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Access to information

Access to information
Freedom of Information

APRA publishes material on this website that is freely available without a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). APRA's Information Publication Scheme (IPS) also includes information on our structure, corporate publications, industry consultations, and parliamentary submissions.

The FOI Act gives you the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) that APRA holds;
  • ask for information that APRA holds about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading; and
  • seek a review of APRA's decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

You can ask to see any document that APRA holds. APRA can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, that are exempt.

FOI Disclosure Log lists information that has been released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) access request.

'Protected document' and 'protected information'

A 'protected document' or a document that contains 'protected information', within the meaning of section 56 of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 (APRA Act), is generally an exempt document for the purposes the FOI Act.

Under section 56, 'protected information' is information that is disclosed or obtained under, or for the purposes of, a prudential regulation framework law (that is, the APRA Act and the laws administered by APRA) and relates to the affairs of a financial sector entity (principally, an entity regulated by APRA or required to report financial information to APRA), a body corporate that has at any time been, or is related to, a body regulated by APRA or to a registered entity or a person who has been, is, or proposes to be, a customer of a body regulated by APRA or of a registered entity, other than publicly available information. A 'protected document' is a document, either given or produced, that contains protected information.

Fees and charges

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests to access documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:

Activity item

Charge

Search and retrieval: time APRA spends searching for or retrieving a document

$15.00 per hour

Decision making: time APRA spends deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions

First five hours: Nil Subsequent hours: $20 per hour

Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium

$4.40 per page of transcript

Photocopy

.10 per page

Inspection: supervision by an APRA officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises

$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)

Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request

Cost of postage or delivery

If APRA decides to impose a charge, it will give you a written estimate and the basis of its calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, APRA may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, APRA may ask you to pay a 25 per cent deposit before it processes your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide evidence. The payment of charges does not result in the automatic release of documents sought by you in your request.

What you can expect from APRA

APRA will:

  • tell you within 14 days that it has received your request;
  • give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request; and
  • give you its decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended.

If a document contains information about a third party, APRA will need to consult them and may need to extend the time it takes to make a decision by another 30 days. APRA may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

If you disagree with a decision by APRA

When APRA makes a decision about your FOI request, it will send you a letter explaining its decision and your review and appeal rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed, if APRA:

  • refuses to give you access to all or part of a document or if it defers giving you access;
  • imposes a charge; or
  • refuses to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with a decision by APRA to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for APRA's decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that APRA reconsiders its decision through internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another APRA officer. APRA will advise you of its new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review APRA's original decision or APRA's internal review decision within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified, if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way APRA has handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner, who may investigate APRA's actions. More information is available on the OAIC's website at www.oaic.gov.au.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about APRA's actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

Making an FOI request

Requests must be made in writing stating that the request is an application for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Please provide:

  • information about the document(s), to assist us in processing your request; and
  • include a return address.
Please note: If you ask a third party to make an FOI request on your behalf, you need to provide a specific, written authority to send copies of documents, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.
 
Requests can be sent to:
 
Post
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
GPO Box 9836
Sydney NSW 2001
Email foi [at] apra.gov.au

If you require assistance with your FOI request, please contact +61 2 9210 3000 or email: foi [at] apra.gov.au.