Manual of Policies and Procedures

F/6.3 Access to information

Contact Officer

Right to Information Officer/Privacy Officer, Governance and Legal Services

Approval Date

11/09/2019

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/07/2022

6.3.1 Purpose
6.3.2 Application
6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities
6.3.4 Publication scheme
6.3.5 Administrative access schemes
6.3.6 Legislated access scheme
6.3.7 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

6.3.1 Purpose

QUT is committed to providing, as far as possible, an open environment which enables members of the public and the QUT community to obtain access to information in the University’s possession without recourse to formal legal procedures.

In support of this objective, QUT promotes engagement with the community by releasing or publishing information about its activities wherever possible.

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6.3.2 Application

As a public authority, QUT has a legislative obligation under the Right to Information Act 2009 (the RTI Act) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (the IP Act) to give access to information, including personal information, in documents in its possession or under its control.

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6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Vice-Chancellor and President
  • 'principal officer' responsible for QUT's obligations under the RTI and IP Acts
  • delegates responsibilities for administration of the RTI and IP Acts to relevant staff
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • approves and oversees administrative access schemes
  • conducts internal reviews of formal applications for access or amendment under the RTI and IP Acts within stipulated time periods (under delegation from the Vice-Chancellor and President)
Decision-maker (Governance and Legal Services)
  • makes decisions on access or amendment applications under the RTI and IP Acts within stipulated time periods (under delegation from the Vice-Chancellor and President)
  • several officers hold this delegation within Governance and Legal Services
Policy and Compliance Manager (Governance and Legal Services)
  • makes decisions on access and amendment applications
  • acts as Right to Information Officer and Privacy Officer, with oversight for administrative requirements under the legislative schemes
  • undertakes annual reporting
  • oversees publication scheme
  • publishes disclosure logs under RTI Act
Heads of organisational units
  • oversees document searches within their organisational area in response to formal applications under the RTI and IP Acts
  • ensures administrative practices in their organisational area are consistent with QUT’s obligations under the RTI and IP Acts and this policy

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6.3.4 Publication scheme

QUT has a Publication Scheme which provides detailed information on its functions, activities and the information it holds. The Publication Scheme includes information which can be accessed online and promotes engagement by the community with information about the University’s activities.

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6.3.5 Administrative access schemes

Consistent with the University’s commitment to openness and transparency, the University has a number of administrative access schemes which may allow individuals to access documents and information without formal application under the RTI Act or IP Act. The schemes are published on QUT’s website and noted below.

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6.3.6 Legislated access scheme

Application

There will be occasions where it is necessary or appropriate for an application to be made formally under the RTI Act or the IP Act, for instance, where third party or sensitive information is requested or where there are grounds for considering that the release of information may be contrary to the public interest (as defined in the RTI Act).  The RTI/Privacy Officer will determine this requirement on a case by case basis.

Procedures and requirements for making applications under the relevant legislation are published on QUT’s website.

The decision maker will assist an applicant to make an application which is compliant with the requirements of these Acts.  Under the legislative scheme, applications must be for access to documents (not information) in the University’s possession or control, and this requirement is enforced by the University.

Locating documents

Heads of organisational units must oversee document searches within their organisational area, and must certify that all documents relevant to an application for access have been located. In the event that information cannot be located, a written statement must be provided to the decision maker certifying this, and outlining steps that have been taken to locate documents responsive to the application.  The RTI/Privacy Officer may require further searches to be undertaken where considered necessary to meet the requirements of the RTI and IP Acts.

Charging for access to information

Where applications under the RTI Act are made, the fees and charges specified in the Act [link] will be applied by the University.
 
Confidentiality

The identity of an applicant or prospective applicant will be protected in accordance with the Information privacy policy (F/6.2) and will not be made known to another University officer unless it would be impossible to process the application without the officer knowing the identity of the applicant.

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6.3.7 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (VC004, VC005).

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Related Documents

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP I/1.2 QUT Engagement Framework

Access to a student’s own information

Access to a staff member’s own information

Access to Information at QUT

Requests for access to personal information from third parties acting as representatives

Confirmation of payroll or employee status to financial and other organisations

QUT’s Publication Scheme

Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
11.09.19 All Right to Information Officer/Privacy Officer Periodic review - no change required
24.06.16 All Vice-Chancellor Periodic review and revised policy to include OIC recommendations
23.10.13 All Manager, Policy and Compliance (Right to Information/Privacy Officer) Periodic review - minor revisions only
07.10.10 All Vice-Chancellor Policy revised following rescinding of Freedom of Information Act 1992 and enactment of Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy Act 2009. Renumbered to F/6.3 (formerly F/10.1)
28.11.06 All Vice-Chancellor Updated following 2005/06 amendments to FOI Act
01.03.02 F/10.1 Registrar Updated following November 2001 amendments to FOI Act
07.08.00 F/10.1.6 FOI Officer Updated
10.11.98 F/10.1.1 - F/10.1.6 FOI Officer

Updated