Can I Have Access To Information About Me?

What is ‘Freedom of Information’?

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (‘FOI Act’) gives persons the general right, subject to specified exceptions, to access information held by agencies, departments and authorities of the Victorian Government.

Alfred Health is an agency under the FOI Act.

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What should I do to make an application?

All formal requests for access to documents of Alfred Health or any of its campuses under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act are to be made in writing to:

The Freedom of Information Officer
The Alfred
PO Box 315
PRAHRAN
VIC 3181

All formal requests to Alfred Health for access to documents under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) must be made in writing, include sufficient information about the documents to enable them to be identified and be accompanied by the prescribed, non-refundable application fee. The application fee will be waived if the applicant provides evidence that they receive social security benefits e.g. a current health benefits or social security benefits card. From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 the application fee in Victoria was $26.50 increasing to $27.20 from 1 July 2015. There is an application form for requests for health information.

If the application is for access to documents containing information relating to the applicant’s own personal affairs, proof of identity must be provided. If the application is for access to documents containing information about another person, documented proof of the applicant’s authority to have access to that information is required, for example, the signed, written consent of that person or of the applicant’s other authority to have access to the information requested. The FOI Officer listed below can provide advice on the authority required.

In addition to the application fee, charges may apply for access to documents under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and these will be in accordance with the standard provisions of the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulation 2004.

Where access is granted to inspect, obtain or purchase material, arrangements will be made during normal office hours, Monday-Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.

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What is a document?

Documents include those held in Alfred Health files or records, or held by an individual employee for the purpose of discharging his/her duties. This includes documents in both paper and electronic format.

Examples of documents are books, scans, photographs, reports and documents stored in a database or spreadsheet.

What documents are covered by the FOI Act?

The FOI Act covers documents in the possession of Alfred Health whether created by us or received by us, other than library material maintained for reference purposes.

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What documents are not available?

The FOI Act allows for access to information to be denied in certain circumstances. In some cases access to the whole document is denied and in others access may be given with the exempt material deleted.

What documents may be exempt?

Examples of documents that may be exempt are:

• documents affecting personal privacy, including the privacy of a deceased person. This exemption does not apply where the person seeking access to the document is the person who is the subject of the information;
• documents that contain health information concerning the person making the request where it is believed on reasonable grounds that the release of the information would endanger the life or health that person or another person;
• documents affecting legal proceedings;
• documents where disclosure would be contrary to the public interest, including internal working documents, documents containing material obtained in confidence and documents relating to matters of a business, commercial or financial nature.

 

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Further Information

Further information on FOI is available from:

Ms Julie Stokes, ph 9076 5149

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