Freedom of Information
The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (FOI Act) is to promote openness and accountability within the South Australian Government and to facilitate public participation in government decision making. A comprehensive introduction to freedom of information is available on the State Records website.
About Freedom of Information
The FOI Act gives members of the public a legally enforceable right to access documents, subject to certain restrictions, held by South Australian Government agencies, local government authorities, statutory and regulatory bodies and South Australian universities. The FOI Act also gives you the right to apply to have your personal records amended if the information is incomplete, incorrect, and out of date or misleading.
Making an Application
In accordance with the FOI Act, applications must be made in writing. You may choose to write a letter or apply online.
In making an application, ensure you:
- specify that the application is made under the FOI Act
- include your name and address in Australia to which information can be sent
- be accompanied by the prescribed application fee (exemptions apply for Members of Parliament and pensioners or health card holders). If submitting online, payment is made with a credit card.
- clearly identify the documents being sought or the matter to which they pertain
- specify if the documents contain your personal information
- request the form of access you are seeking, for example specify if you require a copy of the documents or if you wish to inspect the documents.
For more information or assistance with making an application, please telephone (08) 8115 3300.
Applications to Review a Determination under FOI
If you are refused access to all or part of a document that you requested access to, you will be informed of the reasons why and advised of your rights to seek a review or appeal. Further details are available from State Records.
For more information contact:
- Ombudsman SA
Telephone: (08) 8226 8699
Toll Free: 1800 182 150 (within SA)
- South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)
Telephone: 1800 723 767
Send applications to:
Accredited Freedom of Information Officer
SA Country Fire Service
GPO Box 2468
ADELAIDE SA 5001
The South Australian Government has a policy to facilitate certain types of information to be available online for all South Australians to access without having to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) application.
The government acknowledges that the information it holds is a valuable public resource and is committed to being open and accountable, engaging with the community, and public participation in the making of decisions, policies and laws.
The government has approved the policy Proactive Disclosure of Regularly Requested Information – issued as Premier and Cabinet Circular 035 (PC035).
In February 2015, Cabinet approved changes to Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 – Annual Reporting Requirements that resulted in the requirement for public sector agencies to report the overseas travel of public sector employees, including chief executives, in accordance with Premier and Cabinet Circular, PC035 – Proactive Disclosure of Regularly Requested Information.
The Government has committed to the establishment of disclosure logs for all state government agencies to provide central access to non-personal information that has been released under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (FOI Act).
Release of information through disclosure logs compliments the Premier and Cabinet Circular PC035 – Proactive Disclosure of Regularly Requested Information and supports transparency and accountability of the Government. PC045 requires the agency to publish a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log lists information that has been released by the agency in response to a request for access to information under the FOI Act received after 1 October 2017.
Under this Policy, agencies are required to make available on their websites, information and documents that have already been disclosed to an FOI applicant that:
- are not related to the personal affairs of an individual; and
- could not be claimed as exempt documents/material pursuant to Schedule 1 of the FOI Act, when being publicly released; and
- could not be considered defamatory or a breach of confidentiality or reasonably be anticipated to cause harm to a person.
In some cases, some documents may be deemed as too large and therefore unreasonable to upload online. In these cases a copy of the determination may be available by contacting the agency FOI officer directly.
A charge may be imposed to reimburse the Department for the cost incurred in copying or reproducing the information or sending it to you. You will be notified if any charge is payable and if a charge is payable, you will be required to pay the charge before the information is provided.
Public Interest Disclosure
The new Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 (PID Act) commences on July 1, 2019, replacing the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 (WP Act).
The new laws strengthen transparency and accountability in government by establishing a scheme that encourages and facilitates the appropriate disclosure of public interest information to certain persons or authorities. It provides protections for some persons who make an appropriate disclosure of public interest information in accordance with the PID Act and sets out processes for dealing with such disclosures.
For more information, please visit the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment website.