|Freedom of Information|
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives any person the right to:
You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.
Documents available outside the FOI Act
You can get certain information, including personal information we hold about you, without following a formal process under the FOI Act.
How to make a request
Your request must:
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 to you, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about you.
There is no application fee for an FOI request.
There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:
If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process 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 some evidence.
What you can expect from us
We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will also give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.
If you disagree with our decision
When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:
A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.
You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
Information Commissioner review
You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review 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.
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC's website at www.oaic.gov.au. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.
Certain documents that we have released under the FOI Act can be obtained at our FOI Disclosure Log. Information about our Information Publication Scheme can be obtained here.
Freedom of Information Statement under Section 8 of the FOI ACT.
This statement is published in accordance with the requirements of section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The National Capital Authority is a prescribed authority for the purposes of the FOI Act.
1. Who we are (ss 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d))
The National Capital Authority (NCA) is established under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (the PALM Act). The PALM Act establishes the NCA, prescribes its powers and functions and makes it subject to general ministerial direction. The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government presently administers the PALM Act.
Under section 33 of the PALM Act, the Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and four other Members. All members are appointed by the Governor-General under section 33 the PALM Act.
The Chairperson may be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis. If the Chairperson is appointed on a full-time basis, the Chairperson shall also be the Chief Executive and there shall be four non-executive members. If the Chairperson is appointed on a part-time basis, there shall be a separate Chief Executive and three other non-executive members. The Chief Executive (if any) shall be appointed on a full-time basis. The non-executive members shall be appointed on a part-time basis.
At present, the Authority consists of a five members; a part-time Chairperson, a full-time Chief Executive and three other non-executive members who serve on a part-time basis.
The current membership of the Authority is:
The Chief Executive manages the affairs of the NCA under the general direction of the Authority and has the responsibility of a chief executive under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and an agency head under the Public Service Act 1999. NCA employees are engaged under the Public Service Act 1999.
Further information on the NCA, the Authority Members and a copy of our Organisational Structure is available here.
2. What we do (ss 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j))
The NCA manages the continuing interest of the Commonwealth in the National Capital, including the range of functions required to plan, promote, enhance and maintain the national characteristics and qualities of the Capital.
The PALM Act provides for the NCA to prepare and administer a National Capital Plan. This is the statutory planning tool which underpins the preservation and future of the Capital.
The functions of the NCA establish the extent of the Commonwealth's interest in the National Capital and are set out in section 6 of the PALM Act. They are:
Through the National Capital Plan, the NCA secures the interest of the Commonwealth in the planning and development of Canberra and the Territory in accordance with their national significance. This vital custodial role is strengthened by the NCA's ‘hands-on' management of the public realm, cultural landscapes and commemorative elements within significant national areas.
The PALM Act also prescribes the NCA's decision making powers, specifically that the 'Authority has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions'. Particular powers prescribed in the PALM Act may affect members of the public. Powers in relation to the approval of works in designated areas may affect persons wishing to carry out any such works. Applications for Works Approval must be lodged with the NCA for approval prior to the commencement of any works. These applications are assessed against the relevant provisions of the National Capital Plan.
The provisions of the National Capital Plan may also affect members of the public. Such provisions relate to land use and detailed conditions of planning, design and development. Amendments to the National Capital Plan are subject to public consultation and to Parliamentary scrutiny.
In exercising its powers in relation to management of National Land, the NCA also takes into consideration the provision of other relevant legislation.
Further details of the NCA's functions, powers and relevant legislation can be found in the NCA's Annual Report which is available here
3. Our reports and responses to Parliament (ss 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h))
The NCA is required to publish an Annual Report in accordance with section 50(1) of the PALM Act and have it tabled in the Parliament under section 50(2) of the PALM Act.
An electronic copy of the last four Annual Reports is available here.
Subject to the availability of supplies, printed copies of NCA annual reports may be provided to members of the public by contacting the NCA on 02 6271 2888.
The NCA also publishes information that is routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament (s8(2)(h)). This information includes:
Note: At present the NCA does not have any advertising/public information projects with a value of $100,000 or more.
4. Routinely requested information and disclosure log (ss 8(2)(g) and 11C)
Documents the NCA holds which are routinely provided to applicants in response to requests under the FOI Act include administrative records, plans and planning decisions, project details and decisions of the Authority.
5. Consultation arrangements (ss 8(2)(f))
The NCA has made a strong commitment to engage with the community as part of its decision making process. As part of this commitment the NCA has produced the document 'Commitment to Community Engagement', which serves three purposes:
The NCA consults with the community on a range of matters, including:
The NCA also seeks feedback from the community through:
6. Operational information ((ss 8(2)(j) and 8A)
The following information assists the agency to exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public:
These documents are available from the Australian Government Comlaw website at www.comlaw.gov.au/
7. Contact us (ss 8(2)(i))
The NCA's FOI officer can be contacted:
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 07:56|