ORGANISATIONS

FOI For Organisations

The TRANSPARENCY WARRIOR provides a highly professional and completely confidential FOI service to businesses and not-for-profits.

Business can benefit from access to Government information. But often there will be reluctance in doing so, particularly if the business is a customer of government or subject to its policies, regulations or oversight.

The TRANSPARENCY WARRIOR can make an application on behalf of a business (ensuring the identify of the business remains confidential), helping to make sure the right information is requested, the maximum information is returned and the time frame to get the information is minimised. Businesses are only charged for the assistance they receive up to the point where they are satisfied with the information that have have been granted access to, or they decide to abandon further FOI fighting (sometime this may occur on the advice of the TRANSPARENCY WARRIOR). 

Charges are very reasonable and certainly less than for lawyers, who may otherwise have less experience or success in the FOI domain.

In some circumstances FOI results may be deserving of media attention. The TRANSPARENCY WARRIOR has significant experience in engaging media, should the client require this.

The FOI Process Explained

The FOI process is different for each jurisdiction; Federal and  State/Territory. The charges vary, the review stages vary, the time frames vary and exemptions vary. However, the general sequence is similar as per the diagram.

Original Decision

After consultation with the client an application is made that clearly identifies the information being sought and properly limits the scope to something that will minimise Government charges and the decision response time. Processes are in place to ensure statutory time frames are complied with.

Consultation will take place with the client after the original decision is received to determine if the request meets the client’s expectations and/or redactions comply with the relevant FOI law, and whether review rights should be exercised.

Internal Reviews

In some jurisdictions internal reviews can be bypassed. In these circumstances advice will be given on a best course of action.

Where deemed necessary an internal review can be requested. Short submissions on the clients concerns regarding the original decision will be tendered in conjunction with an internal review request.

Again, consultation will take place with the client after the internal review decision is made to determine if the request meets the client’s expectations and/or redactions comply with the relevant FOI law, and whether further review rights should be exercised.

Information Commissioner/Ombudsman Reviews

(1st Tier Independent Review)

In some jurisdictions internal reviews can be bypassed. In these circumstances advice will be given on a best course of action.

Where deemed necessary an internal review can be requested. Short submissions on the clients concerns regarding the original decision will be tendered in conjunction with an internal review request.

Again, consultation will take place with the client after the internal review decision is made to determine if the request meets the client’s expectations and/or redactions comply with the relevant FOI law, and whether further review rights should be exercised.

Tribunal Reviews

(2nd Tier Independent Review)

Where deemed necessary a second tier independent Tribunal review can be requested. At the appropriate time in the review, in consultation with the client, submissions will be made. It is also likely that a hearing will be conducted.

Consultation will take place with the client after the independent review decision is made to determine if the request meets the client’s expectations and/or redactions comply with the relevant FOI law, and whether further review rights should be exercised.

Judicial Reviews

Judicial Review of a Tribunal decision can be initiated in certain circumstances. Should this be pursued, assistance will be given to identify experienced lawyers and barristers with the relevant experience to assist in such proceedings.

The FOI Process

Pricing

Costs for the TRANSPARENCY WARRIOR’s assistance varies at each stage, but are designed to be affordable. At each stage an assessment is made in conjunction with the organisations on whether there is value in continuing the process.

Contact Transparency Warrior