by a Commissioner for Declarations, Justice of the Peace or solicitor.

We can only waive processing charges and access charges. The RTI application fee cannot be waived.

If it is uneconomical for us to recoup the costs of the access charges we may also waive them.

Accessing the documents

You must pay any applicable processing and access charges before you can access the documents. You have 40 business days after the date of the decision to access any released documents.

Any applicable processing charges must also be paid even if access to the documents is refused.

Access can be given by a variety of methods including providing you with photocopies of documents or by allowing you to inspect the original documents (unless exempt information is deleted, in which case only 'marked up' copies of the documents can be inspected).

Disputing a decision

You can dispute our decision if:

  • we decide your application is outside the scope of the Act
  • we decide your application does not comply with the application requirements
  • we decide to release documents contrary to your views (if you are a consulted party)
  • you believe we should have taken steps to consult you about the release of documents
  • we refuse to deal with the application
  • we decide charges are payable (but not the amount of the charge)
  • we don’t grant access to the documents either in full or part
  • the documents don’t exist or can’t be found
  • we don’t waive processing or access charges
  • we provide you advice about a deemed decision.

You may:

  • apply for an internal review of the decision, by another QFCC officer no less senior than the original decision-maker
  • apply directly to the Information Commissioner for an external review of the decision.

You must apply for a review in writing within 20 business days.

03 December 2018