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Right to Information

Overview

The Right to Information Act 2009 provides members of the public with the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.

By doing so, the Act aims to improve democratic government by:

  • increasing the accountability of government;
  • increasing the ability of the public to participated in government decision making processes; and
  • acknowledging that public authorities collect information for and on behalf of members of the public

The Department of Justice is a public authority under the Act.

The Act provides that information will be released through the following methods:

  • required disclosure
  • routine disclosure
  • active disclosure
  • assessed disclosure

Required disclosure

Required disclosure is disclosure required by law, including under an enforceable agreement. An example is the requirement to publish an annual report, or a decision made under an enactment.

Routine disclosure

Routine disclosure is the disclosure of information which a public authority decides may be of interest to the public. An example of this might be a discussion paper in relation to a proposal for statutory reform.

Active disclosure

Active disclosure is the disclosure of information in response to a request made other than by way of an application for assessed disclosure. An example is the provision of information to a citizen in response to a letter.

Assessed disclosure

Assessed disclosure takes place as a result of a formal request through an application to the Department to release information. Assessed disclosure of information should only occur as a last resort as the Act as the Act requires the Department to put processes in place to make information freely available to the public through required, routine or active disclosures.

Consequently, the information that might be sought though an application for assessed disclosure may well already be in the public domain. Alternatively, the Department may decide to voluntarily release information for which an application for assessed disclosure has been made, without proceeding to a formal assessment of the information concerned.

All information must be disclosed, unless it is exempt information as defined by the Act. Further information on exemptions is contained in the Ombudsman’s Manual.

Prior to making an application for assessed disclosure

Prior to making an application for assessed disclosure to the Department of Justice, you should

  • check to make sure that application should be made to the Department of Justice and not some other public authority – e.g.
    • applications for information relating to criminal or traffic matters may need to be made to the Department of Police, Fire and emergency Management;
  • contact the Department to discuss the information you need and whether information can be released without the need to make an application; and
  • check to see if the information is already publicly available – e.g. it may be published on the Department’s website – or will be available in the near future.

More information about material which is publicly available is contained in the Sources of Information section below.

Making an application for assessed disclosure

Applications

Prior to making an application for assessed disclosure to the Department of Justice, you should first check to make sure that application should be made to the Department of Justice and not some other public authority – e.g.

  • applications for information relating to criminal or traffic matters may need to be made to the Department of Police, Fire and emergency Management

Department of Justice Applications for assessed disclosure should be made on the following form:

and sent to:

Right to Information Officer
Department of Justice
GPO Box 825
Hobart   TAS   7001

Alternatively, applications can be emailed to

rti@justice.tas.gov.au

Fees

Applications must be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is 25 fee units, which is $39.50 as at 1 July 2018 and is indexed annually.

Waiving fees

You can apply to have the fee waived under the following circumstances.

  • proven financial hardship
  • Members of Parliament in connection with their official duty
  • if you can provide proof that the information will be used for the benefit of the general public

Following receipt of an application

Following receipt of an application,

  • you may be contacted to confirm the exact nature of the information being sought;
  • searches will be undertaken  to identify what information relating to the application is held by the Department ;
  • the information will be assessed to see whether it can be disclosed or whether it is subject to any exemptions to disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009; and
  • you will be advised of the outcome, normally within 20 days, but this may be extended in the event that in the event that the Department has to consult with third parties

In the event that some or all of the information being requested is not released, you will be given written reasons for not disclosing the information to you.

If you disagree with the Department’s decision, you may request the Department to conduct an internal review of the decision. Such a request must be made within 20 working days after notice of the decision is given to you.

If you are still dissatisfied with the Department’s decision, you may request the Ombudsman to conduct an external review of the decision. Such a request must be made within 20 working days after notice of the decision on the internal review is given to you.

Personal Information Protection Act 2004

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to seek access to personal information which the Department holds about you through the Personal Information Protection Act 2004.

It is recommended that you contact the Department to discuss whether the application should be made under the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 or as an application for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009.

Sources of information

Required disclosure

The Department of Justice, as well as a number of statutory bodies for which the Department is responsible, must publish an annual report. These can be accessed through the Department’s Publications webpage.

These reports typically contain:

  • information on the Department’ organisational structure;
  • financial information;
  • employment information – e.g. the number of employees, type of employees (full time, part time), percentage of male and female employees, employment by age group
  • contract and consultancies information
  • key performance indicators
  • information relating to the administration of the Right to Information act 2009, including the number of application made, granted and refused

Routine disclosure

The Department routinely publishes reviews undertaken into specific areas of its operation. These can be accessed through the Department’s Publications webpage.

Publications of statutory bodies for which the Department is responsible can be accessed through Department’s Publications webpage, or by visiting the relevant statutory body’s webpage

The Department also has a number of operational policies and plans which are available on the Department’s Policy webpage

The Gifts and Benefits Register can be accessed as follows

Gifts and benefits register

2018-19 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 October – 31 December 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
  • 1 July - 30 September 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.

2017-18 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 April - 30 June 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
  • 1 Jan - 31 Mar 2018: 2 items were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting. See table below.
  • 1 Oct - 30 Dec 2017: 1 item was declared in the quarter that meets the threshold for reporting. See table below.
  • 1 July – 30 September 2017: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
Date of Receipt of Offer Description of gift, benefit and/or hospitality offered Reason for acceptance Person/Organisation offering gift, benefit and/or hospitality Value of gift, benefit and/or hospitality ($)
20/11/2017 Attended a lunch at a local restaurant with representatives from Department of State Growth and University of Tasmania Celebrating completion of important project stage University of Tasmania $100
19/3/2018 Carol Schwartz spoke at a Property Council of Australia event on 27 March 2018. As speaker, Carol was given an additional ticket to the event  which was gifted to a Department of Justice staff member. Builds goodwill, maintains stakeholder relationships and encourages and enhances professional networks Carol Schwartz, Trawalla $125
29/3/2018 Invitation to the 2018 Tasmanian Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia Innovation Awards Builds goodwill, maintains stakeholder relationships and encourages and enhances professional networks Brian Hauser - State director - Vic / Tas Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia $150

2016-17 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 October to 31 December 2016 – No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting
  • 1 January to 31 March 2017 - No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting
  • 1 April to 30 June 2017 - No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting

The Department also routinely publish the following information

  • people on community based orders
  • prisoner numbers (including gender)
  • people holding same-sex marriage registrations
  • people holding Working with Vulnerable People registrations
  • case lodgements for Criminal and Miscellaneous applications – Magistrates and Supreme Courts
  • licence holders by occupation (i.e. builders, plumbers, electricians)
  • consumer enquiries and complaints
  • rental bonds
  • MPES collection rate.

Additional categories of data released from October 2018

Category Source websitePeriodNumber

Same sex marriages registered

Births, Deaths and Marriages

January-September 2018

94

  • 33 male/male couples
  • 61 female/female couples

Number of Working with vulnerable people (WWVP) registrations

CBOS

As at end September 2018

118,172

Number of licence holders by occupation

CBOS

As at end September 2018

Total: 11 357

Electrical licences – 6016

Plumber licences – 1834

Gas-fitter licences – 623

Auto Gas-fitter licences – 58

Building Services Providers – 2826

Rental bonds lodged with the Residential Deposit Authority

CBOS

As at end September 2018

46,038

Number of bonds paid to tenants and property owners

CBOS

As at end September 2018

128,418

Number of Consumer enquiries and complaints received

CBOS

Apr – Sep 2018

29,741

People on community based orders

Corrections

Apr – Sep 2018

1996[1]

Prisoner numbers (including gender)

Corrections

Apr – Sep 2018

Male: 581 [2]

Female: 43

Case lodgements for Criminal and Miscellaneous applications – Magistrates Court

Magistrates Court

Apr – Sep 2018

14477[3]

Case lodgements for Criminal and Miscellaneous applications – Supreme Court

Supreme Court

Apr – Sep 2018

459[4]

MPES collection rate (i.e. all debt referrals and related receipts over a period)

MPES

1/07/2018 to 30/09/2018

82%

[1] Average of first day of the Month for each month of the quarter.

[2] Average of daily average over the month for each month of the quarter.

[3]Comprises: Adult Criminal including breaches (5566), Youth Criminal (328), Miscellaneous, Restraint, Family Violence and Child Protection applications (1355).

[4]Comprises: Adult Criminal, First Instance (149) and Bail Application (85)

Information previously released through assessed disclosure

The following table contains a list of information released by the Department in response to applications for assessed disclosure:

Category of Applicant Summary of Request Information Released
Media Information regarding leave taken by prisoners in the last financial year Leave taken by prisoners in the last financial year (docx, 16.6 KB)
Media Information regarding site options for proposed Northern Prison Site Suitability Requirements - Northern Prison
(pdf, 30.8 KB)
Media 2015 and 2016 People Matter Survey results People Matter Survey results 2015 (pdf, 587.6 KB)
People Matter Survey results 2016 (pdf, 1.3 MB)
Member of Parliament A copy of information regarding asbestos management at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Right to Information - asbestos management at the Royal Hobart Hospital (pdf, 26.8 MB)
Media Details about incorrectly released prisoners over the last two years. Details about incorrectly released prisoners (pdf, 73.3 KB)
Member of Parliament A copy of information regarding mould issues at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Right to Information - mould issues at the Royal Hobart Hospital
(pdf, 77.0 MB)
Media

A copy of the Department’s gifts and benefits register for financial year 2014-15.

Department of Justice Gifts & Benefits Register 2014-15 (pdf, 104.3 KB)
Media Information about drug use at Risdon Prison. Statistical information about the number of seizures and types of drugs seized over a period of years. (pdf, 78.3 KB)
Member of Parliament Information for each successful bidder and any other bidders that were awarded contracts that were deemed exempt from the Treasurer’s Instructions, including the name of the successful bidder, the product or service provided, and the cost of the contract since 1 January 2015. Exemption requests approved and contracts executed from 1 January 2015 (doc, 31.5 KB)
Member of Parliament

A copy of all information relating to external consultants engaged by the department from 1 August 2014 to current. A copy of all information relating to the name of the consultant or firm, the dates of the engagement period, the reason for their engagement, and the total cost of each consultant, including
any travel and accommodation paid.

External consultants engaged by the Department from 1 August 2014 to 18 November 2015. (doc, 67.0 KB)
Member of Parliament A list of all organisations incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1964 as of 10 February 2016 List of incorporated associations (XLS, 1.5 MB)
Member of Parliament Information related to:
1. Overtime
2. Staff leave
3. Workers compensation
at the Tasmania Prison Service
Tasmania Prison Service information (doc, 614.0 KB)

Disclosure register

Disclosure register

Interim procedures for disclosing information released in response to Right to Information Act 2009 requests in Tasmania were announced on Tuesday 9 June 2015.

Certain information released in response to Right to Information requests will be published online within 48 hours of being released to the applicant. This only applies to applications received after 9 June 2015. Detailed policies reflecting this change will soon be available.

The new approach makes information released to an applicant available to a wider audience and increases Government transparency and accountability.

Applicants should note that:

  • if they seek and are granted a waiver of the application fee on the basis of general public interest, and it is determined that the information is in the broader public interest, publication of the released information is likely.
  • their identity will not be published. The category of applicant will be published, i.e. Member of Parliament, media representative, private individual.
  • a summary of the application will be published. This gives context to the nature of the released information.
  • only information that is considered to be in the broader public interest will be published. No personal information will be published.
  • information of a commercial or confidential nature will not be published.
Category of Applicant Summary of Request Information Released
MediaStatistic regarding the strip search of minors in the custody of the Tasmania Prison Service in the 2018 calendar yearStrip search of minors - statistics 2018 (pdf, 61.4 KB)
Media Information regarding leave taken by prisoners in the last financial year Leave taken by prisoners in the last financial year (docx, 16.6 KB)
Media Information regarding site options for proposed Northern Prison Site Suitability Requirements - Northern Prison
(pdf, 30.8 KB)
Media 2015 and 2016 People Matter Survey results People Matter Survey results 2015 (pdf, 587.6 KB)
People Matter Survey results 2016 (pdf, 1.3 MB)
Member of Parliament A copy of information regarding asbestos management at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Right to Information - asbestos management at the Royal Hobart Hospital (pdf, 26.8 MB)
Media Details about incorrectly released prisoners over the last two years. Details about incorrectly released prisoners (pdf, 73.3 KB)
Member of Parliament A copy of information regarding mould issues at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Right to Information - mould issues at the Royal Hobart Hospital
(pdf, 77.0 MB)
Media

A copy of the Department’s gifts and benefits register for financial year 2014-15.

Department of Justice Gifts & Benefits Register 2014-15 (pdf, 104.3 KB)
Media Information about drug use at Risdon Prison. Statistical information about the number of seizures and types of drugs seized over a period of years. (pdf, 78.3 KB)
Member of Parliament Information for each successful bidder and any other bidders that were awarded contracts that were deemed exempt from the Treasurer’s Instructions, including the name of the successful bidder, the product or service provided, and the cost of the contract since 1 January 2015. Exemption requests approved and contracts executed from 1 January 2015 (doc, 31.5 KB)
Member of Parliament

A copy of all information relating to external consultants engaged by the department from 1 August 2014 to current. A copy of all information relating to the name of the consultant or firm, the dates of the engagement period, the reason for their engagement, and the total cost of each consultant, including any travel and accommodation paid.

External consultants engaged by the Department from 1 August 2014 to 18 November 2015. (doc, 67.0 KB)
Member of Parliament A list of all organisations incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1964 as of 10 February 2016 List of incorporated associations (XLS, 1.5 MB)
Member of Parliament Information related to:
1. Overtime
2. Staff leave
3. Workers compensation
at the Tasmania Prison Service
Tasmania Prison Service information (doc, 614.0 KB)

Right to Information - Whole of Government

Right to Information - Whole of Government

The information provided in this section is designed to help Public Authorities in the Administration of Right to Information.

Delegations

Principal officers of public authorities of Ministers may delegate some or all of their functions powers under section 24 of the Act to another person, where the principal officer or Minister is satisfied that the person has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform those functions or exercise those powers. Sample delegations are included below:

Right to Information Annual Report

Section 53 of the Act requires that the Department of Justice must prepare a report for each financial year on the administration of the Right to Information Act 2009.

The annual report can be downloaded from the links below.

Right to Information Annual Report 2017-2018 (docx, 264.6 KB)

Right to Information Annual Report 2017-2018 (PDF, 546.8 KB)

Visit the Libraries Tasmania online archive for earlier annual reports.

Routine release of information

Routine release of information

The Department of Justice, along with other government agencies, is committed to increasing the amount of comparable information routinely disclosed to the public.

On this page you will find regular updates on a range of topics which may be of interest to you.

News and Events

Organisational Structure

Departmental Governance policies

Major Policy and Program initiatives

Employment and workforce statistics

Please refer to the State Service Management Office.

Department of Justice workforce statistics as of 30 June 2017 can be found in the Department’s 2016-17 Annual report

Gifts and benefits register

2018-19 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 January – 31 March 2019: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting
  • 1 October – 31 December 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
  • 1 July - 30 September 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.

2017-18 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 April - 30 June 2018: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
  • 1 Jan - 31 Mar 2018: 2 items were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting. See table below.
  • 1 Oct - 30 Dec 2017: 1 item was declared in the quarter that meets the threshold for reporting. See table below.
  • 1 July – 30 September 2017: No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting.
Date of Receipt of Offer Description of gift, benefit and/or hospitality offered Reason for acceptance Person/Organisation offering gift, benefit and/or hospitality Value of gift, benefit and/or hospitality ($)
20/11/2017 Attended a lunch at a local restaurant with representatives from Department of State Growth and University of Tasmania Celebrating completion of important project stage University of Tasmania $100
19/3/2018 Carol Schwartz spoke at a Property Council of Australia event on 27 March 2018. As speaker, Carol was given an additional ticket to the event  which was gifted to a Department of Justice staff member. Builds goodwill, maintains stakeholder relationships and encourages and enhances professional networks Carol Schwartz, Trawalla $125
29/3/2018 Invitation to the 2018 Tasmanian Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia Innovation Awards Builds goodwill, maintains stakeholder relationships and encourages and enhances professional networks Brian Hauser - State director - Vic / Tas Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia $150

2016-17 Gifts and benefits register

  • 1 October to 31 December 2016 – No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting
  • 1 January to 31 March 2017 - No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting
  • 1 April to 30 June 2017 - No gifts, benefits or hospitality were declared in the quarter that meet the threshold for reporting

Senior Executive Service information

Please refer to the State Service Management Office.

More detailed figures can be found in the Service Annual Report - Appendix 1 - Workforce Profile

*These figures are updated on or around the end of April and October respectively.

Telecommunications expenditure

Please refer to information on telecommunications and mobile devices expenditure (xlsx, 9.2 KB).

*These figures are updated on or around the end of March and September respectively.

Contracts and Consultancies

Please refer to the Tasmanian Government Tenders website.

Additional categories of data released from October 2018

Category Source websitePeriodNumber

Same sex marriages registered

Births, Deaths and Marriages

January 2018 - 31 March 2019

190

  • 63 male/male couples
  • 127 female/female couples

Number of Working with vulnerable people (WWVP) registrations

CBOS

As at end 31 March 2019

125,148

Number of licence holders by occupation

CBOS

As at end 31 March 2019

Total: 12,246

Electrical licences – 6325

Plumber licences – 1903

Gas-fitter licences – 655

Auto Gas-fitter licences – 56

Building Services Providers – 3307

Rental bonds lodged with the Residential Deposit Authority

CBOS

As at end 31 March 2019

46,584

Number of bonds paid to tenants and property owners

CBOS

As at end 31 March 2019

135,204

Number of consumer enquiries and complaints received

CBOS

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

28,517

People on community based orders

Corrections

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

2,049[1]

Prisoner numbers (including gender)

Corrections

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

Male: 608 [2]

Female: 45

Case lodgements for Criminal and Miscellaneous applications – Magistrates Court

Magistrates Court

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

13,878[3]

Case lodgements for Criminal and Miscellaneous applications – Supreme Court

Supreme Court

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

519[4]

MPES collection rate (i.e. all debt referrals and related receipts over a period)

MPES

Oct 2018 – Mar 2019

99%

[1] Average of first day of the Month for each month of the reporting period.

[2] Average of daily average over the month for each month of the reporting period.

[3]Comprises: Adult Criminal including breaches (10,355), Youth Criminal (708), Miscellaneous, Restraint, Family Violence and Child Protection applications (2,815).

[4]Comprises: Adult Criminal, First Instance (326) and Bail Application (193)