Freedom of Information

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the FOI Act) gives any member of the public a right to access government documents (subject to some limitations). The State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) makes documents available as prescribed in the Act.  Further the Act requires that personal information held by the SLWA about members of the public is accurate, complete and up-to-date.

The Library Board of Western Australia is constituted under the authority of the Library Board of Western Australia Act 1951, listed as a statutory authority by Schedule 1 of the Financial Management Act 2006, and is subject to the provisions of the Public Sector Management Act 1994. The State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) is responsible to the Library Board through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and State Librarian, who is the Executive Officer of the Board. The State Library is also a portfolio organisation within the Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA). The SLWA is organised into five business units reporting to the CEO and State Librarian:

  • Executive provides support services to the Library Board of Western Australia, the CEO, and other strategic partners as well as Ministerial support through the Department of Culture and the Arts. It manages the internal audit, marketing and communications functions and provides policy advice and research support on issues and trends relevant to the State Library and the Library Board.
  • Client Services supports all State Library clients, whether online or visiting the building, meeting their information needs and enhancing their visitor experience with the Library.
  • Collection Services develops the Library’s collections through the identification, procurement, processing, storage, preservation, digitisation, management, distribution and accessibility of all State Library collections, both physical and digital. Collections include Heritage materials, general reference material and public library materials.
  • Community, Learning and Discovery delivers services and programs to engage and enrich clients’ experiences in connecting with the Library’s resources. These include the Better Beginnings family literacy program, educational and children’s activities and specialist reference and research support related to specialist collections.
  • Strategic and Corporate Services provides support in the areas of strategic projects, budget planning, information and communication technology and venue management. Finance, human resource services and building management are provided in collaboration with the Department of Culture and the Arts.

The agency’s main effect on members of the public is in the provision of contemporary library services. The agency delivers library services in person and online services from the State Library of Western Australia, and delivers local governments with shelf-ready stock for public libraries State-wide.

The types of documents held by the SLWA include:

  • Emails
  • Memorandum
  • Papers
  • Presentations
  • Correspondence
  • Diagrams / images / plans
  • Orders / invoices
  • Contracts
  • Manuals
  • Diaries
  • Policies / guidelines / procedures
  • Meeting minutes / agendas

Any of these documents would be available under the Freedom of Information Act. The SLWA would welcome enquiry about if a document could be supplied without resort to a FOI application.

SLWA published works are available free of charge to download online from the SLWA website, or for print materials, physical inspection at the State Library.

Access to documents and information

Under the Regulations of the Act the Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) acts in a coordination role for all applications for the SLWA, the Library Board of Western Australia and the State Library of Western Australia Foundation documents and information.

If you are considering making an application for information from the SLWA, we encourage you to first make contact with the FOI Coordinator, Department of Culture and the Arts;

  • in writing PO Box 8349, Perth Business Centre WA 6849;
  • by telephone (08) 6552 7300; or
  • by email info@dca.wa.gov.au.

The Coordinator will ensure that advice is provided to help you to make an application. Documents may even be made available without having to make an application under the Act.

If you do make an application under the Act for access to records held by the SLWA it will be dealt with by the DCA FOI Coordinator. Applications can be made in writing and posted or emailed. Address applications to:

FOI Coordinator
Department of Culture & the Arts
PO Box 8349
Perth Business Centre WA 6849
Email: info@dca.wa.gov.au

If you are applying for access to non-personal documents or information then an application fee applies. This fee must be paid before the application is accepted.  Information about fees and charges can be found below.

Form of request for access
  1. Applicants must submit applications in writing for access to documents under FOI. A letter or email which describes the document/s is sufficient.
  2. The letter or email should say that the request is made under the FOI Act and should not form part of a letter or email on another subject. In your application, provide the following:
    • full name;
    • Australian postal address;
    • telephone number or email address; and
    • details of document required – be as specific as you can; and
      form of access desired - i.e. copies of documents, inspection of file or other (specify).

The Department must respond to your FOI application within 45 days.

Correction of Personal Information

Request to correct or amend information about a person in a document held by the SLWA must be made in writing. Your request should include:

  • full name;
  • postal address;
  • details on how and why you believe the information to be incorrect; incomplete, misleading or out of date; and
  • details on the amendment/s you wish to have made.
Fees and Charges

A scale of fees and charges is set under the FOI Act Regulations. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary.

The charges are as follows:

Personal information about applicant

No fee

Application fee (non-personal information)

$30.00

For large or time consuming applications the following charges may apply.  Where charges will apply the applicant will be given an estimate of the charges to approve.

 

Charge for time dealing with application (per hour or pro rata)

$30.00

Access time supervised by staff (per hour or pro rata)

$30.00

Photocopying staff time (per hour or pro rata)

$30.00

Per photocopy

20 cents

Transcribing from tape, film or computer (per hour or pro rata)

$30.00

Duplicating a tape, film or computer information

Actual cost

Delivery, packaging and postage

Actual cost

Deposits
  • Advance deposit may be required of the estimated charges 25%.
  • Further advance deposit may be required to meet the charges for dealing with the application 75%.
  • The charge payable is reduced by 25% for financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards.
Notice of Decision

You will be provided with a notice of decision as soon as possible, but in any case within 45 days. It will include details such as:

  • the date the decision was made;
  • the name and the designation of the officer who made the decision;
  • if the document is an exempt document, the reason for classifying the matter exempt, or that access is given to an edited document; and
  • information on the right to appeal the decision and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.
Appeals

Applicants may appeal against a decision for access to documents, the amendment of records, or against the cost levied.  The first avenue of appeal is to the DCA Director General, requesting an internal review of the FOI Coordinator's decision. The application for a review must be lodged within 30 days of receiving written notice of the decision. The matter will be reviewed within 15 days of receipt of your appeal. Should you wish to further appeal this decision, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner appointed under the FOI Act.

More information

Contact the DCA FOI Coordinator as above, or have a look at the information available on the Western Australian Office of the Information Commissioner website.

Last updated on: 14 Nov 2016