Department of Finance

Freedom of Information

Information Statement

(Part 5 s.94 of the FOI Act 1992)

Overview

The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 (“the FOI Act”) gives the public the right to apply for access to documents held by State Public Sector agencies, including those of the Department of Finance.

As an agency, the Department is required to assist an applicant to obtain access to documents sought at the lowest reasonable cost, and to ensure that their personal information held by the Department is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.

When making an FOI application, you do not have to give reasons for applying for the documents, nor does the Department’s view about your reasons for applying affect your right to apply for access.

The kinds of documents which you may request can be stored in diverse formats ranging from paper files to electronically stored information.

You may also apply for access to personal information about yourself that is contained in documents held by the Department. You have the right to apply for the amendment of personal information about you (the applicant) if the information contained in a departmental record is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

About the Department of Finance

The Department of Finance was formed on 1 July 2011 after the split of the former Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) into two separate agencies.

Structure and Functions of the Department

The Department of Finance is responsible for the functions of State Revenue, Government Procurement, Building Management and Works, Strategic Projects and Corporate Services.

State Revenue

State Revenue’s primary role is the administration of revenue laws for the community of Western Australia. This task involves both the collection of duties and taxes, as well as the payment of grants and subsidies.

The Commissioner of State Revenue is responsible for the daily operations of State Revenue and for the performance of a range of statutory functions under the revenue laws administered. Although State Revenue is a business unit of the Department of Finance, the Commissioner and delegated officers are independent in the performance of their functions under these laws.

Government Procurement

Government Procurement is a dynamic business responsible for procurement at a whole-of-government level.  As such, it provides strategic procurement advice and support to the entire Western Australian public sector.

Some of its key functions include leading the development of and management of whole-of-government common use arrangements (CUAs), as well as managing the contract development process for agency specific contracts and providing policy and practice advice.

Building Management and Works

Building Management and Works provides a range of services to deliver the State Government's non-residential building program, using extensive in-house expertise in asset planning, project delivery and maintenance planning. Building Management and Works is committed to ensuring probity, value-for-money and effective risk management in all aspects of its operations.

Its activities include:

  • construction of government buildings such as hospitals, schools and police stations;
  • management of major State construction projects;
  • management of maintenance contractors for government buildings;
  • management of the Government's office portfolio;
  • setting capital works and construction policy; and
  • administration of a range of heritage and built environment concerns.

Strategic Projects

Strategic Projects is responsible for the planning and delivery of major projects that are considered to be of significant importance to the State. Projects are assigned to Strategic Projects on the basis of cost, uniqueness, complexity and risk, as directed by the Expenditure Reform Committee.

Working in accordance with the Western Australian Strategic Asset Management Framework, Strategic Projects collaborates with client agencies and focuses on robust project planning and on-target project execution, to ensure successful project outcomes.

In the development of project plans and the management of the projects, key considerations include quality, social and industry impact, value for money, timeliness, and sustainability.

Corporate Services

Corporate Services provides the Department with essential support services and promotes leading business practices in the areas of corporate communications, knowledge and information management, information technology, human resources and organisational development, as well as accounting, financial and business support.

Shared Services – access to information

December 2013 saw the conclusion of a two-year program to decommission Shared Services and return relevant functions and business records, documents and data back to government agencies.  As part of the governance arrangements, the Department of Finance developed a repository (preservation) database to enable the Department to retain and provide details of the records under its custodianship for a period of seven years post-decommissioning of Shared Services (2020).

The Department of Finance is the custodian of information pertaining to Shared Services business activities and functions.  The Department also holds supporting records and data that were unable to be separated for return to client agencies (such as bank statements).

Key Legislation

The Department of Finance’s enabling legislation is the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

There are also a number of State Acts and Regulations that either govern the Department’s operations or constitute part of the legislation it is responsible for administering, and legislation affecting its activities.

A complete and up-to-date listing of these is maintained by the State Law Publisher (Acts with administering portfolios and public sector agencies).

Office locations and contact in Perth metropolitan area

Office of the Director General
Dumas House
2 Havelock Street
WEST PERTH  WA  6005

Corporate Services
Optima Centre
16 Parkland Road
OSBORNE PARK  WA  6017

State Revenue
QBE House
200 St Georges Terrace
PERTH  WA  6000

Strategic Projects
David Malcolm Justice Centre
28 Barrack Street
PERTH  WA  6000

Government Procurement
Optima Centre
16 Parkland Road
OSBORNE PARK  WA 6017

Building Management and Works
Optima Centre
16 Parkland Road
OSBORNE PARK  WA  6017

The Department of Finance also has regional offices in Albany, Bunbury, Broome, Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Geraldton, Narrogin, Northam, Merredin, Karratha, Kununurra and South Hedland.

How the Department’s functions affect the public

The Department’s multifaceted operations influence a range of public areas from advice and implementation of State taxes and revenue legislation to ensuring the smooth and efficient planning and delivery of community infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, police stations and other important State construction projects.  

Public consultation

The State Revenue Liaison Committee exists to provide a forum for industry and professional representative bodies to provide input on matters of mutual interest in respect of revenue and grant administration matters.
The Department has a Complaints Feedback System that enables its clients to provide feedback on the Department’s services in the form of complaints and suggestions.  All feedback is considered and a response provided to the client. Feedback may be provided online and by telephone.  The information received into the system is used to review the Department’s business operations and performance.

Documents that are usually held by the Department

If you wish to seek access to these documents, please contact the Manager FOI.  Wherever appropriate, documents can be provided at no cost outside of Freedom of Information.  However, particular documents may contain exempt material and will only be available with those exempt portions removed.

Public access to documents

All the Department’s publications are available online through its website.  These documents include but are not limited to:

  • Annual Reports
  • Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
  • Land, Payroll and Duties Tax forms and publications
  • Grants and Subsidies forms and brochures
  • Revenue Rulings
  • Commissioner’s Practices on Tax
  • Building Management and Works publications
  • Strategic Projects publications
  • Building Policies
  • Procurement Guides
  • Buyer, Gateway and supplier publications
  • Reports, professional papers and presentations

On request, publications may also be obtained by contacting the Department.  Publications can be made available in alternate formats for the sight impaired.

Departmental policy and procedure documents can be made available by contacting the Manager FOI.  Access is available by inspection or through copies provided.

Documents not publicly available

  • Administration files
  • Internal reports
  • Personnel files
  • Departmental official correspondence
  • Electronic correspondence (emails)
  • Financial documents
  • Contract files
  • Tender applications
  • Planning documents
  • Building plans
  • Project implementation and management files
  • Land, Off Road Diesel, Debits, FID and Payroll Tax policies (archived records)
  • Grants and subsidy files
  • Compliance reports and files
  • Procurement files
  • Research, analysis and advice on energy matters
  • Evaluation and monitoring files
  • Regulatory Gatekeeping assessments and reporting
  • Records pertaining to the former Shared Services’ business activities and functions
  • Preserved Shared Services’ records

Members of the public may apply to access these documents under the general right of access to government documents created by the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (“the FOI Act”) which came into effect on 1 November 1993.

Arrangements for Shared Services records and data:

The Department of Finance will continue to process Freedom of Information applications if they relate to:

  • information pertaining to Shared Services’ business activities and functions or
  • access to records and data that were unable to be separated for return to client agencies.  In this case, agencies will be involved in the decision-making process.

For other applications, the Department will transfer the application to the originating agency for their deliberation as they already have a full set of those records. The Department of Finance has preservation copies only.

The Department will accept consultation as a third party when client agencies are dealing with Freedom of Information requests and will provide agencies with information, as far as practicable.

How to make an FOI application

Make an FOI application request online.

Enquiries should be addressed to the Manager Freedom of Information:

In person
Manager FOI
Department of Finance
Optima Centre
16 Parkland Road
OSBORNE PARK Western Australia 6017
By mail
Manager FOI
Department of Finance
Locked Bag 11
Cloisters Square
PERTH Western Australia 6850

Telephone:  (08) 6551 1125
Email:  foi@finance.wa.gov.au

It is the aim of the agency to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost and, whenever possible, documents will be provided outside the FOI process.

If information is not routinely available, the FOI Act provides the right to apply for documents held by the agency and to enable the public to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate, complete, up-to-date and not misleading.
Access applications have to:

  • be in writing;
  • give enough information so that the documents requested can be identified;
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent;  and
  • be lodged at the agency with any application fee payable.

If you are acting on behalf of another party, you must provide legal proof of authority to act for them and if you are applying for access to personal information about yourself, you must provide valid identification.  Applications will be acknowledged in writing.

FOI fees and charges

A scale of fees and charges are set under the Freedom of Information Regulations 1993.  Apart from the application fee for access to non-personal information which is non-refundable, all charges are discretionary and can be waived.  The charges are as follows:

Personal information about the applicant.................................................................... No fee
Application fee (for non-personal information)............................................................... $30
Charge for time dealing with the application (per hour, or pro rata)................................ $30
Access time supervised by staff (per hour or pro rata)..................................................... $30
Photocopying staff time (per hour or pro rata)................................................................. $30
Per photocopy.................................................................................................................. 0.20
Transcribing from tape, film or computer (per hour, pro rata)......................................... $30
Duplicating a tape, film or computer information................................................ Actual cost
Delivery, packaging and postage.......................................................................... Actual cost

Deposits

Advance deposit may be required of the estimated charges........................................... 25%
Further advance deposit may be required to meet the charges for dealing
with the application......................................................................................................... 75%
For financially disadvantaged applicants or those issued with prescribed pensioner concession cards, the charge payable is reduced by 25%.

FOI Notice of Decision

As soon as possible but in any case within 45 days, a Notice of Decision will be provided which will include details such as:

  • the date on which the decision was made;
  • the name and the designation of the officer who made the decision;
  • if the document is an exempt document the reasons for classifying the matter exempt; or the fact that access is given to an edited document; and
  • information on the rights to seek a review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.

What types of documents are exempt?

In some cases, documents may be exempt from release because the relevant information is genuinely sensitive and real harm will be caused by its disclosure.  The exemptions are designed to strike a balance between the rights of applicants to disclosure of government held documents and the need to protect the legitimate interests of government and third parties who deal with government.

The exemptions listed in the FOI Act are based on the premise that disclosure of the particular information would:

  • reveal personal information about an individual (whether living or dead);
  • cause damage to business interests/Intergovernmental relations or law enforcement; or
  • adversely affect the operations of agencies or their decision-making processes.

Access Arrangements

Access to documents can be granted by way of inspection, by providing a copy of a document, a copy of an audio or video tape, a computer disk, a transcript of a recorded, shorthand or encoded document from which words can be reproduced.

Rights of Review

Applicants who are dissatisfied with a decision of the agency are entitled to ask for an internal review by the agency. The application for an internal review should be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Decision.  The internal review will be conducted by an independent officer, who is not subordinate to the original decision-maker.

An applicant will be notified of the outcome of the review within 15 days.

If the applicant disagrees with the result then an application can be made to the Information Commissioner for an external review. Applications for external review should be made within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Internal Review Decision.

Amending personal information under the FOI Act

Applications for the amendment of personal information can be lodged with the Manager FOI to the aforementioned address.

Requests for amendments relating to State taxes, grants and subsidies

In these cases, clients can request their details are changed by the following methods: 

  • via the front counter at State Revenue:

          QBE House, Plaza Level

          200 St Georges Terrace

           PERTH  WA  6000;  or

  • by telephone on (08) 9262 1400 and 1300 368 364 for country callers;  or
  • via post or online correspondence:  When writing or emailing always provide a reference number to help in obtaining a quick response.  These methods of update can also be used by agents including Settlement Agents or Solicitors acting on behalf of a client, to notify of an update to their client’s information (only with the express authority of the client to do so).  For contact details refer to the State Revenue webpage

A registered Revenue OnLine client can change their details themselves via the ROL system.

The amendment of personal information concerning State taxes, grants and subsidies can be made by any officer who is acting on behalf of the Commissioner of State Revenue.

More information in relation to Freedom of Information can be accessed from the Information Commissioner’s website at: www.foi.wa.gov.au.

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