|Right to Information|
Information disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009:
What is the Right to Information?
The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 replacing the Freedom of Information Act and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies.
As a State-owned company, Tasmanian Railway Pty Ltd (TasRail) is required by the RTA Act to make information available to the public through proactive disclosure. This means we must routinely make information available which will assist the public in understanding what we do and how we do it.
The RTI Act:
Why do we have a Right to Information Act?
Section of the RTI Act includes the following statement on the objects of the Act:
-The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania by:
-This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.
- This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.
-It is the intention of Parliament that:
How do I get access to information?
Before lodging an RTI Application, prospective applicants are encouraged to directly seek access to information through mediums such as TasRail’s website, publications and reports such as the Annual Report. A direct approach is usually quicker and more effective to obtain information that is generally available.
Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information that TasRail would need to assess against the exemptions in the RTI Act prior to disclosure.
You may find information relating to TasRail in one of the following ways:
1. Direct from TasRail:
2. Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)
If you cannot find the information via one of the above direct means, please contact TasRail and we may be able to provide it to you, otherwise we may be able to assist in finding it. If the information is not freely available, we will assist you in making an application for assessed disclosure.
How do I make a Right to Information application for an assessed disclosure?
An RTI application for assessed disclosure must be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use an RTI Request Form to help ensure that the necessary details are provided. A copy of the form can be obtained from TasRail and is able to be downloaded below:
If you do not use the form provided, please note that your application must be made in writing and include the same information as is required in the request form. This is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.
Applications for TasRail are to be addressed and sent to:
Right to Information Officer
P O Box 335, Kings Meadows Tas 7249
Please make sure you have looked for the information before you make a formal application, because if the information is otherwise available, your application may be refused without the return of your application fee.
Right to Information Application Fee
All RTI Applications are subject to an application fee. As at 1 July 2010, this fee is $34.00 but it is indexed annually in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act. Upfront payment of the fee is required when you lodge your application.
The application fee may be reduced or waived in certain circumstances, including where:
If you make an application for a reduction or waiver of the fee for any of these reasons, it is a requirement that you provide supporting evidence.
What will TasRail do once my application is received?
What if my Right to Information Application is rejected?
If your RTI Application, or any part of it, is refused, the reasons for the refusal to provide that information must be provided as part of the decision, together with details on your rights to seek a review of that decision by TasRail’s Principal Officer. This is done by writing to:
The Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officer Right to Information Act (2009)
P O Box 335, Kings Meadows Tas 7249
Or by facsimile to (03) 6335 2636
If either the Designated Responsible Officer or the Responsible Officer assessing your request does not respond to you within the timeframes allowed, TasRail is taken to have refused the application. In these circumstances, you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman if you choose.
Information on reviews by the Ombudsman under the RTI Act is available on the website of the Office of the Ombudsman www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
Further information on the RTA Act is available via the following links:
Right to Information Act 2009
Right to Information Act 2009 Manual and Guidelines
Right to Information Act 2009 Regulations 2010