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Making a request for access

What is an access request?

Under section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) everyone has a right to obtain access to:

  • a document of an agency, other than an exempt document; or
  • an official document of a Minister, other than an exempt document.

How to make an access request

To request access to documents held by an agency your request must be ‘valid’. Under section 17, to be valid, your request must:

  • be in writing;
  • be made to the agency that holds the documents you are requesting;
  • describe the documents to which you are seeking access; and
  • include an application fee of $29.60 or evidence that paying the application fee would cause you hardship.

When making your request, try to be clear and specific about the document you are seeking access to. If the requested documents are about your personal affairs, you should provide evidence of your identity (e.g. a certified copy of your current drivers licence or other photographic identification).

Note that an agency does not have to process your request until you have provided all required information and paid the application fee (unless you are eligible to have the fee waived or the agency waives the fee).

Submitting your request online

Some agencies allow you to make an access request and pay the application fee online. For a list of agencies that accept online applications and more information click here.

If an agency does not accept online applications you should submit your request by email or post.

Submitting your request by email or post

You can find an agency’s freedom of information contact details by searching our online agency database.

If you are submitting your request by post and you do not qualify to have the application fee waived, you will need to contact the agency to discuss payment options.

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