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Freedom of information

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives you the right to request information held by the State Library of Victoria about your personal affairs and the activities of the Library and the right to request that incorrect or misleading information held by the Library about you be amended or removed.

Categories of documents

Documents that are maintained in the possession of the Library include:

  • documents prepared for briefing ministers and government
  • internal working papers of the Library
  • correspondence from ministers, members of parliament, government departments and agencies, and members of the public and private sector
  • records relating to accounts
  • personnel and salary records
  • organisation and accommodation records

What information is released?

The Library can refuse to release a document if it contains information that is exempt under the Act. Documents can be exempt in full, or exempt parts can be deleted with the remainder of the document released.

The Act outlines general categories of documents which are exempt. These include documents containing information relating to the personal affairs of third parties, documents provided in confidence, documents containing information which if released might endanger the lives or physical safety of individuals, documents containing commercial-in-confidence information and internal working documents, the release of which would be contrary to the public interest.

The Act does not entitle applicants to access documents created prior to July 1978, unless those documents relate to the personal affairs of the applicant. Certain documents are destroyed in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973.

How do I access documents?

Access to documents can only be obtained by written request. Applications should be as specific as possible to enable the freedom of information officer to identify the relevant documents as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Each request should be accompanied by the application fee. This fee may be waived in cases where payment would cause an applicant financial hardship. Where an applicant seeks a waiver of this fee, the request should indicate the grounds on which a waiver is being sought.

Applications should be addressed to:

Freedom of information officer
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St
Melbourne
Vic 3000
Australia

Assistance can be provided to potential applicants by contacting the officer on 03 8664 7000 or foi@slv.vic.gov.au.

As required by the Act, all reasonable steps are taken to enable the applicant to be notified of a decision concerning the release of documents as soon as practicable and not later than 45 days after the day on which the request is received by the Library.

How much will it cost me to access documents?

Applicants will be charged a non-refundable fee of $25.10 for each application to access documents.

If documents need to be photocopied, applicants will be charged $0.20 per A4 page. Applicants will also be charged a $20 per-hour, or part thereof, search fee and a supervision fee of $5 per 15 minutes, or part thereof, where a document is inspected by an applicant.

A deposit of $25 may be required if the calculated charge does not exceed $100, or a deposit of 50 per cent of the calculated charge, where that charge exceeds $100.

Some charges may be waived in certain circumstances.

Contacts

Principal FoI Officer

CEO and State Librarian
State Library of Victoria
Phone: 03 8664 7000

FoI Officer

Corporate Governance Advisor
State Library of Victoria
Phone: 03 8664 7318
Email: foi@slv.vic.gov.au