FOI Document Categories (section 7 statement)

Introduction

Section 7 of the Freedom of Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FoI Act) requires the ACT Human Rights Commission to prepare and publish a statement outlining the Commission’s organisation, functions and decision-making powers, the categories of documents available, and facilities available to the public for accessing documents.

Organisation, functions & decision-making powers

The Commission is an independent agency established in 2006 under the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 (HRC Act). Its functions set out in s.14 of the HRC Act include:

  • providing an independent, fair and accessible process for resolving complaints made under the HRC Act regarding unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment, health services, services for children and young people, disability services and services for older people;
  • encouraging and assisting users and providers of health services, services for children and young people, disability services and services for older people to make improvements in the provision of these services;
  • assisting providers of health services, services for children and young people, disability services and services for older people to develop and improve procedures for dealing with complaints;
  • providing community education and information about the HRC Act and related Acts, the Commission and the complaints process;
  • identifying, inquiring into and reviewing issues related to unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment, health services, services for children and young people, disability services and services for older people, and reporting to or advising the Minister about these issues;
  • referring certain matters regarding individual children and young people in the care of the Territory to the Public Advocate; and
  • advising the Minister about any matters relating to the HRC Act or related Act.

The President is the Principal Officer and Decision maker for FOI requests for the Commission.

The Commissioners have further specific functions and powers under the following legislation:

Human Rights Act 2004

Discrimination Act 1991

Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997

Children and Young People Act 2008 and

Mental Health Act 2015

Corrections Management Act 2007

Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT) Act 2010

Categories of documents

The Commission holds two basic categories of documents:

  • those that are freely available on request and without charge; and
  • all other kinds of documents that may be made available under the Act.

Documents available on request and without charge.

Documents within this category include publications produced by the Commission on various aspects of its activities, including policy submissions, inquiry and audit reports. These are available on request from the Commission and may also be available on the Commission’s website www.hrc.act.gov.au.

Documents of other kinds that may be available under the FOI Act:

General files including internal and public documents, minutes of meetings of committees, agendas and background papers;

  • policy files;
  • training and education materials;
  • diaries, rosters, work sheets;
  • records held on computer or paper in connection with the Commission’s functions;
  • photographs, videos, sound recordings and artwork;
  • financial and accounting records;
  • details of contracts and tenders;
  • complaint files, except health record complaints;
  • inquiry and audit files; and
  • leases and deeds of agreement.

Facilities for access

Those seeking information are encouraged to contact the Commission before resorting to the more formal FOI procedure. In many cases it may be possible to access information more quickly and efficiently through such an approach.

The Commission is located at Level 2, 11 Moore St in Canberra City.

Contact details:

Telephone: (02) 6205 2222
Fax: (02) 6207 1034
Email: human.rights@act.gov.au

FOI requests should be directed to:

ACT Human Rights Commission
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601