Section 9 of the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (FOI Act) requires an agency to provide an annual information statement on:
- what the agency does
- the types of documents it holds, and
- how a person can access information from the agency.
Information statements can be published online or in an agency’s annual report. Agencies subject to Premier and Cabinet Circulate 13, Annual Reporting Requirements, must report their information statements on their website.
Under section 10 of the FOI Act, information statements must be available for inspection and purchase along with each of their policy documents.
Sections 9 and 10 do not apply to Minister’s or agencies that are exempt from sections 9 and 10 by regulation.
What Must an Information Statement Contain?
Section 9 of the FOI Act sets out what an information statement must contain. Below is a summary of the information every agency must include in their information statement.
An Information Statement should describe:
- the structure and functions of the agency,
- the ways in which the functions of the agency affect the public,
- any arrangements that exist to enable the public to participate in formulating the agency’s policies and the delivery of its functions,
- the various kinds of documents held by the agency available for inspection, purchase or free of charge,
- the arrangements that exist to enable the public to obtain access to documents or to amend their personal records held by the agency; and
- the agency’s procedures in relation to giving access to documents and to the amendment of records containing personal information of individuals - this description should include the contact details of the officer to whom inquiries can be made and an address at which FOI applications should be lodged.
An information statement must also contain information about the agency’s policy documents by:
- identifying each of the agency’s policy documents,
- specifying the designation of the officer to whom inquiries concerning the procedures for inspecting and purchasing policy documents should be made; and
- specifying the address at which, and the times during which, policy documents may be inspected or purchased.
For a more detailed description, please refer to section 9 of the FOI Act.
An agency is not required to publish information that could compromise its security or confidentiality requirements, or any other information, that would result in the statement being an exempt document.