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Section 61G - Preliminary inquiries and consultation


Gathering information


When handling a complaint, the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) may conduct preliminary inquiries and consult with an agency, Minister, or any other person whose rights or interests may be affected by the subject matter of the complaint.1


OVIC must take reasonable steps to informally resolve a complaint where it can.2 Gathering information helps OVIC to decide the material facts and issues and whether the complaint can be resolved informally.

Conducting preliminary enquiries


After OVIC accepts a complaint, OVIC may invite the agency or Minister to have a preliminary discussion about the complaint and explore options for resolving it. Depending on the agency or Minister’s response, OVIC may come back to the complainant for more information or seek the complainant’s views on options for resolving the complaint.


If the complaint is incomplete or unclear, OVIC may help the complainant to refine it. OVIC may also contact the complainant and/or the agency or Minister to ask questions about the complaint, or to explore options to resolve the complaint.

More information

For information on working with OVIC during a complaint, see section 61E – Agency or Minister to cooperate with Information Commissioner.

  1. Section 6I sets out the functions of the Information Commissioner and the Public Access Deputy Commissioner; both are responsible for handling FOI complaints. In this section, the FOI Guidelines collectively refer to the Information Commissioner, the Public Access Deputy Commissioner, and OVIC staff as ‘OVIC’ unless otherwise stated.
  2. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61GB.



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Last updated 17 November 2023.

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