Freedom of Information (FOI) Easy English

If you want more information

 

A map of Australia. In front of the map is a picture of a man. He is holding up a piece of paper that says ‘Rights’.

In Australia, everyone has rights.

 

A photograph of a man in a wheelchair. He is holding a clipboard that has a green tick on it and he is making a thumbs up gesture.

Rights are:

  • the things we are allowed to do
  • the way we can expect to be treated.
 

A picture of a man with his hand in the air, as if to ask a question. He has a speech bubble above his head.

You have the right to ask the government for information.

 

A picture of an old-fashioned piece of paper. It says Freedom of Information Act 1982.

There is a law about this right. It is called the Freedom of Information Act 1982. The Act says that everyone can ask for information that the government keeps.

 

A photograph of a man reading through some documents.

For example, you might want information about government documents, programs, policies or work that is being done.

 

A picture of a computer screen. It has a photo of a young man, with the words name, age, phone and address on it.

Or you might want to know which information or records the government keeps about you.

 

A photograph of a man on the telephone.

If you check information about you and find that there is a mistake, you can ask to have this fixed.

 

A photograph of a woman, holding her finger up to her lips to say be quiet. The word confidential is written across the picture.

Sometimes, we can’t let people see some information. This is usually because we have to keep some information private and safe.

 

‘We can’t give you that information’. ‘I’d like you to change your mind’

This means that, if you ask for information, the government may say no. If this happens to you, you can ask for them to change their decision. You have the right to do this under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

How can I ask for information?

 

 

There are several ways to ask the National Disability Insurance Agency for information.

 

Some text saying Step 1.

You can ask us directly.

 

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You can phone us: 1800 800 110.

 

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Or you can email us: enquiries[at]ndis.gov[dot]au.

 

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You can check the information that is published on government websites. This is a good idea because the information you are looking for may already be available online.

 
 

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If you still can’t find what you are looking for, you can make a Freedom of Information Request.

This is sometimes called an FOI Request.

 

A man writing a letter.

If you want to make an FOI request, you must:

  • Write to us or send us an email.
  • Tell us about the information you want.
  • Tell us that you are doing this because you have rights under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Give us as much information as possible about what you are looking for. This will help us find the information you need.
  • Tell us the address or email address you would like us to reply to.
 
 

You need to send this to the NDIS. Please send your FOI request to FOI@ndis.gov.au

 

Are there any fees?

 

 

You don’t have to pay to make a request for information. If we search for information about you, this is free. However, there are fees for searching for some other information. The table below explains the fees.

 
Activity Fee

A laptop screen showing a search function.

Searching for documents

$15.00 per hour

A man thinking. He is resting his chin on his hand and he has a thought bubble above his head.

Making decisions

Free for the first 5 hours, then $20 per hour after that

A man working at a laptop. He is wearing a headset. There is also a zoomed image of his hands typing on a keyboard.

Transcripts – this includes things like writing or typing information from audio, video or other files.

$4.40 per page

A man using a photocopier.

Photocopying

10 cents per page

Two women at a reception desk in a large office.

Inspection – this is if you come to one of our offices to look at documents. Someone will be with you when you do this.

$6.25 per half hour

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Delivery

The delivery fee depends on what we need to send to you. If the delivery will cost more than $20, we will ask you to pay a deposit.

 

How long does it take?

 

A calendar showing 14 days.

If you ask for information, you can expect to hear back from us within 14 days.

 

A calendar showing 30 days.

If we need to make a decision about your request, we usually do this within 30 days.

 

A woman talking on the phone.

Sometimes, we need an extra 30 days. This might be because:

 

A man carrying a large stack of documents.

  • we need to contact other people and ask them to share information
 

A woman talking into a headset. She is smiling.

  • your request is large or difficult.
 
 

We will contact you if it is going to take us a long time to find the information for you.

 

What to do if you have a problem

 

A woman holding a clipboard. On the clipboard, there is a list with crosses against two items. The woman is crossing off items with a pen.

If you disagree with one of our decisions, or if you have a problem, you can tell us.
This might include:

  • not giving you the information you need
  • charging you the wrong fee
  • not fixing a mistake in information about you
  • sharing information about you if you don’t want us to.
 

A woman writing on a piece of paper.

If you have a problem like this, you need to write to us or send us an email.

 

A calendar showing 30 days.

We will write back to you within 30 days.

 
 

Sometimes, we won’t be able to fix the problem.

In this case, you can contact the Australian Information Commissioner or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Their contact details are listed below.

 

Contact details for the Office of the Information Commissioner

 

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1300 363 992

 

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If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 then ask for 1300 363 992.

 

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Teletypewriter (TTY) users phone 133 677 then ask for 1300 363 992.

Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 363 992.

Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service then ask for 1300 363 992.