The Freedom of Information Act
1982 gives members of the community a legally enforceable right to information held by the government. Victoria Police supports this right by:
- Making information about Victoria Police operations available to the public
- Making all rules and information about practices readily available to those affected by them
- Facilitating a general right of access to documents held by Victoria Police. (This access is limited only by the proper application of exceptions and exemptions provided for under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.)
- Delivering an efficient, timely and reasonably-costed process for disclosing information.
For the benefit of Victorian citizens, Victoria Police releases a large amount of information through online and print publishing as well as person-to-person service provision.
The Freedom of Information Part II Information Statements show how Victoria Police is making information readily available to the public, reducing the need for members of the public to submit requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
How to make a request
You may make a request by sending a letter or application form requesting access to documents together with a cheque or money order for the FOI application fee $28.40.
If payment of the application fee would cause hardship, then please provide evidence that you qualify to have this fee waived eg. a Centrelink Healthcare card. You will also need to provide proof of identification (ie. birth certificate or a driver's licence). If you are a solicitor submitting a request on your client's behalf, you will need to provide a signed authority from your client.
The letter should be sent to the FOI Officer at:
Freedom of Information Office
GPO Box 913
Telephone: (61 3) 9247 6801
Your letter should set out clearly the document(s) you require from Victoria Police, as well as providing sufficient detail to enable the document(s) you are seeking to be identified.
Please note that this office does not have a customer service counter and accordingly any contact must be made via telephone or in writing.
Alternatively, requests may be made online by accessing the Freedom of Information Online website at www.foi.vic.gov.au by clicking on the link https://online.foi.vic.gov.au/foi/request.doj
What happens to your request?
Once Victoria Police has received your FOI request and the application fee (or fee waiver), Victoria Police must respond to you with its decision on your request in writing as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after receiving your request. However, the Act does allow for an extension of time in some circumstances.
The Act requires Victoria Police to consult with third parties about your request if the information contained in the relevant documents falls within certain exemptions.
Victoria Police is not required to consult where it is not practicable; would cause distress; is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of a person or is otherwise unreasonable in the circumstances.
Where Victoria Police must consult, it may extend the time for processing the request in accordance with section 21(2)(a) of the Act.
Please note: As part of the consultation process, your name and a brief description of your request will be provided to any person or body with whom we must consult.
If Victoria Police refuses you access to the documents sought, you can appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OVIC) for a review of the decision. You must do so within 28 days of the date you were notified of the decision. The OVIC has 30 days to conduct its review, unless you agree to an extended period in writing. The lodgement of a request for a review is not subject to any fees or costs. For further information see www.ovic.vic.gov.au
If you wish to appeal OVIC's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal you must do so within 60 days of the date you were notified of OVIC's decision.
Need more information?
Further information regarding Freedom of Information can be obtained from the Office if the Victorian Information Commissioner website at www.ovic.vic.gov.au or the Freedom of Information Online website at www.foi.vic.gov.au