The guiding principles below were developed to provide an overview of the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 and how it applies to the TAC.
For specific details on how to make a request for information under FOI, please call the TAC on 1300 654 329 and ask to speak to one of our Freedom of Information officers. Alternatively you can send an email to the TAC's Freedom of Information team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have a general right to know - you don't have to demonstrate a need to know
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives any person a legally enforceable right to seek access to information about, and in the possession of, the Government of Victoria and certain other organisations. While there is no requirement for you to explain why you want information, it may help the TAC to more quickly identify the relevant documents, or provide an alternative means of obtaining them, if you indicate the purpose of your request.
The TAC will assist you in lodging a request
If you wish to lodge an FOI request, we will explain what you need to do. If there is no need for a formal request, we will suggest alternatives for obtaining the information.
You may seek access to personal or non-personal information
A request for information may be for personal documents (e.g. claim-related material) or non-personal documents (e.g. about the activities of the TAC).
Obtaining information under FOI is not automatically free
There is an application fee of $27.90 (as of 1 July 2016) payable when a request is lodged. Access charges may also be payable before documents are provided.
Access to information is not guaranteed
If access to a document is refused, we will, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982, provide reasons for refusing access.
FOI decisions are independent of other decisions
A decision made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 is distinct from a decision made by the TAC under the Transport Accident Act 1986. For example, if you have a claim with the TAC and request information under FOI, the FOI decision is made independently and may not be the same as a decision by a TAC claims officer.
Timeframe for FOI decisions
For formal requests for documentation, the TAC is obliged to provide a decision regarding access within 45 calendar days.
You will be advised of your rights of review
When notified of an FOI decision, you will be advised of the ways, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982, in which you can have the decision reviewed.
How to lodge a request
All FOI requests must be made to the TAC in writing and include payment of the relevant application fee ($27.90), or provide evidence of financial hardship (e.g. copy of health care card) in order to have the fee waived.
Requests can be lodged with TAC by post at:
Freedom of Information Team
Transport Accident Commission
GPO Box 2751
Melbourne, VIC 3001
Or by email at: email@example.com
Requests can also be lodged with the TAC via the Department of Justice Online FOI portal: https://online.foi.vic.gov.au/foi/request.doj This facility allows payment of the FOI application fee by credit card.