Requesting information under Right to Information (RTI)

What is this process for?

Follow this process to make a formal request under the Right to Information Act 2009 for access to information about QUT or to personal information QUT holds about another person.

If you want to request access to personal information about you that QUT holds, see how to request access to your personal information.

Before you make a request

Check if the information you’re looking for is available in our:

What can I request access to?

You can request access to documents of any age that contain non-personal information. Documents can include files, reports, emails, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, and audio and video tape recordings.

If you wish only to inspect the documents you will be provided with reading facilities. At your request, the University will provide you with a copy of the documents in either electronic or hardcopy format. In either case, special arrangements may need to be made, for example, to allow you to listen to or watch a tape recording, or to provide you with computer printouts or transcripts of documents.

Is there any information I can’t access?

According to the legislation, we may refuse to provide access to information:

  • to protect essential public interests
  • if it would be contrary to public interest to disclose the information
  • if dealing with the application would require a substantial and unreasonable workload
  • that is already publicly available or can be bought from QUT.

If we refuse your request, we’ll give you the specific reasons for that decision in writing and let you know about your rights to appeal the decision.

How to make a request

Complete the application for access to information at QUT form (PDF file, 58.1 KB).

Provide as much information as you can to help us identify the documents that are relevant to your request.

Submit the completed form to our Right to Information Officer by email or post, or in person.

Fees

You will need to pay:

  • $48 application fee
  • $7.45 for each 15 minutes or part thereof processing charge for time spent searching for documents and processing your application
  • 25 cents per A4 page photocopying charge.

We may also charge you to cover our costs for providing access in another form (e.g., viewing or obtaining a copy of a video)

When we receive your application we’ll send you a quote of estimated fees. We can also talk to you about how you may be able to reduce the cost of your application.

You can apply to not have to pay fees if you are experiencing financial hardship, or if you’re applying on behalf of a nonprofit organisation. We also don’t charge processing charges if the total time for processing your application is less than five hours.

How to pay fees

You can pay any fees for applications, processing or access costs online through QUTPay.

You will need to pay your application fees before you submit your application, and provide the receipt number on your application form.

Providing identification

If you’re applying on behalf of a non-profit organisation you must provide a copy of the Notice from the Office of the Information Commissioner showing that financial hardship has been granted. The Office of the Information Commissioner has more information on how non-profit organisations can apply for financial hardship status.

Processing your application

Depending on the success of your application, we’ll:

  • give you access to the documents within 25 business days, if successful
  • provide specific written reasons why your request has been refused if unsuccessful
  • respond within 35 business days if we need to consult with a third party before releasing the documents.

We’ll advise you within 10 business days if your application is outside the scope of the RTI Act.

We’ll contact you within 15 business days if your application is non-compliant, and we’ll help you revise your application to make sure it complies with all the application requirements.

If you’ve applied for documents that contain your personal information, we’ll advise you within 15 business days with guidance on how to complete your application for free under the Information Privacy Act 2009 instead.

Accessing documents

If you want only to inspect the documents, we’ll provide you with reading facilities. We can also provide a copy of the documents in either electronic or hardcopy format.

Special arrangements may need to be made, for example, to allow you to listen to or watch a tape recording, or to provide you with computer printouts or transcripts of documents.

What if I’m not happy with the outcome of my application?

You can appeal a decision and request a review.

Which decisions can I appeal against?

You have the right to appeal against:

  • a decision that an application is outside the scope of the RTI Act
  • a decision that an application doesn't comply with all relevant application requirements
  • a decision to disclose a document contrary to the wishes of a relevant third party
  • a decision to disclose a document without obtaining the views of a relevant third party
  • a decision to refuse to deal with an application
  • a decision to refuse access to a document
  • a decision to charge processing or access charges
  • a decision to delete certain information before providing access
  • a decision to provide access to documents in a different form than that requested by the applicant
  • a ‘deemed decision’ where a decision on access has not been made by the end of 25 business days (or 35 business days where third party consultations have taken place) and QUT is deemed to have refused access to the documents.

How do I appeal and request a review?

Internal review by QUT

If the decision on your original request was made by any QUT staff member other than the Vice-Chancellor, you can ask QUT to review the decision. This is known as an internal review.

To request an internal review by QUT, contact our Right to Information Officer by email or post within 20 business days of the original decision. It will help the review process if you state:

  • why you think the decision should be changed
  • which aspects of the decision you’re concerned about.

The QUT Registrar will review the original decision and make a fresh decision on your request within 20 business days. If your appeal is not upheld, we will tell you why.

External review by the Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner is an independent body responsible for reviewing Right to Information decisions made by government agencies and public authorities like QUT. This is known as an external review.

You can ask the Queensland Information Commissioner to review the decision on your original request if at least one of these applies to you:

  • the decision on your original request was made by the QUT Vice-Chancellor
  • you’re not satisfied with the original decision on your application
  • you’ve had an internal review of the decision and you’re not satisfied with the outcome.

The Information Commissioner will not consider requests for external review of the amount of a charge stated in a charges estimate notice.

This is known as an external review.

To request an external review, you must apply in writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner within 20 business days of the original decision.

The Commissioner may affirm, vary or set aside the original decision. They can also attempt to negotiate a settlement at any time, including through mediation where possible.

The Office of the Information Commissioner is required to publish details of external review decisions and the reasons for those decisions on their website.

If you think the Information Commissioner has made an error on a question of law, you may refer the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a determination.