FOI - What Does It Cost?
There is no application fee if your application is limited to your own personal information. Otherwise, there is a $30 application fee.
For your own personal information there is a fee for the costs of arranging and providing access. These include:
|Supervising examination of information||First two hours free, then $25 per hour|
|Photocopying fees for A4 b&w copies||20c per page|
|Arranging or providing access in another way, for example, by a tape or transcript||Actual cost|
For non-personal information the fee includes:
|Searching for, retrieving and returning information (but not searching for misplaced information)||$25 per hour|
|Considering and making decision, including consultation||$25 per hour|
|Supervising examination of information||$25 per hour|
|Photocopying fees for black and white, A4 copies||20c per page|
|Arranging or providing access in another way||Actual cost|
If the application is for a mix of your own personal information and non-personal information, there will be an allocation between the two processing fee structures.
The Schedule to the Information Regulations sets out how the processing fee is calculated. You should read the Regulations for full details.
Will I get a quote or estimate?
If the application is likely to involve significant fees, the organisation may give you an estimate of the processing costs. (You can require the organisation to give you an estimate, if you are concerned.) You can then decide whether or not to proceed with your application.
If you decide to proceed, the organisation may require you to pay a deposit of:
- $25, if the estimate is less than $100; or
- 50% of the estimate, if it is over $100.
The organisation doesn't have to proceed with your application until you pay the deposit.
What if the estimate turns out to be wrong?
The organisation will be bound by its estimate even if the cost of services and materials actually used turns out to be more than the estimate.
If it turns out that the actual cost of services is less than the estimate, you will only have to pay for the services and materials actually used.
EXAMPLE (FINAL COST MORE THAN ESTIMATE):
You submit a valid application with a $30 application fee. The organisation estimates it will cost $600 for it to process your application. You decide to go ahead with the application and pay the $300 deposit. It takes the organisation much longer to find the information than it anticipated and it costs $950. The organisation can only charge you the balance remaining on the estimate, which is $300.
EXAMPLE (FINAL COST LESS THAN ORIGINAL ESTIMATE BUT MORE THAN DEPOSIT):
You submit a valid application with a $30 application fee. The organisation estimates it will cost $600 for it to process your application. You decide to go ahead with the application and pay the $300 deposit. However, the organisation finds the information quicker than expected and it only costs $525. The organisation will then charge you $225, which is the balance outstanding.
EXAMPLE (FINAL COST LESS THAN DEPOSIT):
You submit a valid application with a $30 application fee. The organisation estimates it will cost about $600 for it to process your application. You decide to go ahead with the application and pay the $300 deposit. However, it finds the information much quicker than expected and it only costs them $225. The organisation will refund you the extra $75.
Can I apply to have the fee waived or reduced?
Fees can be waived or reduced in limited circumstances. If you apply for a waiver or reduction, the organisation will consider:
- the circumstances of the application;
- your financial situation; and
- the objects of the Act.
If you think there are special circumstances that warrant waiver or reduction of fees, you can contact the organisation to ask how to apply for waiver or reduction.
Last Updated on
17 May, 2012