University of Melbourne University Secretary's Department

Freedom of Information

Attorney-General's Statement on Freedom of Information, 2 February 2000

Guidelines to assist the Administration of the Freedom of Information Act, issued by the Attorney-General, 2 February 2000

What is Freedom of Information?

What should I do to make an application?

What should a staff member do if he or she receives an FOI application?

What is a document?

What documents are covered by the FOI Act?

What documents may be exempt?

Further Information

FOI Part II Statement


What is Freedom of Information?

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act came into effect on 5 July 1983. The FOI Act (No. 9859 of 1982) gives persons the general right, subject to specified exemptions, to access documents held by departments and agencies of the Victorian Government.

The University is an agency under the FOI Act.

What should I do to make an application?

All formal requests for access to documents of the University, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, are to be made in writing to:

By mail:
The Senior Vice-Principal
The University of Melbourne
VIC 3010

or

By e-mail: 
foi-officer

FOI applications should be accompanied by a $25.70 application fee.

The application fee can be paid via cheque or money order made payable to “The University of Melbourne” or by credit card by telephoning the University Secretary’s Department on (03) 8344 7117.

What should a staff member do if he or she receives an FOI application?

The Senior Vice-Principal is the formally designated Freedom of Information Manager of the University and the University Secretary is the Deputy FOI Manager.

If you receive a FOI application you should forward it immediately to Christopher Stewardson, University Secretary who is responsible for managing responses to FOI requests.

What is a document?

Documents include those held in files or records of the agency, or held by an individual for the purpose of discharging his/her duties. This includes electronic mail messages in both paper or electronic format.

The definition of the word "document" is given broad scope in the FOI Act. Examples of documents are books, maps, plans, drawings, audio-visual media, photographs and documents that could be produced in discrete form by the use of a computer or other equipment (eg. material stored in a database, USB stick or hard drive). It does not include library material maintained for reference purposes.

What documents are covered by the FOI Act?

The FOI Act covers documents in the possession of an agency whether created in the agency or received by the agency.

The right of access established by the FOI Act does not extend to:

What documents may be exempt?

Certain documents are exempt from release, as specified in part IV of the FOI Act. Some examples of the types of exempt documents are:

This is a non-exhaustive list of exemptions. Exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Further Information

Further information on FOI is available from Christopher Stewardson, University Secretary, ph (03) 8344 7117, or e-mail: foi-officer.

FOI Part II Statement
top of page