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Commonwealth agencies report decrease in FOI requests.



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30 November 2000

COMMONWEALTH AGENCIES REPORT DECREASE IN FOI REQUESTS

Commonwealth agencies received 31,784 freedom of information access requests in 1999-2000, a decrease of five per cent on the previous year.

The 1999-2000 annual report on the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982, tabled in the Parliament today, shows that most FOI access requests were directed to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (13,340 requests), the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (8,173) and Centrelink (6,024). The most common requests to these agencies are from clients who want documents relating to themselves.

Agencies granted 77 per cent of FOI access requests in full in 1999-2000. Almost 18 per cent of other access requests were granted in part.

The Commonwealth spent more than $14 million last financial year to process FOI requests. The average cost to Commonwealth agencies of processing an FOI request last financial year was $442.00. Agencies recouped a small percentage of FOI costs through fees and charges.

Fewer agency decisions on FOI requests were appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal than in recent years. In 1999-2000, the AAT received 109 applications, compared with 140 in 1998-99.

My Department has established a Commonwealth Freedom of Information Internet site at http://www.law.gov.au/foi that contains a range of FOI reference material to help people who want to make an

FOI application

The Government is committed to openness and accountability and the provision of access to information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

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