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Practice notes

The Procedural Practice Notes and Exemption Practice Notes on this page provide detailed guidance on how the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), exemptions, and Professional Standards should be administered and interpreted. They are complemented by customisable templates that can be used by agencies when corresponding with applicants, third parties, and internal staff.

Procedural Practice Notes

Procedural Practice Note 1: The Professional Standards

Procedural Practice Note 2: Proactive release of information

Procedural Practice Note 3: Receiving an access request – valid requests and early considerations

Procedural Practice Note 4: Processing a request for an amendment of personal records

Procedural Practice Note 5: Deleting irrelevant and exempt information under section 25

Procedural Practice Note 6: Informal release of information

Procedural Practice Note 7: Routine requests for information and documents

Procedural Practice Note 8: Timeframes and extensions of time when processing an access request

Procedural Practice Note 9: What is a document and what is actual or constructive possession?

Procedural Practice Note 10: Conducting a thorough and diligent search for documents and undertaking internal consultation

Procedural Practice Note 11: Estimating and calculating access charges

Procedural Practice Note 12: Practicability and third-party consultation and notification

Procedural Practice Note 13: Substantial and unreasonable requests – section 25A(1)

Procedural Practice Note 14: Requests for documents that are obviously exempt – section 25A(5)

Procedural Practice Note 15: Drafting a freedom of information decision letter

Procedural Practice Note 16: How to assist the freedom of information complaints process

Procedural Practice Note 17: How to assist the freedom of information review process

Procedural Practice Note 18: Principal officer responsibilities and obligations under the FOI Act

Procedural Practice Note 20: Overview of the FOI Act and the responsibilities of Victorian public sector officers

Procedural Practice Note 21: FOI and section 125 of the Local Government Act 2020

Procedural Practice Note 22: When an access charges certificate may be issued to refer a matter to the Tribunal

Procedural Practice Note 23: Noting and briefing processes on freedom of information decisions

Exemption Practice Notes

Exemption Practice Note 1: Section 28 – Cabinet documents or information

Exemption Practice Note 2: Section 30 – Opinion, advice, recommendation, consultation or deliberation

Exemption Practice Note 3: Section 31(1)(a) – Prejudice the investigation of a breach of the law

Exemption Practice Note 4: Section 31(1)(a) – Prejudice the enforcement or proper administration of the law

Exemption Practice Note 5: Section 31(1)(b) – Prejudice the fair trial of a person or the impartial adjudication of a case

Exemption Practice Note 6: Section 31(1)(c) – Confidential source of information in relation to administration of the law

Exemption Practice Note 7: Section 31(1)(d) – Methods for preventing, detecting, investigating breaches of the law

Exemption Practice Note 8: Section 31(1)(e) – Endanger the life or physical safety of confidential source of information

Exemption Practice Note 9: Section 32 – Document or information subject to legal professional privilege

Exemption Practice Note 10: Section 33 – Unreasonable disclosure of personal affairs information

Exemption Practice Note 11: Section 34(1)(a) – Trade secrets of an undertaking

Exemption Practice Note 12: Section 34(1)(b) – Business, commercial or financial information of an undertaking

Exemption Practice Note 13: Section 34(4)(a)(i) – Trade secret of an agency

Exemption Practice Note 14: Section 34(4)(a)(ii) – Business, commercial or financial information of an agency

Exemption Practice Note 15: Section 35(1)(a) – Exempt information communicated in confidence

Exemption Practice Note 16: Section 35(1)(b) – Disclosure would impair ability to obtain information in future

Exemption Practice Note 17: Section 38 – A secrecy provision prohibits disclosure of the information


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