Your Right to Information
Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI)
The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:
authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications;
authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications;
giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities; and
providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act,
The aim of the Act is to improve the operation of democracy in the State by:
- increasing the accountability of Government to the people of Tasmania;
- increasing the ability of the people to participate in government decision making; and
- acknowledging that the information held by Tasmanian public authorities belongs to the people of the State and has been collected for them and on their behalf.
A copy of the Act is available on the Tasmanian Government Legislative database.
If you wish to access information held by the Department of Education, you will need to fill out an application for assessed disclosure which allows applicants to explain why the information is sought.
Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is 25 units, which is $37.00 as at 1 July 2015 and is indexed annually.
You may apply to have the fee waived if:
you are in financial hardship – we take that to mean that you are on income support payments (we would usually ask to see evidence that you are in receipt of Centrelink or veterans affairs payments);
you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with your official duty; or
you are able to give us information which demonstrates that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.
Once this application has been completed, please forward it to Right to Information Delegate, Department Of Education, GPO Box 169, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about the operation of Right to Information in the Department of Education is available by telephoning 6165 5743 or emailing: email@example.com.
General information about the Right to Information is also available from the Office of the Ombudsman.
Routine Disclosure Policy
The Tasmanian Government routinely discloses information to the public under the Right to Information Act 2009. To further enhance our transparency and to enable greater consistency across government in when this information will be released, the Tasmanian Government has agreed to routinely disclose information twice a year (April and October), or within 10 working days of changes taking place.
Departmental information to be routinely disclosed includes information such as: organisational structures and functions, departmental governance policies, major policy projects, employment statistics, Senior Executive Service details, expenditure on telecommunications, gifts and hospitality, and contracts and consultancies over $50 000.
Interim procedures for disclosing information released in response to Right to Information Act 2009 requests in Tasmania were announced on Tuesday, 9 June 2015.
Certain information released in response to Right to Information requests will be published online within 48 hours of being released to the applicant. This only applies to applications received after 9 June 2015.
The new approach makes information released to an applicant available to a wider audience and increases Government transparency and accountability.
Applicants should note that:
If they seek and are granted a waiver of the application fee on the basis of general public interest, and it is determined that the information is in the broader public interest, publication of the released information is likely.
Their identity will not be published. The category of applicant will be published, i.e. Member of Parliament, media representative, private individual.
Aa summary of the application will be published. This gives context to the nature of the released information.
Only information that is considered to be in the broader public interest will be published. No personal information will be published.
Information of a commercial or confidential nature will not be published.