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Freedom of Information Act

Your rights
 
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives you the right to;
  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) that APRA holds;
  • ask for information that APRA holds about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading; and
  • seek a review of APRA's decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.
You can ask to see any document that APRA holds. APRA can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt.

Freedom of Information

'Protected document' and 'protected information'
 
You should note a 'protected document' or a document that contains 'protected information', within the meaning of section 56 of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 (APRA Act), is generally an exempt document for the purposes the FOI Act. 
 
Under section 56, 'protected information' is information that is disclosed or obtained under or for the purposes of a prudential regulation framework law (that is, the APRA Act and the laws administered by APRA) and relates to the affairs of a financial sector entity (principally, an entity regulated by APRA or required to report financial information to APRA), a body corporate that has at any time been or is related to a body regulated by APRA or to a registered entity or a person who has been, is, or proposes to be, a customer of a body regulated by APRA or of a registered entity, other than publicly-available information. A 'protected document' is a document is given or produced that contains protected information.
 
How to make a request
 
Your request must:
  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide information about the document(s) to assist us to process your request
  • provide an address for reply.
You can send your request to:

By post:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
GPO Box 9836
Sydney NSW 2001
 
By email:

If you ask a third party to make an FOI 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 assistance with your request, please request to speak with a FOI Contact Officer on 02 9210 3000 or by email at foi@apra.gov.au.
 
Fees and charges
There is no application fee for an FOI 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. The most common charges are:

Activity item Charge
Search and retrieval: time APRA spends searching for or retrieving a document $15.00 per hour
Decision making: time APRA spends deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions First five hours: Nil Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium $4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopy $0.10 per page
Inspection: supervision by an APRA officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request Cost of postage or delivery
 
If APRA decides to impose a charge, it will give you a written estimate and the basis of its calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, APRA may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, APRA may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before it processes your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence. The payment of charges does not result in the automatic release of documents sought by you in your request.
 
What you can expect from APRA
 
APRA will:
  • tell you within 14 days that it has received your request
  • give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request
  • give you its decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended.
If a document contains information about a third party, APRA will need to consult them and may need to extend the time it takes to make a decision by another 30 days. APRA may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.
 
If you disagree with a decision by APRA
 
When APRA makes a decision about your FOI request, it will send you a letter explaining its decision and your review and appeal rights.
 
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed, if APRA:
  • refuses to give you access to all or part of a document or if it defers giving you access
  • imposes a charge
  • refuses to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with a decision by APRA to give you documents that contains information about them can also ask for APRA's decision to be reviewed.
 
Internal review
 
You can request in writing that APRA reconsiders its decision through internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in APRA. APRA will advise you of its new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
 
Information Commissioner review
 
You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review APRA's original decision or APRA's internal review decision within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au.
 
Complaints
 
If you are unhappy with the way APRA has handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate APRA's actions. More information is available on the OAIC's website at www.oaic.gov.au.
 
The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.