Many problems can be resolved quickly by contacting Council to discuss your concerns. You can also resolve particular problems more formally.
1. You are not satisfied with the initial decision
If you do not understand the decision, you can contact the agency to discuss your concerns. If you believe that the decision is wrong, then in most cases, you will have a right of review by the Freedom of Information Commissioner. Information on reviews by the Commissioner are available on the Freedom of Information Commissioner website.
If the decision maker was the principal officer, you would need to apply to VCAT for a review of the decision.
Your decision letter should tell you how to apply for a review by the Freedom of Information Commissioner or to appeal to VCAT.
2. The initial decision is taking too long
Council has 30 days from when they receive your request to tell you the decision. However delays can occur. If you do not receive a response within 30 days you can:
- contact Council.
- complain to the Freedom of Information Commissioner
- apply to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The VCAT will review the case on the assumption that the agency has refused access to the documents. This is called a ‘deemed refusal’. There is no application fee for this type of application.
3. You are unhappy with the way in which your request was handled
Even if you are not dissatisfied with the decision or the time it took, you may be unhappy about other aspects of how your request was handled. These sorts of complaints can be made either to the agency or to the Freedom of Information Commissioner.