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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) gives people the right to access documents held by all State and local government agencies and certain statutory corporations. Western Power's Freedom of Information (FOI) Officer coordinates the receipt and processing of all FOI applications relating to Western Power.

Purpose of the Act

The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) was introduced in November 1993, to create a general right of access to documents held by State and local government agencies and certain statutory corporations.

As a statutory corporation Western Power aims to make its documents available promptly in accordance with the FOI Act.

What is a document?

For the purposes of the FOI Act, the term "document" covers many forms of records and includes files, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films, video tapes and electronically stored information.

Western Power's documents relate to a variety of functions and activities such as:

  • all aspects of the management of the SWIS, including planning, construction, maintenance, emergency response and associated business processes
  • reform policy
  • environmental policy
  • Ministerial support
  • customer network information (such as power supply connections, reliability and capacity, and community consultation on projects).

Documents available free of charge and without a FOI application

We produce and release a number of reports each year which are available to download at no cost from this website.  These reports are:

  • Annual report
  • Quarterly reports
  • Annual planning report
  • Annual asset management report
  • Annual reliability and power quality report.

We also produce numerous pamphlets, information booklets, brochures and other printed material regarding various issues on electricity matters. These documents are also available to the general public, free of charge, from our head office (subject to availability).

Documents that are available only through a FOI application

The types of document we hold that may, subject to the FOI Act, be accessed under a FOI application include the following:

Email communications 

Audio tapes

Computer records

Letters

Internal memoranda

Facsimiles

Reports (not mentioned in 3.2) 

Diagrams/Plans

Notebook or diary entries

Photographs

Presentations

Policies

Office manuals

Contracts

Incident reports relating to accidents, electrical faults and outages 

Minutes and agendas of meetings

Receipt of FOI applications

FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general enquiries may be directed to Western Power's FOI Officer.

Processing applications

The FOI Officer is the initial contact point for all FOI-related matters.

All FOI applications must:

  • be in writing
  • give specific information so that the documents requested can be identified
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent
  • be lodged at the agency with the relevant application fee payable

Applications will be acknowledged in writing and you will be notified of the decision within 45 days (or other time permitted under the FOI Act).

Fees and charges

The rate of fees and charges are set under the FOI Act Regulations. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary. More information below.

Notice of decision

We will give you a notice of decision within 45 days which will include:

  • the date the decision was made
  • the name and designation of the officer who made the decision
  • if access is refused, the reasons why
  • details of the rights of review and the procedures to follow to exercise those rights

Rights of review

When we have considered the application, we will provide a notice of decision to the applicant. If the decision is to not amend the information in accordance with the application, under the FOI Act the applicant has the right to apply to us to have the decision reviewed internally, unless the decision was made by our CEO in which case the right of review is to the Information Commissioner. 

Applications for review of a decision must be sent to us in writing within 30 calendar days of the notice of decision. The application must be sent to Western Power's Freedom of Information Officer.

Where Western Power's CEO was the original decision-maker or any matter remains in dispute after an internal review, the applicant has the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner who will then decide whether to conduct an "external review" of the matter.  The complaint must be lodged within 60 days of the notice of decision.

In certain instances, questions of law that arise in the course of dealing with a complaint may be referred to the Supreme Court. 

The internal and external reviews may confirm our decision, vary the decision, or completely set aside the decision and provide a substitute decision.  No fees or charges apply to internal or external reviews.

Documents we hold 

Our records relate to functions and activities such as:

  • transmission and distribution documentation
  • reform policy
  • environmental policy
  • Minister's support
  • customer network information

Contact for FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general enquiries

Please send all FOI applications, correspondence, payments and general enquiries to our Freedom of Information Officer:

FOI Coordinator
Western Power
363 Wellington Street
Perth 6000

This Information Statement is prepared for the purposes of section 96 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act).

The FOI Act provides a general right of access to documents held by State and local government agencies, and certain statutory corporations.  Subject to certain exceptions, where a person or corporation applies under the FOI Act for access to documents, the FOI Act requires the agency or statutory corporation to provide access to documents.

As a statutory corporation subject to the FOI Act, Western Power aims to make its documents available promptly in accordance with the FOI Act.

The FOI Act requires us to make available details about the kind of information we hold. The Information Statement outlines these details.

In addition to creating a right of access to documents, the FOI Act also requires us to ensure that personal information that we hold about an individual is "accurate, complete, up-to-date and not misleading".

This information Statement outlines how to make an application under the FOI Act (FOI application) for access to our documents or to amend personal information that we hold about an individual.

Our Freedom of Information Officer coordinates the receipt and processing of all FOI applications.

Regulations made under the FOI Act prescribe the rate of fees and charges relating to FOI applications for access to documents.  Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, the imposition of other charges is within Western Power's discretion.

No fees or charges apply to an application or request for access to personal information (i.e. information about the applicant).

The application fee for access to non-personal information is $30.

Other charges and fees may apply in relation to time taken by staff in dealing with an application for non-personal information.  The following table contains the applicable fees and charges.

 

Description

Cost

Personal information about applicant

No fee

Application fee for non-personal information

$30

Charge for time taken dealing with application

$30 per hour

Charge for photocopying

$30 per hour for staff and 20c per copy

Charge for staff time in transcribing information from a tape or other device

$30 per hour

Charge for duplicating a tape, film or computer information

Actual cost

Charge for delivery, packaging and postage

Actual cost

Western Power's Freedom of Information Officer is the initial contact point for all FOI related matters (including FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general enquiries). 

All FOI applications for access to documents must:

  • be in writing
  • provide adequate and specific information so that the documents requested can be identified
  • expressly state that the application is being made under the FOI Act
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent
  • be accompanied by the relevant application fees.

When we receive your application we will acknowledge it in writing. We have 45 days (or such further time permitted under the FOI Act) to process an application and decide whether access to the requested documents will be permitted.

Notice of decision

After we have considered a FOI application, we will provide a notice of decision to the applicant outlining:

  • the date the decision was made
  • the name and designation of the officer who made the decision
  • if access to some or all of the documents has been permitted and if not, the reasons for the refusal
  • details of the rights of review and the procedures to follow to exercise those rights.

An individual has a right to apply to us to amend his or her personal information in a document held by us that is:

  • inaccurate
  • incomplete
  • out of date
  • misleading.

The closest relative of a deceased person has the right to apply for amendment of personal information about the deceased person.

An application to amend must:

  • be in writing
  • expressly state that the application is made under the FOI Act
  • give enough details to enable the document that contains the information to be identified
  • give details of how the person believes the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading
  • give the person's reasons for holding that belief
    give details of the amendment(s) that the applicant requests be made
  • give an Australian address to which notices can be sent.

When we receive an application to amend personal information we will acknowledge it in writing.  We have 30 days (or such further time permitted under the FOI Act) to process an application and decide whether to amend the personal information as requested.