Freedom of Information – coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Whitehorse City Council has implemented its Pandemic Response to the State of Emergency declared in Victoria to manage coronavirus (COVID-19). Council has implemented measures to protect its customers and Council staff, including social distancing and Council staff working from home.
We will continue to respond to requests for access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. However, our ability to conduct searches for documents and finalise FOI applications may be impacted due to remote working arrangements.
You may like to consider:
- If possible, delay submitting your Freedom of Information request until the Victorian State of Emergency has been lifted.
- If it’s not possible to delay submitting your Freedom of Information request, ensure your request is as specific as possible. This will allow staff to search for and locate information more easily.
- If you do not need personal information which may be contained in documents (this is information which may identify any individual, such as names, addresses, etc.) please state this in your request. This will help us provide you with a decision more quickly.
- Council’s Customer Service Centres are closed to the public therefore inspection of documents is not currently available.
- Copies of Planning Permits and Endorsed Plans can be accessed via the Whitehorse Planning and Building Department for a fee, online via Council’s Planning and Building lodge and apply page or via firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI) gives people a right to obtain information held by ministers, state government departments, local councils, most semi-government agencies and statutory authorities, public hospitals and community health centres, universities, TAFE colleges and schools.
The Freedom of Information Act not only gives people the right to request documents relating to their personal affairs, people can also request information about any of the activities of a government agency.
The Act also gives an individual the right to request that incorrect or misleading information held by an agency about that individual be amended or removed.