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SR 1982 No. 197 Regulations as made
Principal Regulations
Administered by: Attorney-General's
General Comments: This instrument was backcaptured in accordance with section 36 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

For application and saving provisions relating to the repeal of these regulations, see section 13 of the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019.
Registered 01 Jan 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR24-Aug-1982
Tabled Senate24-Aug-1982
Gazetted 20 Aug 1982
Date of repeal 01 Apr 2019
Repealed by Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019

Statutory Rules 1982 No. 1971

__________

Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations

I, THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council and in pursuance of section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, hereby make the following Regulations under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

            Dated 19 August 1982.

                                                                                                             N. M. STEPHEN

                                                                                                            Governor-General

     By His Excellency’s Command,

P. DURACK

Attorney-General

__________

Citation

          1.    These Regulations may be cited as the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations.

Interpretation

          2.    (1)   In these Regulations, unless the contrary intention appears—

“relevant agency”, in relation to a request, means the agency to which the request has been made or is to be deemed, by virtue of section 16 of the Act, to have been made;

“relevant Minister”, in relation to a request, means the Minister to whom the request has been made or is to be deemed, by virtue of section 16 of the Act, to have been made;

“the Act” means the Freedom of Information Act 1982;

“written document”, in relation to a request, means a document other than—

                (a)    a document produced for the purposes of the request by an agency by—

                          (i)    the use of a computer or other equipment that is ordinarily available to the agency for retrieving or collating stored information; or

                         (ii)    the making of a transcript from a document held in the agency, being a document by which words are recorded in a manner in which they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound or in which words are contained in the form of shorthand writing or in codified form; or

               (b)    a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being produced.

          (2)   In these Regulations, unless the contrary intention appears, a reference to the time spent by an agency or a Minister in searching for or retrieving a document does not include—

                (a)    where the document is not found in the place in which, according to the filing system of the agency or of the office of the Minister, as the case may be, (in this sub-regulation referred to as the “relevant filing system”) it ought to be located—any time other than such time as would have been spent by the agency or Minister in searching for or retrieving the document if the document had been found in that place; or

               (b)    where the relevant filing system ought reasonably to have indicated, but does not indicate, the place in which the document is located—any time other than such time as would have been spent by the agency or Minister in searching for or retrieving the document if the relevant filing system had indicated the place in which the document is located and the document had been found in that place.

          (3)   For the purposes of these Regulations, time spent by a person in searching for or retrieving an official document of a Minister shall be taken to be time spent by the Minister in searching for or retrieving the document.

Liability to pay charges

          3.    (1)   Where an applicant has made a request for access to a document of an agency or an official document of a Minister, the agency or Minister may make a decision whether the applicant is liable to pay, in respect of the request or in respect of the provision to the applicant of access to the document, any of the charges applicable under these Regulations.

          (2)   Where an agency or a Minister has, under sub-regulation (1), made a decision that an applicant is liable to pay a charge, then, except where regulation 8, 9 or 10 applies, the charge is payable by the applicant in the amount or at the rate fixed by, or in accordance with, the Schedule.

Charges applicable generally

          4.    Subject to these Regulations—

                (a)    the charges set out in Part I of the Schedule are applicable in respect of a request for access to a document; and

               (b)    the charges set out in Part II of the Schedule are applicable in respect of the provision of access to a document to which a request relates.

General charges not applicable in relation to certain documents

          5.    Regulation 4 does not apply in relation to—

                (a)    a request for, or the provision of, access to a document to which regulation 6 or 7 applies; or

               (b)    a request for access to a document where—

                          (i)    a decision is made not to grant the request; and

                         (ii)    regulation 7 would, if the request had been granted, have applied to the document.

Charges applicable in relation to personal records

          6.    (1)   This regulation applies to a document to which a request relates, being a document containing information relating to the personal affairs of the applicant, where—

                (a)    the applicant has not previously had access to the document; or

               (b)    in the case of a document to which the applicant has previously had access—

                          (i)    the information relating to the personal affairs of the applicant contained in the document has (whether by way of an addition, omission or alteration) been modified in a material particular after the date on which the applicant last had access to the document; or

                         (ii)    if sub-paragraph (i) does not apply—the request has been made not less than 3 months after the date on which the applicant last had access to the document.

          (2)   The charges set out in Part III of the Schedule are applicable in respect of the provision of access to a document to which a request relates, being a document to which this regulation applies.

Charges applicable in relation to written documents where minimum search involved, &c.

          7.    (1)   This regulation applies to a written document to which a request relates, not being a document to which regulation 6 applies, where—

                (a)    the time spent by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in searching for or retrieving the document does not exceed 2 hours; and

               (b)    access is to be given to the document in the form of provision to the applicant of a photocopy of the document.

          (2)   The charges set out in Part IV of the Schedule are applicable in respect of the provision of access to a document to which a request relates, being a document to which this regulation applies.

Liability for charges where access may be provided in more than one form

          8.    Where—

                (a)    access to a document to which a request relates may be provided in any of 2 or more forms;

               (b)    the applicant has not requested access to the document in a particular form; and

                (c)    the amount of the charge or charges that, but for this regulation, the applicant would be liable to pay in respect of the request and the provision of access, in the form selected by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister, to the document exceeds the lowest amount (in this regulation referred to as the “prescribed amount”) of the charge or charges that the applicant would have been liable to pay in respect of the request and the provision of access to the document if access had been given in some other form,

the amount of the charge or charges that the applicant is liable to pay shall not exceed the prescribed amount.

Charges based on estimates of time, &c., may be fixed in certain cases

          9.    (1)   Where, at the time (in this sub-regulation referred to as the “relevant time”) that an agency or a Minister proposes to notify an applicant under section 29 of the Act that he is liable to pay a charge in respect of the request that he has made for access to a document, the agency or Minister has not taken any or all of the steps necessary to enable the agency or Minister to make a decision on the request, the agency or Minister may fix, as the amount of the charge, such amount as would be the amount ascertained in accordance with the Schedule in respect of the charge if, at the relevant time, all steps that would, in the opinion of the agency or Minister, be necessary to enable a decision to be made on the request had been taken by the agency or Minister.

          (2)   Where, at the time (in this sub-regulation referred to as the “relevant time”) that an agency or a Minister proposes to notify an applicant under section 29 of the Act that he is liable to pay a charge (other than a charge in relation to which
sub-regulation (3) applies) in respect of the provision of access to a document, the agency or Minister has not taken any or all of the steps necessary to enable the applicant to be given access to the document, the agency or Minister may fix, as the amount of the charge, such amount as would be the amount ascertained in accordance with the Schedule in respect of the charge if, at the relevant time, all steps that are, or would, in the opinion of the agency or Minister, be, necessary to enable the applicant to be given access to the document had been taken by the agency or Minister.

          (3)   Where—

                (a)    access to a document is to be given to an applicant in the form of an opportunity to inspect the document under the supervision of an officer; and

               (b)    the relevant agency or the relevant Minister makes a decision that the applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect of the period during which the officer is to supervise the inspection,

the relevant agency or the relevant Minister may fix, as the amount of the charge, such amount as would be the amount ascertained in accordance with the Schedule in respect of the charge if—

                (c)    at the time that the decision is made, the applicant had availed himself of the opportunity so to inspect the document; and

               (d)    the period during which the officer supervised the inspection was such period as is determined by the agency or Minister to be the period reasonably required for the inspection.

          (4)   Where an agency or a Minister has, in accordance with sub-regulation (1), (2) or (3), fixed an amount in respect of a charge that an applicant is liable to pay, the applicant is, subject to regulation 10, liable to pay the charge in the amount so fixed.

          (5)   In sub-regulation (3), a reference, in relation to a document, to an opportunity to inspect the document shall, in relation to a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being produced, be read as a reference to the arrangements made for the applicant to hear or view those sounds or images and “inspection” shall, in relation to such a document, be construed accordingly.

Readjustment of liability for charges in cases where regulation 9 applies

          10.  (1)   Where—

                (a)    an agency or a Minister has, in accordance with sub-regulation 9 (1), (2) or (3), fixed an amount in respect of a charge that an applicant is liable to pay; and

               (b)    after—

                          (i)    in the case of a charge in respect of a request for access to a document—the agency or Minister has made a decision on the request;

                         (ii)    in the case of a charge (other than a charge in respect of which an amount has been fixed in accordance with sub-regulation 9 (3)) in respect of the provision of access to a documentthe agency or Minister has taken all steps necessary to enable the applicant to be given access to the document; or

                        (iii)    in the case of a charge in respect of the provision of access to a document, being a charge in respect of which an amount has been fixed in accordance with sub-regulation 9 (3)—the applicant has had access to the document,

                        it is ascertained that the amount so fixed in respect of the charge does not equal the amount (in this regulation referred to as the “prescribed amount”) that, but for regulation 9, the applicant would, under these Regulations, be liable to pay in respect of the charge,

the agency or Minister shall, subject to sub-regulation (2), fix, as the amount of the charge, an amount equal to the prescribed amount.

          (2)   Where an agency or a Minister makes a decision not to grant a request for access to a document, the agency or Minister shall not fix, under sub-regulation (1), an amount in respect of a charge unless the prescribed amount in relation to the charge is less than the amount fixed in respect of the charge in accordance with
sub-regulation 9 (1), (2) or (3), as the case may be.

          (3)   Where an agency or a Minister has, in accordance with sub-regulation (1), fixed an amount in respect of a charge that an applicant is liable to pay, the applicant is liable to pay that amount in respect of the charge in lieu of the amount fixed in respect of the charge in accordance with sub-regulation 9 (1), (2) or (3), as the case may be.

          (4)   Where an applicant is, under sub-regulation (3), liable to pay to an agency or Minister in respect of a charge an amount fixed in accordance with
sub-regulation (1), then—

                (a)    if the applicant has, under sub-regulation 9 (4), paid to the agency or Minister in respect of the charge an amount that exceeds the
first-mentioned amount—the applicant is entitled to a refund in an amount equal to the amount of the excess; or

               (b)    if the applicant has, under sub-regulation 9 (4), paid to the agency or Minister in respect of the charge an amount that is less than the
first-mentioned amount—the amount so paid by him shall be deemed to have been paid as a deposit on account of the charge.

Charges to be paid before access is granted

          11.  (1)   Subject to sub-regulation (2), where an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect of a request for access to a document or in respect of the provision of access to the document, the charge shall be paid to the relevant agency or the relevant Minister before access is granted to the document.

          (2)   Sub-regulation (1) does not apply to or in relation to a charge of a kind referred to in Item 1 of Part II, or in Item 1 of Part III, of the Schedule except where the charge is payable in an amount fixed in accordance with sub-regulation 9 (3).

          (3)   In this regulation, “charge” does not include a charge or any part of a charge that has been remitted in accordance with section 30 of the Act.

Deposits

          12.  (1)   Where—

                (a)    an agency or a Minister has made a decision that an applicant is liable to pay, in respect of a request or in respect of the provision of access to the document to which the request relates, a charge or charges other than a charge or charges applicable by virtue of regulation 6 or 7; and

               (b)    the amount, or the estimated amount, of that charge or of those charges exceeds $25,

the agency or Minister may make a decision whether the applicant is required to pay a deposit on account of the charge or charges that the applicant is liable to pay under these Regulations.

          (2)   Where an agency or a Minister has made a decision that an applicant is required to pay a deposit on account of the charge or charges that the applicant is liable to pay under these Regulations, the amount of the deposit is such amount not exceeding—

                (a)    where the amount, or the estimated amount, of the charge or charges exceeds $25 but does not exceed $100—$20; or

               (b)    where that amount or estimated amount exceeds $100—25 per centum of that amount or estimated amount,

as is determined by the agency or Minister.

Applicant to be notified of liability to pay deposit

          13.  (1)   Where, by virtue of a decision of an agency or a Minister, an applicant is required to pay a deposit on account of a charge or charges, the agency or Minister shall notify the applicant, in writing, accordingly and shall specify in the notification the amount of the deposit.

          (2)   A notification under sub-regulation (1) in respect of a deposit on account of a charge or charges shall be given to the applicant at the same time as the notification under section 29 of the Act in relation to the charge or charges is given to him.

Deposit not to be refunded

          14.  A deposit paid by an applicant on account of a charge or charges, or any part of such a deposit, shall not be refunded to the applicant otherwise than in compliance with a decision under section 30 of the Act to remit in whole or in part the charge or charges.

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                                      SCHEDULE                      Regulation 4

PART I

CHARGES APPLICABLE IN RESPECT OF A REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO A DOCUMENT

 

Item No.

Charge

Amount or Rate of Charge

1

A charge in respect of the administrative procedures involved in processing the request

$8.00

2

Where the request relates to a document other than a document in relation to which a charge is applicable under Item 3—a charge in respect of the time spent by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in searching for or retrieving the document

$12.00 per hour

3

Where the request, being a request made to an agency, is in respect of information that is not available in discrete form in documents of the agency—a charge in respect of the production of a document containing the information in discrete form by the use of a computer or other equipment that is ordinarily available to the agency for retrieving or collating stored information

an amount not exceeding the actual cost incurred by the agency in producing the document

4

Where—

   (a)  the request relates to a document by which words are recorded in a manner in which they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound or in which words are contained in the form of shorthand writing or in codified form; and

  (b)  for the purpose of making a decision on the request, a written transcript of the words recorded or contained in the document is produced,

a charge in respect of the production of such a written transcript

$4.40 per page of transcript

 

                                                  PART II                                Regulation 4

CHARGES APPLICABLE IN RESPECT OF THE PROVISION OF ACCESS TO A DOCUMENT TO WHICH A REQUEST RELATES

 

Item No.

Charge

Amount or Rate of Charge

1

Where access to the document to which the request relates is given—

   (a)  in the form of an opportunity to inspect the document under the supervision of an officer; or

  (b)  in the case of a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being produced—in the form of arrangements for the applicant to hear or view those sounds or visual images under the supervision of an officer,

a charge in respect of the period during which the officer supervises the inspection, hearing or viewing, as the case may be

if the period does not exceed half an hour—$6.25

if the period exceeds half an hour, for each half-hour, and any period not exceeding half an hour, included in the period—$6.25

2

Where the request relates to a written document and access to the document is given in the form of the provision of a photocopy of the document—a charge in respect of the number of pages of photocopy provided to the applicant

10 cents per page

3

Where the request relates to a written document and access to the document is given in the form of the provision of a copy (other than a photocopy) of the document—a charge in respect of the number of pages of copy provided to the applicant

$4.40 per page

4

Where—

   (a)  the request, being a request made to an agency, is in respect of information (in this item referred to as the “relevant information”) that is available in discrete form in a document produced (whether for the purposes of the request or not) by the use of a computer or other equipment that is ordinarily available to the agency for retrieving or collating stored information;

  (b)  deletions are made from the document before access to it is given to the applicant; and

   (c)  it is not reasonably practicable to make these deletions otherwise than by the use of a computer or other equipment referred to in paragraph (a),

a charge in respect of the production by the computer or other equipment of a copy of the document with those deletions

an amount not exceeding the actual costs incurred by the agency in producing such a copy of the document

5

Where—

   (a)  the request relates to a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being produced; and

  (b)  access to the document is given in the form of arrangements for the applicant to hear or view those sounds or visual images,

a charge in respect of the arrangements so made other than any arrangements in respect of which a charge is applicable under Item 1

an amount not exceeding the actual costs incurred by the relevant agency or Minister in respect of those arrangements

6

Where—

   (a)  the request relates to a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being produced; and

  (b)  access is given in the form of the provision of a copy of the document,

a charge in respect of the production of the copy so provided

an amount not exceeding the actual costs (including, where applicable, the cost of any tape, film or other article or thing provided) incurred by the relevant agency or Minister in producing the copy

7

Where—

   (a)  the request relates to a document by which words are recorded in a manner in which they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound or in which words are contained in the form of shorthand writing or in codified form;

  (b)  access is given in the form of the provision of a written transcript (with or without deletions) of the words recorded or contained in the document; and

   (c)  the applicant has not paid, or is not liable to pay, as a charge in respect of the request for access to the document, a charge in respect of the production of such a written transcript,

a charge in respect of the production of that written transcript

$4.40 per page of transcript

8

Where—

   (a)  access to the document to which the request relates is to be given in the form of the provision of a copy of the document; and

  (b)  the copy so provided is, at the request of the applicant, to be sent by post or delivered to him at a place other than an Information Access Office,

a charge in respect of the posting or delivery of the copy

an amount not exceeding the cost of postage or delivery

                                                  PART III                              Regulation 6

CHARGES APPLICABLE IN RESPECT OF THE PROVISION OF ACCESS TO A DOCUMENT TO WHICH A REQUEST RELATES, BEING A DOCUMENT CONTAINING INFORMATION RELATING TO THE PERSONAL AFFAIRS OF THE APPLICANT

 

Item No.

Charge

Amount or Rate of Charge

1

Where—

   (a)  access to the document to which the request relates is given in the form of an opportunity to inspect the document under the supervision of an officer; and

  (b)  the period during which the officer supervises the inspection exceeds 2 hours,

a charge in respect of such part (in this item referred to as the “excess period”) of the period of supervision as exceeds 2 hours

if the excess period does not exceed half an hour—$6.25

if the excess period exceeds half an hour, for each half-hour, and any period not exceeding half an hour, included in the excess period—$6.25

2

Where—

   (a)  the request relates to a written document;

  (b)  access to the document is given in the form of a photocopy of the document; and

   (c)  the number of pages of photocopy provided exceeds 100,

a charge in respect of the number of pages of photocopy in excess of 100

10 cents per page

                                                 PART IV                              Regulation 7

CHARGES APPLICABLE IN RESPECT OF THE PROVISION OF ACCESS TO A DOCUMENT TO WHICH A REQUEST RELATES, BEING A DOCUMENT TO WHICH REGULATION 7 APPLIES

 

Item No.

Charge

Amount or Rate of Charge

1

Where the time spent by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in searching for or retrieving the document does not exceed 1 hour—a basic charge, being a charge that includes an amount in respect of the costs incurred by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in producing not more than 50 pages of photocopy

$12.50

2

Where the time spent by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in searching for or retrieving the document exceeds
1 hour—a basic charge, being a charge that includes an amount in respect of the costs incurred by the relevant agency or the relevant Minister in producing not more than 100 pages of photocopy

$25.00

3

Where the number of pages of photocopy required for the provision of access to the document exceeds—

   (a)  in the case of a document to which Item 1 relates—50 pages; or

  (b)  in the case of a document to which Item 2 relates—100 pages,

a charge in respect of the number of pages of photocopy in excess of 50 or 100, as the case may be

10 cents per page

 

NOTE

1.       Notified in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 20 August 1982.