The Freedom of Information Act 1992 created a general right of access to documents held by state and local government agencies. The Act requires agencies to make available details about the kind of information they hold and enables people to ensure that personal information held by government agencies about them is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.
It is the aim of the Department to make information available promptly, for the least possible cost, and wherever possible documents will be provided outside the freedom of information process.
For further information, including information on receipt of applications, fees and charges, rights of review, and types of documents, view the Freedom of Information Statement.
FOI applications for 2012 -13
By the end of June 2013, 167 valid applications were received by the Department, through the Housing Authority. Of these, 134 sought access to personal information and 33 sought access to non-personal information. A more comprehensive breakdown of the Department's statistics is provided in the Information Commissioner of Western Australia's Annual Report on the Office of the Information Commissioner's website
Information available for release outside the FOI Act
Not all documents held by the Department need to be accessed through the Freedom of Information Act application procedures.
Some information that is held on a client’s personal file (especially documents which our clients have provided to us) can be given to them outside the Act, subject to proof of identity.
The important exception to this is any document that contains third party information (information about a person other than the client and Department officers, including names and addresses), for example, letters of complaint about the client made by third parties. Such information should not be released outside the FOI process, to protect the privacy of the third party.
Information concerning the commercial or business affairs of third parties (including companies) should not be released outside the FOI process.
The Department advocates the following information being released to clients without having to apply under the FOI Act:
- Copies of any application, income statements, rent assistance forms, etc., submitted by the client
- Copies of any agreement signed by the client (tenancy agreements, loan agreements, etc.)
- Copies of letters sent to the client (e.g. notices of breach, property condition reports, etc.)
- Printouts of clients’ account statements, correspondence, maintenance and comments history (as long as they do not name or refer to third parties).
For further information contact the Freedom of Information Unit on Tel: (08) 6217 6246