The object of the Act is to extend as far as possible the right of the community to access information in the possession of the Government and other bodies constituted under the law of Victoria.
The Department complies with the Act and has a designated Freedom of Information (FOI) Unit which can answer any questions you may have relating to FOI.
Statutory agencies within the Department portfolio including the State Revenue Office, process their own requests. To request access to agency documents, you should contact the agency directly. Contact details are available on the Freedom of Information website.
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) is an independent body that provides advice and education to the public and agencies on FOI, reviews FOI decisions, handles FOI complaints and monitors compliance with the Act. More information about FOI and the role of OVIC is available from the OVIC website.
Before you lodge a FOI request
We make a large amount of information available online, so we encourage applicants to first check to see whether the desired information may already be publicly available such as in the Department’s Annual Report or on this website. Also see our FOI Part II Information Statement.
A FOI request must be specific enough to allow the Department to identify documents considered relevant to the request, so it is important you consider the terms of your request carefully before lodging.
Where we consider the terms of a request to be unclear, assistance will be provided to you to help determine the type of documentation being sought.
It is important to note that FOI requests must also be accompanied by the application fee to be a valid request. Access charges may also be applied.
Lodging a FOI request
To lodge an online FOI request visit Freedom of information website at www.foi.vic.gov.au which outlines the steps for making a request, from preparing an application to identifying where the request should be sent. The website provides a facility for online payment of the application fee.
The Department is also able to accept FOI requests directly by email or post. Your request must be a accompanied by the application fee for it to be valid.
For direct lodgments please mark attention to Department of Treasury and Finance FOI Unit:
GPO Box 4379
Melbourne VIC 3001
Telephone: (03) 9651 5361 or (03) 9651 1413
Cost of lodging a FOI request
FOI requests are subject to a $28.90 application fee (from 1 July 2018). The application fee is subject to an increase on 1 July every year.
If payment of the application fee would cause you hardship, you can ask for it to be waived by providing evidence, such as a photocopy of your current health care card.
If paying by cheque or money order, please make payment to the Department of Treasury and Finance.
Under the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014, access charges, which are set by those regulations, may also be applicable.
This could include charges for search time, supervision, photocopying and other applicable charges.
For more details see FOI costs.
Processing your request
Once we receive your application, an officer will review it and contact you if further information is needed. Once we have a valid and confirmed request, we will then endeavor to process it within the required timeframe.
If any documents or parts of documents are considered by us to be exempt under the FOI Act, our written notice will provide you with the reasons for the decision. It will also explain your rights of review.