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Freedom of Information Act annual report tabled.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.ag.gov.au/ag

12 January 2007 5/2007

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ANNUAL REPORT TABLED

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) continues to work well with 94 per cent of all requests for information being granted in 2005-2006, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today.

Mr Ruddock said the 2005-06 Annual Report on the Operation of the FOI Act, tabled in Parliament, showed 41,430 FOI access requests were received.

The majority were directed to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (14,627), Centrelink (13,817) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (8,330).

Eighty five per cent were for personal information about the applicant and other people. The remaining 15 per cent were for documents containing other information, such as documents concerning policy development and government decision-making.

Of the 41,430 FOI requests received, 38,987 were determined in the reporting period and granted in full or in part.

Mr Ruddock said the Act was achieving its intended purpose.

“As far as possible, it gives the Australian community access to information held by the Australian Government and facilitates access to personal information,” he said.

The Australian Government spent $24m processing FOI requests at an average cost of $601 per request. Only 2 per cent of the total cost was recovered in fees and charges.

“FOI fees and charges have not increased since November 1986 when the Opposition was in government,’’ Mr Ruddock said. “This demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to openness and accountability.”

The report is available at www.ag.gov.au/foi

Media contact: Michael Pelly, 0419 278 715