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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act (1992) (FOI Act)  enables the public to participate more effectively in governing the State and makes the persons and bodies that are responsible for State and local government more accountable to the public.

The objects of the FOI Act are achieved by creating a general right of access to State and local government documents; providing means to ensure that personal information held by State and local governments is accurate, complete, up-to-date and not misleading; and requiring that certain documents concerning State and local government operations be made available to the public.

Consistent with the FOI Act, students, staff and members of the public may:

  • seek access to documents held by ECU; or
  • request amendments to personal information contained in documents held by ECU.

A 'document' is any record however it is stored, including:

  • paper (letters, faxes, forms, paper-based files);
  • audio tape / videotape / CD's and DVD's / microfiche / microfilm;
  • electronic records (including emails, digitally stored records);
  • drawings / films / photographs; and
  • plans / maps / diagrams / graphs.

The access provisions of the Act do not apply where documents are routinely available to the public, or are available for inspection or purchase.

It is the aim of the University to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost. Whenever possible, documents will be provided outside the FOI process.

Applications to access documents

Applications must:

  • be in writing;
  • give enough information to enable the requested documents to be identified;
  • provide an address in Australia to which a response may be sent; and
  • be lodged at the University with any fee which may be applicable.

ECU's Information Statement provides full details of the fees applicable for some applications. To make an FOI application to ECU, please contact the Freedom of Information Coordinator:

FOI Coordinator
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup Campus
270 Joondalup Drive

Telephone: (61 8) 6304-2627

Upon receipt of the application the relevant documents will be reviewed and a determination made as quickly as possible (but no later than 45 days after receipt, unless a longer time is agreed with the applicant).

Fees and charges

The scale of fees and charges has been set by the Freedom of Information Regulations (Schedule 1). For information regarding FOI fees and charges please refer to Downloads.

Should you be required to lodge payment for an FOI Application, online payment can be made via our payment online system.

Amendment of personal information

Applicants who wish to apply to amend personal information held by ECU must lodge the request with the FOI Coordinator. The request must indicate how the information is to be amended (alteration, deletion, inserting information or adding a note in relation to the information).

The decision-making process

Access to documents

The decision in the case of an application for access to documents may be:

  • Full access - in which case a copy of the document(s) will be provided;
  • Edited access - in which case some parts of the document(s) will be exempted. Edited access will be provided where, in the view of the decision-maker, parts of the document are exempted under one or more of the 15 exemptions listed in the Act. The most common exemption which arises in dealing with applications at ECU is that the exempted material relates to a person other than the applicant; or
  • Access refused - if the entire contents of the document(s) are exempted, or if the document does not exist, or if a document cannot be found.


Where information about individuals other than the applicant is contained in a document the FOI decision-maker will consult with those third parties in reaching a decision. There is no requirement to consult where such personal information is to be exempted.

Right to review decisions

The FOI decision-maker will provide reasons as part of the decision in relation to an application, making reference to the relevant provisions of the Act, and describing reasons that full or edited access is to be provided, or access refused. If an amendment to personal information is requested but a change is not made, reasons for the decision will be provided.

Applicants who are dissatisfied with the notice of decision are able to seek an internal review, which must be made within 30 days of receiving the notice of decision. Where an applicant is not satisfied after an internal review, they may seek an external review through the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Further assistance

To enquire about the operation of FOI, please contact:

Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
Telephone: (61 8) 6304-2627

For further information about the operation of FOI in the University, please refer to ECU's Information Statement.

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