Requesting access to your personal information

What is this process for?

Follow this process to make a formal request under the Information Privacy Act 2009 for access to personal information about you that QUT holds.

If you want to request access to personal information about someone else or organisational information about QUT, use the Right to Information process.

Before you make a request

Before you submit your request, check whether you’re able to access the information you’re looking for through an informal request. Check the information that’s relevant to you:

What can I request access to?

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

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.

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 Privacy Officer by email or post, or in person.

Someone can apply on your behalf.

Fees

If you’re requesting access to documents that contain personal information related only to you or the person you’re applying on behalf of, your application is free.

If you’re requesting access to documents that may also contain the personal information of someone else or non-personal information, you must pay a $46.40 application fee.

There may be access charges for some requests. For example, a charge for photocopying of 20 cents per A4 page, or we may charge you to cover our costs for providing access in another form (e.g. viewing or obtaining a copy of a video). If there are access charges for your request, we’ll send you a quote of estimated fees.

In limited circumstances we may waive fees on grounds of financial hardship.

How to pay fees

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

If you need to pay an application fee, you’ll need to pay it before you submit your application, and provide the receipt number on your application form.

Identification

You must provide evidence of your identity with your application or within 10 business days (Monday-Friday) of submitting the application.

We can’t give you access to any information until you have provided satisfactory proof of your identity.

What identification to provide

Identification we accept includes:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • driver’s licence
  • statutory declaration from a person who has known you for at least one year
  • current QUT student or staff identity card.

If you are applying on behalf of someone else, you must provide evidence of identity for both of you, as well as your authorisation to make the request.

If you’re asking for fees to be waived on grounds of financial hardship, you’ll need to provide a valid concession card.

How to provide identification

You must provide either:

  • the original document in person to the QUT Privacy Officer
  • a certified photocopy with your application. A qualified witness (such as a lawyer, notary public, commissioner for declarations or justice of the peace) must certify the document as being a correct copy of the original.

Processing your application

We will respond to your application regardless of the outcome.

Successful applications

If your request is approved, we will give you access to the documents within 25 business days (5 business weeks).

If we need to consult with a third party before releasing the documents, we will respond to your request within 35 business days.

Unsuccessful applications

If your request is refused, we will contact you within 25 business days to give you specific reasons for the decision in writing.

We’ll also contact you if your application:

  • is outside the scope of the Information Privacy Act 2009 , within 10 business days
  • doesn’t meet the requirements, and we’ll consult with you about making it comply with the requirements, within 15 business days
  • is for documents that don’t contain any of your personal information, and give you the opportunity to have your application dealt with under the Right to Information Act instead, within 15 business days.

If we don’t make a decision on your application by the end of 25 business days (or 35 business days where we’ve consulted with third parties), it is treated as a refused request. This is known as a ‘deemed decision’ because we are deemed to have refused access to the documents.

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

You can appeal a decision and request a review

If you’re not happy with the outcome of your application, you may be able to appeal against the decision and request a review.

Which decisions can I appeal against?

You can appeal against a decision:

  • that an application is outside the scope of the Information Privacy Act 2009
  • that doesn’t comply with all relevant application requirements
  • to disclose a document contrary to the wishes of a relevant third party
  • to disclose a document without obtaining the views of a relevant third party
  • to refuse to deal with an application
  • to refuse access to a document
  • to charge access charges
  • to delete certain information before providing access
  • to provide access to documents in a different form than what you requested
  • that was not made by the end of 25 business days (or 35 business days where we’ve consulted third parties), and therefore was treated as a refused request. This is known as a ‘deemed decision’ because we are deemed to have refused access to the documents.

How to appeal and request a review

There are two types of review for decisions about access to information:

  • internal review, where the decision is reviewed by QUT
  • external review, where the decision is reviewed by the Queensland Information Commissioner.

You don’t have to have an internal review before you can request an external review.

For both types of review, you must request the review no more than 20 business days after you were notified of the decision on your application.

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 Privacy 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.

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of an internal review, you can request an external review.

External review by the Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner is an independent body responsible for reviewing information privacy 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 of that 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.