1. What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?
The Freedom of Information Act enables members of the public to access information held by government agencies. Freedom of Information promotes openness in Government and accountability of Ministers and Government agencies. It also facilitates more effective participation by members of the public in the decision making of governments. Read our Freedom of Information Statement.
2. How to apply for access to Information under FOI?
Applications for access to information under FOI must be in writing and addressed to the Accredited FOI Officer, Level 3, SA Water, SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide.
Forms for FOI applications may be found on the State Records of South Australia web site.
3. How much does it cost?
A $30.50 fee must accompany each application unless special circumstances (refer clause 9 below) exist. In dealing with an application the first two hours spent by the agency are at no cost; for each subsequent 15 minutes the agency may charge $11.40. If information is provided in hard copy a charge of 20 cents per copy may be charged.
4. How long will it take to process an FOI application?
Applications are processed as quickly as possible. The FOI Act requires a response to an application be made within 30 calendar days of receipt, unless an extension is granted by the Principal Officer.
5. How will the information be provided?
Information sought may be accessed as follows:
A copy of the records being supplied
Inspection of the records at SA Water premises (records include documents, audio and video tapes, transcripts, computer files)
6. What type of information may not be available under FOI?
While the FOI Act aims to grant access to as much information as possible, some documents could be exempt under Schedule 1 of the Act. These include:
Documents affecting law enforcement and public safety
Documents affecting personal affairs
Documents affecting business affairs
Documents affecting conduct of research
Internal working documents
Documents subject to legal professional privilege
Documents containing confidential material
Documents affecting financial or property interests
Documents concerning operations of the agency
7. What if the applicant is dissatisfied with the information provided?
If a person is dissatisfied with the determination made by the designated FOI Officer, they may apply for an internal review by the Principal Officer (Chief Executive). The application must be lodged within 30 days of the determination, must be in writing and be accompanied by a $29.50 fee. The address is:
Principal Officer FOI
SA Water Corporation
250 Victoria Square
Adelaide SA 5000
If the Principal Officer made the determination, the applicant may request an external review by the Ombudsman. The application for a review must be lodged within 30 days after notice of the determination. The address of the Ombudsman is:
50 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000
A person who is dissatisfied with the determination may also appeal against the determination to a District Court. However, if a review was sought by the Ombudsman, an appeal to the court cannot be commenced until that application has been completed.
8. How can inaccurate information be corrected?
If the information held by SA Water about a person is incomplete, incorrect out of date or misleading contact the FOI Officer to discuss the matter. Correction of records will be undertaken at no cost to the applicant and a refund of fees and charges for the FOI request including any review costs will be made.
9. In what circumstances will the fees be waived?
Fees and charges may be waived under the Act if the applicant is:
The holder of a pensioner concession card
Is in receipt of unemployment or sickness benefits
Is a student
Able to satisfy the agency on grounds of financial hardship
A Member of Parliament is entitled to access information without charge for work involving up to $1000.