Freedom of information

The object of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Australian Government.

The FOI Act aims to achieve this objective by

  • requiring that agencies publish certain information on their websites
  • providing for a right of access to documents.

TEQSA proactively manages the publication of information about its activities that may be of interest to the Australian community.

Right of access under the FOI Act

The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) that TEQSA holds
  • ask for information TEQSA holds about them to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • seek a review of a decision not to allow access to a document or not to amend their personal record.

TEQSA can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, that are exempt. Exempt documents may include:

  • those relating to national security
  • documents containing material obtained in confidence
  • Cabinet documents, or
  • other matters set out in the FOI Act.

Making an FOI application

Applications for access to documents must:

  • be in writing (including email)
  • state that the application is made under the FOI Act
  • provide enough information concerning the documents sought as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the department to identify them; and
  • give details of how notices may be sent to the applicant (for example, a postal or email address).

Make an FOI application to TEQSA

Send an application to TEQSA by email or post.

Email: foi@teqsa.gov.au

Post:
Information Officer
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
GPO Box 1672
Melbourne VIC 3001

Charges

TEQSA does not charge application fees for FOI requests. TEQSA does not charge to process requests for access to documents containing only personal information about an applicant. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:

Action Charge
Search and retrieval: time TEQSA spends searching for or retrieving a document $15.00 per hour
Decision making: time spent in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions First five hours: Nil Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium $4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopying $0.10 per page
Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request Cost of postage or delivery

After an application is submitted

TEQSA will deal with applications in accordance with the requirements under the FOI Act.

  • TEQSA will acknowledge receipt of the FOI request.
  • If the applicant is liable to pay a processing charge, TEQSA will send an assessment of the charge.
  • An information officer will make a decision on access to the documents requested, and TEQSA will send the applicant a letter explaining its decision and the applicant's review and appeal rights.

Review of decisions

An applicant can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • if TEQSA refuses to provide access to all or part of a document
  • if TEQSA defers providing access to all or part of a document
  • if TEQSA imposes a charge
  • if TEQSA refuses to change or annotate information about an applicant that the applicant claims is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with TEQSA's decision to provide access to documents that contain information about them can also ask for the decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

Applicants can request in writing that TEQSA reconsider its decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in the agency. TEQSA will advise of its new decision within 30 days of receiving a request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after an affected third party is notified).

The Australian Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision, or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au.

Complaints

If an applicant is unhappy with the way TEQSA has handled a request, they can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, who may investigate TEQSA's actions.

FOI disclosure log

The TEQSA Freedom of Information disclosure log is available online.

More information

For more information, email TEQSA on foi@teqsa.gov.au or call the infoline on 1300 739 585.