Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives the public the right to access documents held by the Australian Government. As a corporate Commonwealth entity, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is required to comply with the FOI Act.
The Freedom of Information Act gives members of the public the right to:
- access copies of documents (except exempt documents) held by NAIF
- ask NAIF to change or annotate information if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading (where the information relates to the person making the request); and
- seek a review of a decision not to allow access to a document or not to amend their personal records.
While a member of the public can ask to access any document held by NAIF, NAIF can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to the personal information of another person, national security or documents containing material obtained in confidence.
NAIF will always explain the reasons should a request for access to information be declined and provide information about review and appeal rights to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act
NAIF is a corporate Commonwealth entity and is subject to the FOI Act. NAIF’s Freedom of Information Policy sets out the principles NAIF will follow in order to make information accessible in accordance with the FOI Act. NAIF’s Freedom of Information Policy is available here.
NAIF will also follow internal procedures for handling information requests and will be guided by the resources published by the OAIC.
NAIF’s FOI Officer is the first point of contact for information access requests made to NAIF and can be contacted at FOI@naif.gov.au or PO Box 4896, Cairns QLD 4870.
How to make a request
To make a request under the FOI Act, your request must:
- be in writing
- provide a physical or electronic address to where we can send the decision
- provide enough information for us to identify the documents; and
- state that the request is made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
After you lodge your application, NAIF will acknowledge it within 14 days. We are usually required to give you our decision about your request and the reasons for that decision within 30 days of its receipt. Where third party consultations are necessary, NAIF will be entitled to an additional 30 days in which to process your request.
If for any other reason NAIF are likely to need more than 30 days to complete your request, you will be contacted to arrange an extension of time in line with the requirements under the FOI Act. NAIF may also apply to the OAIC to apply for an extension of the processing time where exceptional circumstances would prevent us from processing your request in 30 days. You will be informed in writing if the processing time has been extended.
If NAIF does not meet the 30 day time limits, you can apply to the Australian Information Commissioner to review the decision on the basis that NAIF are deemed to have refused your request.
Charges associated with access to information
NAIF will make information available at the lowest reasonable cost and will reduce the cost of public access by publishing information online, especially information that is routinely sought by the public.
NAIF Information Disclosure Log
In compliance with the FOI Act, NAIF will make certain documents released in response to FOI requests available on its website. NAIF’s Disclosure Log is available here.
NAIF Information Publication Scheme
NAIF must also comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements of the FOI Act. In accordance with section 8(1) of the FOI Act, NAIF’s IPS Plan describes how NAIF complies with the IPS and how it will implement and administer the IPS. NAIF’s IPS Plan is available here.
Information available outside of the FOI process
NAIF is committed to keeping its IPS and Information Disclosure Log as up-to-date as possible and will, where possible and lawful, provide information without requiring a formal FOI request.