IMPORTANT UPDATE DUE TO COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Pyrenees Shire Council has implemented measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus which includes staff working from home.
These changes to our work practices are impacting on the ability of our FOI Team to conduct thorough and diligent document searches in a timely fashion. Therefore, delays in conducting searches and finalising FOI applications may occur.
The Victorian Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 1982 gives you the right to access information held by State and Local government agencies. The Act lets you access documents held, including those about your personal affairs. You can request that agencies amend or remove incorrect or misleading personal information held about you.
Under Part II the FOI Act Council is required to make available information regarding Council operations and documents routinely held by Council. To access this information please click the link: FOI Part II Statement for the Pyrenees Shire Council.(PDF, 294KB)
Requesting changes to your information:
If a government agency holds a document that contains personal information about an individual that is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, or misleading, they have the right to request that the agency amends that information. OVIC has published a new animation for members of the public on requesting changes to personal information. Watch the animation on Vimeo.
Tips for making an FOI request:
Making an FOI request can be confusing. OVIC has published a new animation on making an FOI request for members of the public. The animation contains some NICE tips to help applicants through the process including:
+ No need to provide reasons;
+ Identify document types;
+ Consider what you want; and
+ Exclude unwanted information.
Watch the animation on Vimeo
How to make a valid FOI Request
All requests must be in writing (by mail, email or fax) and be accompanied by an application fee of $30.10. Your request must clearly describe the document(s) being sought - and must include your name, address, contact number(s) and in what form the documents are required (e.g. copy or inspection). You can make a request using the Freedom of Information Application Form(PDF, 338KB).
If a request does not comply with the requirements of the Act, Council’s FOI Officer can provide advice and assistance to formulate a complying request.
If your request relates to the correction or amendment of your own personal information held by us, you need to specify how and why you believe the information about you is incorrect, incomplete, misleading or out of date and detail the amendments you wish to make. No charges apply to requests for the correction or amendment of your own personal information.
You can ask for access to any document held by Pyrenees Shire Council, but some are exempt under the Act. The more common exemptions relevant to Local Government are:
- Documents affecting personal privacy (such as names, addresses, phone numbers) - section 33(1)
- Documents relating to trade secrets (putting a commercial business at an unreasonable disadvantage) – section 34(1)
- Documents of copyright status like plans (building, planning), drawings, photos – section 23(3)(c)
- Documents affecting legal proceedings (legal advice or opinions) – section 32(1)
- Documents prepared for and used at a meeting closed to the public (such as minutes, reports) – section 38A
|Search & retrieval of documents
||$22.55 per hour or part thereof
|Photocopying of documents (B & W)
||20 cents per A4 page, 40 cents per A3 page
|Photocopying of documents (Colour)
||40 cents per A4 page, 80 cents per A3 page
|Supervised inspection of documents
||$22.55 per hour or part thereof
* Application fees may be waived in certain circumstances (e.g. for applicants who hold a current health care or pension card – a copy of the card must be submitted with your request). The application fee increases each year on 1st July.
If charges are likely to exceed $50 you will be notified. A deposit of $25 may be required if you want to proceed with the request.
All requests should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Pyrenees Shire Council
5 Lawrence Street
Beaufort VIC 3373
Under the FOI Act, Council’s FOI Officer has 30 days from receiving a valid request to make a decision on whether to release the document(s), subject to exemptions as provided under the FOI Act.
Council’s FOI Officer has 30 days to make a decision relating to the correction or amendment of your own personal information. You will be notified of our decision in writing.
When you receive a decision about your request you'll be advised of your rights to seek a review of the decision.
The Council’s FOI Officer is available on (03) 5349 1100 for enquiries and to assist you make a valid application.
Victorian State Government Freedom of Information Website
FOI Application Form(PDF, 338KB)