Who can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982?

Any person can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (an FOI request).

What type of information can you request?

You can make an FOI request for:

  • access to documents the OPP holds about your personal affairs and the OPP’s activities; or
  • the amendment or removal of incorrect or misleading information about you held by the OPP.

How much does an FOI request cost?

An FOI request costs $28.90. You can claim a waiver of this fee if it would cause you financial hardship. Evidence of financial hardship must be included with your FOI request if you wish to seek a waiver. You will also have to pay any costs associated with providing the information, such as photocopying costs.

How to make an FOI request

An FOI request must be in writing and may be made online here.

Alternatively, you can make an FOI by post to:

The FOI Officer
Office of Public Prosecutions
565 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
The FOI request must:

  • clearly describe the documents you are requesting access to; and
  • include payment of $28.90 or evidence that you qualify to have the fee waived.

Exempt documents

The OPP can refuse access to certain documents (exempt documents).  Click here for a list of exempt documents.

What happens after we receive your FOI request?

Once we receive your request, we will conduct an initial assessment.  If the request is valid, we will process it.  We will contact you if we require further information or clarification.

How quickly will your request be processed?

We have 30 days after the day we receive your request to process your FOI request.  This time limit only commences if your request is valid.

Consultation

Once we receive your FOI request and the application fee (or fee waiver), we must inform you of the decision on your request in writing as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after receiving your request. However, the Act does allow for an extension of time in some circumstances.

The FOI Act requires us to consult with third parties about your request if the information contained in the relevant documents falls within certain exemptions. 

However we are not required to consult where it is not practicable; would cause distress; is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of a person or is otherwise unreasonable in the circumstances.

Where we must consult, we may extend the time for processing the request by up to 15 days, or by up to 30 days with your consent.

As part of the consultation process, your name and a brief description of your request will be provided to any person or body with whom we must consult. 

Possible outcomes of an FOI request

When we make a decision about your request, we will send you a letter informing you of our decision.  We may decide to:

  • release the documents you requested in their entirety; or
  • release part of the documents you requested; or
  • release none of the documents you have requested; or
  • transfer your FOI request to the appropriate agency.

What can you do if you are not satisfied with our decision?

If we refuse you access to the documents sought, you can appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OVIC) for a review of the decision. You must do so within 28 days of the date you were notified of the decision. The OVIC has 30 days to conduct its review, unless you agree to an extended period in writing. The lodgement of a request for a review is not subject to any fees or costs. For further information see www.ovic.vic.gov.au

If you wish to appeal OVIC's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal you must do so within 60 days of the date you were notified of OVIC's decision.

Other ways of accessing our information

Instead of making an FOI Request, you may be able to make a File Request.