Your Request Must Be In Writing
You must put your request in writing to the agency or minister that holds the document you want to access. Some agencies have an FOI request form on their website for you to complete and send to them.
When you write to the agency or minister:
- state that youre requesting access to information under the FOI Act
- state the document you want, giving enough detail to help the agency or minister to identify the document
- give an address or email address where the agency or minister can send you the document
You dont need to give any reasons why you want the information.
Email or post your letter to the agency or ministers address on their website or in the telephone directory.
Pay The Application Fee
There is a mandatory $5 application fee for each FOI request.
There is no application fee for a request to make a correction to your own personal information.
Check with the institution you are seeking records from to see what forms of payment are available .
Additional fees may apply to process a request. The processing fee is determined by the:
- type of information you requested
- format you wish to receive the information
- total costs incurred by the institution to produce or prepare the information
You will receive a fee estimate from the FOI office or institution where you submitted your FOI request, if the processing fees will be more than $25. When processing fees are over $100, a deposit may be required.
You have the right to request a waiver of fees if the payment will cause financial hardship or if the information will benefit public health or safety. The FOI office or institution that receives your request for a fee waiver will discuss next steps in the process.
Institutions have 30 calendar days to process FOI requests except under specific circumstances. You will be notified if a time extension is required.
Note: If you need further assistance, contact the Freedom of Information and Privacy coordinator at the institution you want information from.
The Freedom of Information and Privacy coordinator can:
- some publicly funded institutions
How To File A Foia Request
The first step is to send a letter to the agency you think may have the information you want. You can use the FOIA online portal to send a request to some federal agencies, or use the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press letter generator, or use the tools available at Muckrock . Or, you can print out a letter and mail it to the agency you are interested in.
You can refer to the sample letters are below to find out how best to word your request. As you move along in the process, make sure to be a diligent record keeper: keep a copy of each request you send and when you sent it, and keep track of every subsequent communication with the agency . Keep notes from each phone conversation it is also wise to follow-up each phone conversation with a letter confirming the substance of the phone call. If you use the Reporters Committee or Muckrock, they will automatically keep track of your requests and follow up for you.
Step 1: File Your Request
Step 4: Filing an Appeal
If an agency has denied your request in whole or in part, you can file an administrative appeal to the head of the agency. You are strongly encouraged to do so, because appeals are easy to file, and often lead to the disclosure of information initially withheld. Most agencies require that appeals be filed within 30 days.
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Paying The Application Fee
Before submitting your request, it is a good idea to check online or contact the agency to find out how you can pay the application fee.
Agencies are able to waive or reduce the application fee if it would cause you financial hardship. If you request the application fee to be waived or reduced, you should provide evidence of hardship for example, a concession or health care card, a bank statement, or statutory declaration outlining why payment would cause you hardship.
The application fee increases each year on 1 July. Before submitting your request, confirm how much the application fee is, either by contacting the agency or going to the website of the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner .
How To Make A Request
If you wish to request information, you should contact:
Information and Records OfficerLocal Government and Social Care Ombudsmans officePO Box 4771
When making a request, please include the following details:
- your name and address
- the information you want to see
- any preference you have for the way you want the information sent to you .
Sometimes our emails go into your ‘junk’ folder so please check, if you are expecting a reply from us. To make sure you receive emails from us, we recommend you add ‘@lgo.org.uk’ to your email safe senders list. See Additional Information for Hotmail/Live/Outlook.com/Gmail users.
Requests made under the FOIA need to be in writing . Requests for personal information made under the DPA and environmental information requests do not need to be in writing but it is helpful if these are also written. When we receive a request, we will acknowledge receipt of it within five days. There are different time limits set down for us to deal with requests for information under DPA and under FOIA and EIR, but generally we will try meet requests within the shorter deadline of 20 working days. The statutory response time if you submit a Subject Access Request is one month. There is no charge for making a request.
If you have a general enquiry about our service please contact us on 0300 061 0614 .
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Can I Get Access To Any Information That I Seek
The following records come within the scope of the FOI Act:
- all records relating to requesters’ personal information irrespective of when they were created
- all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act
- any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21 April 1998
Any records held by the Department falling into these categories may be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow public bodies to conduct their business properly and to protect the rights of third parties, certain records are exempt from release under the Act. Whether an exemption will be applied depends, in many cases, on whether the public interest is better served by releasing or withholding the information. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
Please note that it is Departmental policy to publish F.O.I requests on this website.
The Information You Are Interested In May Already Be Publicly Available
You can find proactively released information, including completed OIA requests on most organisations websites. Government Ministers also proactively release cabinet papers on their portfolio agencies websites. You may like to check out the links below, as the information you need may already be publicly available.
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Do Research And Determine If You Need To Make A Foia Request Then Get Ready
Do research before you request
Before making a request, first see if the information is already publicly available. You can find a lot of useful information on individual agency websites and you can also for information.
If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request.
Identify the right agency
Its important that you identify the correct agency for your request. There are over 100 agencies and each is responsible for handling its own FOIA requests. You can find a breakdown of agencies to help you identify the correct agency. You may also search for agencies using the search bar below.
What happens next
The agency will typically firstsearch for the records and then review them to determine what can bedisclosed. While FOIA allows for many records to be released, there are also nine exemptions that protect certain types of information, such as personal privacy and law enforcement interests. The length of time to respond to your request will vary depending on itscomplexity and anybacklog of requests.
Is There A Freedom Of Information Act Request Form For A Local Government
By filing a Freedom of Information Act request, you demand access to available records managed by the government and get insight into the actions of its bodies. The federal FOIA contains numerous rules and regulations, but do they apply in all cases?
In this article, we are searching for the answer to the questiondoes a Freedom of Information Act request form for a local government exist? Check out our guide to get familiar with all the details and learn how to request any type of public records fast and easy with DoNotPay!
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When Foi Is Not The Right Process
The information types listed here are not available through FOI – phone the agency listed for assistance.
|Type of information|
|Courts Administration authority – phone|
|Vehicle registration and licensing||Department for Infrastructure and Transport – phone|
|Tribunal documents||South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – phone|
What Can I Request
The Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations and INSPIRE Regulations give you rights to access official information.Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school. Environmental information requests can also be made to certain non-public bodies carrying out a public function.
- You can ask for any information you think a public authority may hold. The right only covers recorded information which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.
- You should identify the information you want as clearly as possible.
- Your request can be in the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, but the authority does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded.
- Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, for example because it would unfairly reveal personal details about somebody else.
You don’t have to know whether the information you want is covered by the Environmental Information Regulations or the Freedom of Information Act. When you make a request, it is for the public authority to decide which law they need to follow.
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Sc Freedom Of Information Act
S.C. Freedom of Information Act
Chapter 4, Title 30, South Carolina Code of Laws
The City of Myrtle Beach is committed to transparency of government action and operation, along with open access to public documents, as provided for in the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act , below. As a result, the city strives to grant access to public documents and records quickly and, in most cases, at no cost as part of our first in service philosophy.
- Search, retrieval and redaction of records… actual per-hour dollar cost of staff time required
- Black-and-white photocopies … 10 cents per page
- Color photocopies … 20 cents per page
- CD or DVD copy… $5
- USB/Thumb Drive copy… $15
- Large city map … $20
- Small city map … $10
- If oversized documents or large quantities are sent to a third party for copying, the requestor will be charged the actual dollar amount of the invoice for the work, in addition to any staff time.
A public body is not required to create an electronic version of a public record when one does not exist to fulfill a records request.
The following records of a public body must be made available for public inspection and copying during the hours of operations of the public body, unless the record is exempt pursuant to Section 30-4-40 or other state or federal laws, without the requestor being required to make a written request to inspect or copy the records when the requestor appears in person:
would interfere with a prospective law enforcement proceeding
Do I Need To Make An Foi Request To Get Information From Dhplg
No. It is not necessary to make an FOI request to get information from the Department. A considerable amount of material is already made available to the public through information leaflets – on this website.
FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made routinely available.
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How To Make A Freedom Of Information Request
Learn how to request records from public-sector institutions like Ontario government ministries, colleges, universities, school boards, hospitals, municipalities and police services.
Due to limited capacity to receive and process Freedom of Information requests, we may not be able to respond to requests within the legislated time frames.
If you need assistance, contact the Freedom of Information coordinator at the institution you want information from.
We will try our best to process requests and keep you updated.
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act , you have a right to request information from certain public-sector institutions in Ontario.
Anyone can make a request for information there are no restrictions based on age or where you live.
You can submit a Freedom of Information request if you wish to:
- access general records held by institutions
- request your own personal information
- correct your personal information
- police services
- property information
- licences and other Ontario government services
When submitting an FOI request, please include a detailed description of the records or information requested. This could include different record formats and media such as:
- paper records
- electronic records
- multimedia records
Information available to the public is subject to a full review by the Freedom of Information institution or office that receives the request.
How Long Will It Take Before I Get A Response
Agencies typically process requests in the order of receipt. The time it takes to respond to a request will vary depending on the complexity of the request and any backlog of requests already pending at the agency. A simple request can be processed faster by the agency than one that is complex. Simple requests are typically more targeted and seek fewer pages of records. Complex requests typically seek a high volume of material or require additional steps to process such as the need to search for records in multiple locations. The agencys FOIA Requester Service Center is available to assist you with any questions about the status of your request or any steps you can take to receive a quicker response.
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What Information Is Not Available Under The Foia
The FOIA does not apply to the Congress, the courts, or the central offices of the White House, nor does it apply to records in the custody of state or local governments. However, all state governments have their own FOIA-type statutes. You may request details about a states records access law by writing to the Office of the Attorney General of that State.The FOIA does not require a state or local government or a private organization or business to release any records directly to the public, whether such records have been submitted to the federal government or not. However, records submitted to the federal government by such organizations or companies may be available through a FOIA request if they are not protected by a FOIA exemption, such as the one covering trade secrets and confidential business information.Under the FOIA, you may request and generally receive by mail, or electronically, a copy of any record that is in an agencys files that is not protected from disclosure by one of the exemptions or exclusions.
What You Are Entitled To
As a data subject you have a right of access to personal data held about you. This includes:
- a description of the data being processed
- the purposes for which it is being processed
- any potential recipients of the data
- the source of the data if this is known, and
- the identity of the data controller .
Note that you are entitled only to the information itself, rather than to copies of the actual documents or records in which it is contained.
Disclosure of some information we hold may be exempt from particular provisions of the DPA. This includes circumstances where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the proper discharge of our function. We will tell you if an exemption applies to your request.
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Principles Of The Freedom Of Information Act
The public has a legal right of access to information.
Local governments are required to publish information concerning the documents they hold. Some information may be exempt under the Act and in certain circumstances this information is not able to be released.
A person has a right to seek access to:
- documents relating to their own personal affairs regardless of the age of the documents, and
- information that is incorporated in a record in the possession of Council on or after 1 January 1989.
A person may request:
- amendment of records relating to their own personal affairs, where they believe the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.
People may seek independent review from the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner where access to a document has been denied in part or full, or Council has determined to not amend records relating to the personal affairs of the Freedom of Information applicant.
Additionally, people may make a complaint to Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner if the requested document either does not exist or, after a thorough and diligent search, cannot be located.
- submit in person to at a Customer Service Centre.
We will email or post you an invoice with a reference number, which you can use to pay the Freedom of Information application fee online.
Alternatively, you can include a cheque for the application fee when you post your application or pay in person at a Customer Service Centre.