- Making a Right to Information request
- Before completing a Right to Information (RTI) request, consider whether you can make a request for personal information. A request for personal information has no fee and is often faster.
- Use the Right to Information Act 2009 – Application for Assessed Disclosure Form (PDF, 202KB) to apply.
- The fee for the Application is $44.50 unless a waiver is granted.
What is Right to Information?
The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:
- authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications
- authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications
- giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities
- providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.
Why do we have the RTI Act?
The aim of the Act is to improve the operation of democracy in the State by:
- increasing the accountability of Government to the people of Tasmania
- increasing the ability of the people to participate in government decision making
- acknowledging that the information held by Tasmanian public authorities belongs to the people of the State and has been collected for them and on their behalf.
A copy of the Act is available on the Tasmanian Government Legislative database.
Right to Information decisions are made by Departmental staff with specific Delegations under the Act.
Types of disclosure
The RTI Act establishes four categories of information disclosure:
- Required Disclosure – information that is required by law to be published, such as an annual report.
- Routine Disclosure – information of interest to the public that is released on a routine basis, such as statistics.
- Active Disclosure – information that is released upon request without the need for submitting an application for assessment disclosure. Refer to Active disclosure of Personal Information
- Assessed Disclosure – information that is released on application after it has been formally assessed under the provisions of the RTI Act.
Assessed Disclosure is meant to be the method of last resort. Public authorities are expected to release as much relevant information as possible in response to enquiries (Active Disclosure) or that may be of public interest (Routine Disclosure) without the need for a formal application and assessment process.
Making an application for assessed disclosure
Completing the form:
If you want to access information held by the Department, you will need to fill out an Application for Assessed Disclosure Form (PDF, 202KB).
There is space available on the form for an applicant to explain why the information is sought.
Payment of application fee:
Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee, unless you are claiming an exemption (see below).
The fee is currently $44.50 and is indexed on 1 July of each year in accordance with the Fee Units Act 1997.
This is the maximum amount the information will cost you.
- Cheque or money order payable to Department for Education, Children and Young People for $44.50; or
- Direct Deposit BSB-037-001 Account – 268307 (you will need to quote RTI-Name (your name) as reference); or
- Pay at Service Tasmania – Service Tasmania Product Code 256 – Take this document and pay $44.50 by cash, EFTPOS, cheque or credit card at any Service Tasmania Shop. For opening times and locations telephone 1300 135 513 or visit www.service.tas.gov.au
You may apply to have the fee waived if:
- you are in financial hardship – (You will need to provide evidence such as a copy of Centrelink Card, Healthcare Card or Department of Veteran affairs payments.)
- you are a member of parliament, and the application is in connection with your official duty; or
- you are a journalist acting in connection with your professional duties; or
- you are able to demonstrate that you intend to use the information for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.
Process after completing the form:
Once the application is complete, please send to:
Right to Information
Department for Education, Children and Young People
GPO Box 169
Hobart, Tasmania, 7001
What will we do once we have your application?
We will review your application to ensure it meets the minimum requirements according to the Act. If you are seeking personal information, please include identification. We will check that the application fee is paid or if you are eligible for it to be waived.
If your request is complex or is for a large amount of information, we have ten working days to negotiate with you. We may ask you to give us more time to complete the request. Other options may include splitting the request or releasing information in stages.
A delegated RTI Officer has 20 working days to assess your application against the RTI Act. If some or all the information is classed as exempt information, a written decision will be given. The written decision will explain what this means. The decision will also tell you of your rights if you want an independent review of the decision.
What if I am unhappy with the information received?
You may request an internal review within 20 working days. Please contact email@example.com to request a review or for more information on your options.
The RTI Act provides for internal review rights following decisions, and external review rights to Ombudsman Tasmania.
Contact details for Ombudsman Tasmania
If you are still unhappy with the Department’s handling of your matter or the outcome of your internal review, you can contact the Ombudsman Tasmania within 20 working days.
- For more information about the operation of Right to Information in the Department, phone
(03) 6165 6187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- More information about the Right to Information Act 2009 is also available from the Office of the Ombudsman
- View the Department’s Right to Information Policy (PDF, 678KB)