Any member of the general public has a right to request access to documents held by RMIT.
The right of access exists in “every person”. This means any person regardless of the interest they may or may not have in the document without the need to establish any motive or reason for seeking the documents. The reference to “every person” includes natural persons or individuals as well as corporations.
Where a person requesting access is a child (i.e. under 18) or suffers from a disability, the person making the request needs to satisfy the FOI Officer that they made the request as a conscious voluntary act, understood the nature and significance of making the request, and wish it to be done to obtain access to documents.
The FOI Act does not apply to documents which are available to the public or are part of a public register and are documents which are available for purchase.
Making a request
The request must:
1. Be in writing
The written application should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
GPO Box 2476
Melbourne VIC 3001
An email request is acceptable.
2. Identify the documents you are seeking
Clearly describe the documents that are being sought. The request must provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to allow the University to identify the document/s. Where possible this should include the approximate date range of the documents.
If RMIT decides that the request does not comply in this regard, the FOI Officer will write to the applicant seeking clarification of the request so as to give a reasonable opportunity and assistance to amend or clarify the request.
If the documents are about the applicant’s personal affairs, evidence should be provided of identity. For example a photocopy or electronic copy of a current driver’s license or student identity card.
3. Include the application fee
RMIT is authorised by virtue of the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014 to charge applicants certain fees for access to documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
There are two fees associated with making an FOI request:
- the application fee, payable by cheque or Money order only, must accompany your request
- the access charges fee.
The application fee is a fixed cost which is non-refundable. The only exception is for people suffering financial hardship who can ask RMIT to waive the application fee.
If a request is made for the fee to be waived, evidence that payment of the fee would cause financial hardship must be provided. For example, a photocopy or electronic copy of a current health care card.
Access fees relate to the costs incurred in granting access to the documents that have been requested. These fees may or may not apply depending on the nature of the request.
All fees and charges are exempt from GST.
- Application fee – $29.60
- Application fee is payable only by cheque or Money Order
- All cheques or Money Orders are to be made payable to:
RMIT University – FOI Application Fee
Compliance, Regulation & Reporting, RMIT University
GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
Where an application for access is granted, costs will be incurred by the applicant (in addition to the application fee) to access the documents.
These charges are levied under with the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2004 and relate to:
- Search charges – $22.22 per hour or part of an hour
- Inspection supervision charges – $5.56 per quarter hour
- Photocopying charges – 20c per black and white A4 page. Colour copies and paper sizes other than A4 are are set at a reasonable cost incurred by Council in providing the copy.
Where it is anticipated that the costs will exceed $50.00, the applicant will be advised and requested to pay a deposit. The applicant will also be asked if they wish to continue with the request or narrow the terms of the request to reduce costs.
All access fees are payable by cheque or Money Order as per the application fees detailed above.
Note: Processing of your request cannot begin if any of the required information is not supplied.
If you are unsure about what to include with the request, contact the FOI Officer via email email@example.com or phone +61 3 9925 3180