Freedom of Information
The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth. Reforms to the FOI Act which came into effect on 1 May 2011 are aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture across government, building a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government operations. RIRDC is committed to a proactive approach to publishing information which it holds to the benefit of the rural and rural research community and the broader Australian public.
RIRDC operates under the direction of a Board of Directors. Our headquarters is in Canberra and our corporate contact details are:
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Level 2, 15 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
Ph: 02 6271 4100
Fax: 02 6271 4199
PO Box 4776
Kingston ACT 2604
As required under the FOI Act RIRDC also submits an Annual Section 9 Statement to the National Archives of Australia outlining the documents and processes used to make decisions in relation to the funding of R&D Projects.
How to make a request for access to documents under the FOI Act
Requests made under the FOI Act must:
- be in writing; and
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act; and
- provide such information concerning the document that will allow RIRDC to identify it; and
- provide detail of how notices provided by RIRDC in relation to the FOI request can be sent to the applicant.
RIRDC publishes or holds documents that are corporate documents such as the Annual Report, Corporate Plan and Annual Operational Plan. These are free while stocks are available. They are also available for free download from RIRDC's website.
RIRDC's extensive research library of is available for viewing, free downloading or purchasing from our print-on-demand portal at https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/. Purchases can also be made by phoning 1300 634 313 for a local call charge.
Formal requests for information under the FOI Act must be made in writing to the FOI Coordinator:
Ms Christine Quick
General Manager - Corporate
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 4776
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Ph: 02 6271 4150
Fax: 02 6271 4199
In many cases, an application under the FOI Act may not be required as information or documents may be readily available.
An up-to-date listing of projects funded by RIRDC is detailed in our Research-in-Progress publications and also on the RIRDC website. Funding information on individual projects is available, on request, from the Corporation.
Processing of FOI requests
Upon receipt of your FOI request, RIRDC will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days. In accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the FOI Applicant within 30 days of receipt. However, as some documents may be subject to a third party consultation process, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days. If consultation is required, you will be informed accordingly.
Fees and charges
FOI requests made to RIRDC on or after 1 November 2010 no longer require an Application Fee to be paid. However, the FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information). Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until you provide a response to the estimate.
RIRDC may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.
Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision. If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision.
Alternatively, you may write to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) seeking a review of RIRDC's decision. This can be done as a result of either the initial decision or the internal review decision.
Subsequent review options after internal review and OAIC review are also available. The complete process for seeking a review on access is provided in the decision letter sent to you at the completion of your request.
The FOI Coordinator can be contacted on (02) 6271 4150 to discuss any prospective request to the Corporation.