The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) and Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) give people the right to access information (RTI) from government agencies including Queensland Government departments, local government, health and hospital services, public universities and statutory authorities.

The RTI Act requires all documents held by an agency, and documents of a Minister that relate to the agency, to be open and accessible, unless there is a good reason not to. The first step in accessing information is to check the relevant agency’s website or other publicly available information. Agencies are required to publish significant, accurate and appropriate information in their Publication Scheme, which also sets out specific information about their priorities, decisions, policies, services, finances and lists under the RTI Act.

People should be able to access government-held information informally wherever possible. This could mean accessing it through an established administrative access scheme for specific information (e.g. patient health records), a general agency informal access process, or just asking for it. Informal access can be in person, over the phone, by email or via the website. A formal application for information under the RTI Act or IP Act should only be made as a last resort.

If a person applies for general information or information about other people under the RTI Act, they will pay an application fee and possibly processing charges. If they only apply for their own personal information however, there are no costs if they choose to receive the documents in electronic format.

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