Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives you the right to:
- access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold;
- ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
- seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.
You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence, material that is commercial-in-confidence, Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the Freedom of Information Act.
Unless information is personal or commercial and publication would be "unreasonable", any information provided in response to a Freedom of Information request will be listed in the OTA’s Freedom of Information Disclosure Log (in this section). It may also be published on a website, or if it is not practical to do so, provided on request.
Documents available outside the Freedom of Information Act
You should check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and Freedom of Information Disclosure Log (in this section) to see if the information you are seeking is already available.
How to make a request
Your request must:
- be in writing
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act
- provide sufficient information about the document(s) to allow us to process your request
- provide an address for reply
You can send your request:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Organ and Tissue Authority
PO Box 295
CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608
If you ask a third party to make a Freedom of Information request on your behalf, you need to provide a specific, written authority to send copies of documents to you, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.
If you require more information, please contact the Freedom of Information Contact Officer by emailing email@example.com or calling the OTA on 02 6198 9800.
Fees and charges
There is no application fee for a Freedom of Information request.
There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests.
What you can expect from us
We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request and give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party and we need to consult them, the time to give you our decision will be extended by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.
Unless the information is personal or is about the commercial, financial or professional affairs of a person and publication would be "unreasonable", any information provided to you in response to your request will be listed in the Disclosure Log and published or otherwise made available to anyone who requests access.
If you disagree with our decision
When we have made a decision about your Freedom of Information request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:
- if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access;
- if we impose a charge; or
- if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision about that information to be reviewed.
You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
Australian Information Commissioner review
You can ask the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The OAIC can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The OAIC may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the OAIC website.
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the OAIC who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC's website. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions.
However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the OAIC will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.
If you require more information, please contact the Freedom of Information Contact Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the OTA on 02 6198 9800
Information Publication Scheme
Reforms made to the Freedom of Information Act in 2010 included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) which requires Australian Government agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act to provide a broad range of information on their websites. The IPS started on 1 May 2011.
The Freedom of Information Act specifies nine categories of information that must be published, in addition to the Information Publication Scheme Plan:
- Read about the Organ and Tissue Authority's structure (183 KB PDF)
- Read details of the OTA's functions including its decision making powers affecting members of the public
- Read about statutory appointments of the OTA Chief Executive Officer and members of the OTA Board
- Read the OTA's annual reports
- Read about how to contact the OTA
- View information that the OTA routinely provides to Parliament
- View the OTA's operational information (which is information that assists the OTA to exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public. This includes the OTA’s rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those decisions and recommendations).
We invite you to provide any comments on our Information Publication Scheme entry or Agency Plan to:
Organ and Tissue Authority
PO Box 295
CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608
or at email@example.com.
Information Publication Scheme Plan
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) has prepared this Agency Plan (the Plan) in accordance with section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act).
Part II of the Act, which deals with the Information Publication Scheme (the Scheme), came into effect on 1 May 2011.
All references to sections in this Plan are to sections of the FOI Act.
The primary purpose of this Plan is to comply with section 8(1).
Under section 8(1), the Plan must show:
a) what information the OTA proposes to publish for the purposes of Part II of the Act
b) how, and to whom, the OTA proposes to publish information for the purposes of Part II
c) how the OTA otherwise proposes to comply with Part II.
The Plan will help the OTA to put appropriate procedures in place to proactively disclose its information holdings, in accordance with the objects of the Act.
The OTA's objectives in relation to this Plan are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
a) manage the OTA's information holdings relevant to the Scheme
b) proactively identify and publish all information required to be published, including this Plan (in accordance with section 8(2))
c) review and ensure on a regular basis that information published by the OTA under the Scheme is accurate, up-to-date and complete (in accordance with section 8B)
d) ensure that information published under the Scheme is able to be discovered by the general public, is understandable and re-useable and is accessible to a wide range of people, including people with disabilities
e) assess the effectiveness of the OTA's implementation of the Scheme.
4. Establishing and Adminstering the Scheme
The General Manager is responsible for leading the OTA’s work on implementing freedom of information (FOI) reforms generally. This includes establishing, developing and maintaining the Scheme within the OTA in accordance with any assistance or guidelines provided by the Information Commissioner, and ensuring that all requests for access to documents are processed in accordance with the Act.
As new processes are developed for managing information and internet material, the General Manager will work with relevant line areas to integrate the IPS management into the management frameworks and will update the Plan accordingly.
To ensure ongoing satisfaction with the Scheme's requirements, the OTA will regularly:
a) review existing information held by the OTA to determine whether further material should be made publicly available as part of the Scheme
b) review existing information held by the OTA that is routinely provided to Parliament in response to requests and orders
c) determine what additional information should be published to satisfy the requirements of section 8(2).
Any information that is identified by the OTA as part of this exercise will be published in accordance with the requirements of the Scheme.
The OTA will develop and maintain a disclosure log of information released in response to FOI requests in accordance with the requirements of section 11C of the Act.
5. Information Architecture
The OTA will publish information for the Scheme on its website that is available to members of the public generally in accordance with sections 8D(2) and 8D(3).
In accordance with section 8D(3), the OTA will publish information on the website by:
a) making the information available for downloading from the website
b) for those documents that are not currently available on the website, by publishing on the website details of how the information may be obtained.
The OTA will publish the information in PDF format and in English.
6. Information to be published
The OTA will publish the following information in accordance with section 8(2):
a. this Plan (as required under section 8(2)(a))
b. information about the OTA, and links to existing publically available information where appropriate (as required under sections 8(2)(b) and (8(2)(d)), such as:
i. the OTA's organisational chart
ii. details of appointments of officers that are made under Acts (other than the Public Service Act 1999)
c. information about what the OTA does including details of the functions of the OTA, its decision-making powers, other powers affecting members of the public, and operational information (as required under sections 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j)), such as:
i. a list of matters dealt with by the OTA, including providing a link to the Administrative Arrangements Orders
ii. information to assist members of the public to comply with statutory requirements
d. reports and responses to Parliament (as required under sections 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h)), such as:
i. the OTA’s Annual Report
ii. file lists prepared in response to Senate Order No 8: Production of departmental file lists
iii. contract lists prepared in response to Senate Order No 9: List of departmental contracts ($100,000 or more)
e. information in documents to which the OTA routinely gives access in response to requests for access to documents (as required under section 8(2)(g)) and information published under section 11C
f. contact details for an officer (or officers) of the OTA who can be contacted about access to the OTA's information or documents under the Act (as required under section 8(2)(i)), including the telephone number and email address of the FOI Contact Officer.
7. Other information to be published
The OTA will publish on its website other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under section 8(2), taking into account the objects of the Act (section 8(4)).
8. Compliance Review
The OTA will undertake, in conjunction with the Information Commissioner, a first review of the operation of the Information Publication Scheme within the timeframes set out in section 9(2) of the Act.
Following this first review, the OTA will undertake, in conjunction with the Information Commissioner, a review of the operation of the Scheme:
(a) as appropriate from time to time
(b) in any case – within 5 years after the last time a review was completed.
Freedom of Information Disclosure Log
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) is required by section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to publish a disclosure log on its website. The disclosure log lists information which has been released in response to an FOI access request.
The disclosure log requirement does not apply to:
- personal information about any person if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable'
- information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable'
- other information covered by a determination made by the Australian Information Commissioner if publication of that information would be 'unreasonable'
- any information if it is not reasonably practicable to publish the information because of the extent of modifications that would need to be made to delete the information listed in the above dot points.
Information attached to, or referred to, in the OTA disclosure log will generally be removed after 12 months, unless the information has enduring public value.
FOI reference number
Date of access
Summary of FOI request