Freedom of Information

The Department of Culture and the Arts supports freedom of information requests.

Government agencies are obliged under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to help a person make an application which complies with the Act or to assist the person to change the application so it complies with the Act.

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the FOI Act) gives members of the public a right to access government documents (subject to some limitations). The Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) makes documents available for public access as required by the FOI Act.

The FOI Act further requires that personal information held by DCA about members of the public is accurate, complete and up-to-date.

For information about the structure and functions of the DCA please see the About Us page on this website.

The types of documents held by DCA include:

  • emails
  • memoranda
  • papers
  • presentations
  • correspondence
  • diagrams / images / plans
  • orders / invoices
  • Contracts
  • Reports
  • DCA Annual Reports
  • manuals
  • diaries
  • policies / guidelines / procedures; and
  • meeting minutes / agendas

Under the FOI Act Regulations, the DCA also coordinates all access applications under the Act for the following portfolio agencies:

  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery Foundation, Art Gallery Board of Western Australia;
  • Perth Theatre Trust, Perth Theatre Trust Board;
  • ScreenWest, ScreenWest Board;
  • State Library of Western Australia, Library Board of Western Australia, the State Library of Western Australia Foundation;
  • State Records Advisory Committee (SRAC), State Records Commission, State Records Office;
  • Swan Bells Foundation; and
  • Western Australian Museum, Western Australian Museum Board, Western Australian Museum Foundation.

Access to documents

If you are considering making an application for access to documents we encourage you to first make contact with the FOI Coordinator, Department of Culture and the Arts:

  • in writing PO Box 8349, Perth Business Centre WA 6849;
  • by telephone (08) 6552 7361; or
  • by email: info@dca.wa.gov.au

The FOI Coordinator will ensure that advice is provided to help you to make a valid application. Documents may even be made available without having to make an application under the FOI Act.

Access applications can be made in writing and posted or emailed.

Address applications to:

FOI Coordinator
Department of Culture & the Arts
PO Box 8349
Perth Business Centre WA 6849

Email: info@dca.wa.gov.au

If you are applying for access to non-personal documents or information then an application fee applies. This fee must be paid before the application is accepted. Information about fees and charges can be found below.

Form of request for access

a) Applicants must submit applications in writing for access to documents under FOI. A letter or email which describes the document/s is sufficient.

b) The letter or email should say that the request is made under the FOI Act and should not form part of a letter or email on another subject. In your application, provide the following:

  • full name;
  • Australian postal address;
  • telephone number or email address;
  • details of the document/s required – be as specific as you can; and
  • specify the form of access desired - i.e. copies of documents, inspection of file or otherwise.

The DCA must respond to your FOI application within 45 days of receipt of a valid application.

Correction of Personal Information

Request to correct or amend information about a person in a document held by the DCA must be made in writing.

Your request should include:

  • full name;
  • postal address;
  • details on how and why you believe the information to be incorrect; incomplete, misleading or out of date; and
  • details on the amendment/s you wish to have made.

Fees and Charges

A scale of fees and charges for dealing with an access application is set out in the FOI Act Regulations.

Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary.

The charges are as follows:

    Personal information about applicant                     No fee
    Application fee (non-personal information)                     $30.00

For large or time consuming applications the following charges may apply. Where charges will apply the applicant will be given an estimate of the charges to approve before commencing.

    Charge for time dealing with application 
(per hour or pro rata)
     $30.00
    Access time supervised by staff
(per hour or pro rata)
     $30.00
    Photocopying staff time
(per hour or pro rata)
     $30.00
    Per photocopy      20 cents
    Transcribing from tape, film or computer
(per hour or pro rata)
     $30.00
    Duplicating a tape, film or computer information       Actual cost
    Delivery, packaging and postage     Actual cost

Deposits

The DCA may require an applicant to pay an advance deposit of the estimated charges before dealing with the application. If so the applicant will be notified in advance.

The DCA has the discretion to reduce or waive fees and charges for financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with pensioner or concession cards. .

Notice of Decision

You will be provided with a notice of decision as soon as possible, but in any case within 45 days. It will include details such as:

  • the date the decision was made;
  • the name and the designation of the officer who made the decision;
  • if the document is an exempt document, the reason for classifying the matter exempt, or that access is given to an edited document; and
  • information on the right to appeal the decision and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

Appeals

Applicants may appeal against a decision for access to documents, the amendment of records, or against the cost levied.

The first avenue of appeal is to the FOI Coordinator , requesting an internal review of the original decision. The application for a review must be lodged within 30 days of receiving the written notice of the decision.

The matter will be reviewed within 15 days of receipt of your appeal. Should an applicant be unsatisfied with the outcome of an internal review, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for an external review of the decision.

More information

For more information, please contact the DCA FOI Coordinator, as above, or review the information available on the Western Australian Office of the Information Commissioner website.