Freedom of Information Act 1982
The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Commonwealth Government of Australia.
Individuals can submit a request to Defence Housing Australia (DHA) for access to documents DHA holds and obtain copies of those documents.
Defence Housing Australia is required to comply with the FOI Act.
Requests made under the FOI Act must:
- be in writing
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
- provide sufficient information concerning the document/s to allow its identification
- provide details of how notices provided by DHA in response to the request can be sent to the applicant.
Submitting FOI requests
FOI requests can be addressed to:
Manager Governance and Legislative Compliance
Defence Housing Australia
26 Brisbane Avenue
Barton ACT 2600
If you would like to discuss any potential FOI requests, our Manager Governance and Legislative Compliance can be contacted on (02) 6217 8590.
Processing of FOI requests
Upon receipt of your freedom of information request, will be provided with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days. In accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the freedom of information applicant within 30 days of receipt.
However, as some documents may be subject to a third party consultation process, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days. If consultation is required, you will be informed accordingly.
Fees and charges
FOI requests no longer require an application fee. The FOI Act provides that some charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information).
Should your freedom of information request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until a response to the estimate is received by Defence Housing Australia.
A decision may be made to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.
Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision. If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to DHA's General Manager, Governance within 30 days of being notified of the decision.
Alternatively, you may write to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) seeking a review of the decision. This can be done as a result of either the initial decision or the internal review decision.
Subsequent review options after internal review and the Information Commissioner review are also available. The complete process for seeking a review on access is provided in the decision letter sent to you at the completion of your request.
Information Publication Scheme
The 2010 reforms to the FOI Act included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) which requires Australian Government agencies subject to the FOI Act to provide a broad range of information on their websites. The Information Publication Scheme commenced on 1 May 2011.
Agencies are also required to publish a plan that explains how they intend to implement and administer the IPS (an agency plan).
From 1 May 2011, Defence Housing Australia is required to provide public access to documents released in accordance with the FOI Act.