Right to Information - Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Queensland Government)

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Right to Information

What is Right to Information?

The Right to Information is the Queensland Government's approach to giving the community greater access to information.

The Queensland Government has made a commitment to provide access to information held by the Government, unless on balance it is contrary to the public interest to provide that information.

New legislation replacing the Freedom of Information Act 1992 came into effect on 1 July 2009, namely:

The Right to Information reforms aim to make more information available, provide equal access to information across all sectors of the community, and provide appropriate protection for individuals' privacy.

Our Right to Information factsheet (PDF, 335 KB) Right to Information factsheet (DOC, 825 KB) will explain the department's approach to providing the community with greater access to information. Our Information Packs for Right to Information (PDF, 1 MB) Information Packs for Right to Information (DOC, 1.1 MB) applications, and our Information Pack for Information Privacy (PDF, 846 KB) Information Pack for Information Privacy (DOC, 1 MB) applications provide prospective applicants with information about what to expect as we process your application, including timeframes and review rights.

More information about Right to Information is available on the Queensland Government website.

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Accessing information

Information about the department's services and business operations is provided in many of our corporate documents, which are available through our publication scheme. We also make available information already released through RTI in a disclosure log.

Publication scheme - published information

Our publication scheme describes and categorises information which is routinely published by the department. In most cases, this information is available online and can be accessed directly from the publication scheme.

Disclosure log - released Right to Information requests

Our disclosure log provides information of wider public interest that has been released under the Right to Information Act 2009.

Open data

The Queensland Government’s Open Data Revolution aims to make as much government data as possible freely available to the public to support the development of innovative solutions and real improvements to the way government services are delivered.  The department publishes datasets on the Open Data portal.

Administrative release

We make particular information available free of charge through administrative release to people who were formerly in the care of the department.

Care history summary statement

Care history summary statements can be used as evidence that a person was in out of home care and provide the dates and locations of placements. The department administrative release team has arrangements with the Forde Foundation and Lotus Place to provide care history summary statements to people engaging with them. If you are not engaged with Forde Foundation or Lotus Place, you can apply for a care history summary statement directly from us by completing the Application for care history summary statement form (DOCX, 688 KB).

Redress files

In May 2007, in response to the recommendations of the Forde Inquiry, the Queensland Government established the $100 million Redress Scheme to acknowledge the abuse or neglect suffered by children placed in Queensland institutions by providing ex-gratia payments to those who were harmed.

Applications for a payment under the scheme opened 1 October 2007 and closed 30 September 2008. More than 10,200 applications were received by the closing date, with over 7,400 applications assessed as eligible for payment under the scheme. The scheme was finalised in June 2010.

If you applied for Redress, you or your authorised representative may apply for administrative access to particular documents held on your Redress file and the Redress database, including:

  • a summary which shows
    • relevant institution names
    • admission and discharge dates
    • eligible days in out of home care placements
    • notes about whether each placement was verified against the department’s records and whether abuse or neglect occurred in the placement (as determined by the Redress panel), including harm categories and consequences
  • copies of your original application
  • letters confirming the direct credit payment received and level of payment
  • letters specifying the outcome of your application
  • release, discharge and indemnity.
Application process
  1. Submit an Application for administrative access to Redress documents (DOCX, 688 KB)
  2. Provide evidence of your identity

Options to prove your identity include:

  • original identity document - driver’s licence, birth certificate, proof of age card or some other identity document (Please ring one of the contact numbers below to arrange a time and date to deliver your document/s to 111 George Street, Brisbane Q 4000 or your local area office of the department.)
  • original certified copy of your identity document (certified by a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations, lawyer, police officer or health professional)
  • statutory declaration – a signed Statutory Declaration form from someone who has known you for two or more years which says that you are the person named as the applicant.

Identity documents relating to the last two options can be posted to:

Right to Information, Information Privacy and Screening
Department of Communities Child Safety and Disability Services
GPO Box 806
Brisbane Q 4001

Call us on (07) 3224 2242 or freecall 1800 809 078 to discuss other options should you find it difficult to prove your identity using the options above.

Within 25 business days of receipt of a completed compliant application, you should receive the related electronic Redress record.  You can elect (via the application form) whether to receive it by secure email, registered post, or collection from a local departmental office. 

If you wish to access any other documents that might be contained on your hard copy Redress file, you can make an application under the Information Privacy Act 2009 (see ‘Formal access applications’ below).

Subpoena and other notices of the court

If a court proceeding is on foot, parties to the proceeding can access the department’s documents via subpoena or other orders of the court (for example, Notices of Non-Party Disclosure or Notices to Produce).  Discuss the option of accessing documents via subpoena or similar notice with your legal representative and contact the Registry of the relevant court or tribunal to have a notice issued to the department.  The Subpoena: guide for issuing parties (PDF, 436 KB) Subpoena: guide for issuing parties (RTF, 22 KB)and Subpoena: guide to child protection documents (PDF, 84 KB) Subpoena: guide to child protection documents (RTF, 23 KB) provide more information about the department's processes to produce documents to the courts.

Formal access applications

To access other information, you may need to make a formal application under the Right to Information Act 2009 or the Information Privacy Act 2009 (if it relates to your personal information). We recommend contacting us prior to lodging a formal application, particularly if you are lodging an application for child protection information or if you are seeking access via administrative release.

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Applying for information

Where the information you require is not available on our publication scheme or disclosure log, you may make application under the Right to Information Act 2009. Where the information you require is your own personal information, you may make application under the Information Privacy Act 2009.

Your application must:

  • be in writing in the approved form
  • provide an address to which a notification of the decision may be sent
  • include payment of application fee of $48 if the information you request is not related to your personal information

You can apply online using the Queensland Government's online application form.

You may also apply directly to the department by downloading the Right to Information and Information Privacy access application form (PDF).

To apply directly to the department, complete the form above and post to:

Information Access and Amendment Unit
Corporate and Executive Services
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
GPO Box 806

When applying directly to the department, you should also include certified copies of appropriate identification if any of the documents you seek access to contain your personal information.

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Enquiries and feedback

If you have any enquiries or feedback regarding Right to Information, subpoenas or administrative release please contact:

Postal address:

Right to Information, Information Privacy and Screening
Corporate and Executive Services
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
GPO Box 806

Freecall: 1800 809 078

Phone: (07) 3224 2242
Fax: (07) 3224 7050
Email: rti@communities.qld.gov.au

Some documents on this page are currently only available in PDF format so if you require alternative formats please email rti@communities.qld.gov.au or phone 07 3224 2242. All reasonable requests for documents in alternate format will be actioned where possible and at no cost.

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Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.