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RTI

TASMANIA FIRE SERVICE

RIGHT TO INFORMATION

 
Index

 

Policy Statement

Officers of the Tasmania Fire Service make determinations in relation to the disclosure of information held by this public authority which are consistent with the objects and provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 and with any manual or guidelines issued and updated periodically by the Ombudsman.

Right to Information Act 2009

The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1991 on 1 July 2010. It creates a new framework for the disclosure of information to the Tasmanian Community to improve transparency in Government.

The new framework in the Act has four key elements, that:

  • mandates the proactive release of information;
  • includes an enhanced role for the Ombudsman in relation to both review and the monitoring of the release of information;
  • minimises fees payable for the formal release of information; and
  • for the first time seeks to clarify what exactly the public interest test consists of.

A copy of the Act is available on the Tasmanian Government legislative database: www.thelaw.tas.gov.au.

The RTI Act is an outcome of the review of the Freedom of Information Act 1991.

General Information about the RTI Act is also available from the Office of the Ombudsman.

An application form is available via this link.

Who can access information?

The Right to Information Act 2009 provides all members of the public with the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.

Section 3 of the Act includes this statement of the objects of the Act:

(1) The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania – 

(a) by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and
(b) by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and
(c) by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State.

(2) This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.

(3) This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.

(4) It is the intention of Parliament –

(a) that this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1); and
(b) that discretions conferred by this Act be exercised so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the provision of the maximum amount of official information.

How do I access information?

The Tasmania Fire Service is required by the Right to Information Act 2009 to make information available to the public through proactive disclosure, this means we are to routinely make information available which will assist the public in understanding what it is we do and how we do it.

This is may be done via our website, through publications (e.g. fact sheets, or discussion papers), via reports (e.g. our Annual Report).

Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information the Department would need to assess against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure.

If you cannot find the information via one of the means below contact the Tasmania Fire Service and we may be able to assist you in finding it. If it is not freely available we will assist you to make an application for an assessed disclosure.

You may find information from the Tasmania Fire Service in one of the following ways:

Direct from Tasmania Fire Service

  • Search the Tasmania Fire Service Website - www.fire.tas.gov.au;
  • Look in our annual reports
  • Look at our publications
  • Give the Tasmania Fire Service a call on 1800 000 699.
  • Email the Tasmania Fire Service on fire@fire.tas.gov.au


Through the Service Tasmania Network

Via Tasmania Online

  • Search for the information on Tasmania Online (it may be available from another source) - www.tas.gov.au

Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)

If it is old information it may be deposited with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.

Making an Application for Assessed Disclosure

  • Applications for the Tasmania Fire Service are to be addressed to:

Right to Information Officer
Tasmania Fire Service
GPO Box 1526
Hobart TAS 7001

or email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

 

Application for Assessed Disclosure Forms
 

A form to assist in making an application is available here:-

Application for Assessed Disclosure Form (Word)

Application for Assessed Disclosure Form (Pdf)

  • Applications for information need to be made to the department, authority or council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information. A webpage like this one is available for most other public authorities.
  • If you are not using the form, please note that your applications must be made in writing and include the information which is requested in the [Form] – this is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.
  • Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is 25 fee units, which is $36.50 as at 1 July 2013 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);
  • where you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with their official duty; or
  • you are able to give us information which shows that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.

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 you application fee.


What happens once I have lodged my application?

  • We will check your application to make sure we have the information we need and that you have paid the application fee (or we will waive the fee).
  • We may transfer your application to another public authority if we do not believe we are best placed to provide you with the information.
  • Before your application is accepted, we may need to contact you to ask you about your application, this will help us to understand your request.
  • Once the above steps have been completed an officer will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009 and let you know the outcome of that process in writing.
  • You will be notified of the decision on your application for assessed disclosure as soon as practicable, but in no more than 20 working days of the application being accepted.
  • If your request is complex or for a large amount of information we may ask you to give us more time.
  • If there is a need to consult with a third party about their business affairs or about their personal information, more time is automatically given and we will let you know the outcome as soon as practicable, but no later than 40 working days – we will let you know if this is happening.

If the application or part of the application is refused, then the reasons for the refusal to provide the information must be provided as part of the decision together with details on the right to seek a review of the decision. This is done by writing to:

Principal Officer
Right to Information
Tasmania Fire Service
GPO Box 1526
HOBART TAS 7001

  • If the officer assessing your request does not get back to you in the timeframe allowed then we are taken to have refused your application and you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman if your choose. Some information on reviews by the Ombudsman can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman’s website.