The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives people a right of access to information held by State Government Ministers and agencies. These agencies include but are not limited to:

  • state government departments
  • councils and prescribed authorities such as
  • statutory authorities
  • public hospitals
  • community health centres
  • universities, and
  • TAFE colleges and schools.

Some bodies are exempt from the Freedom of Information (FOI) process; for example, Courts.

Documents held by Department of Health and Human Services

This Department covers the responsibilities of:

  • Health and Human Services
  • Mental Health, and
  • Senior Victorians.

You have a right to apply for access to information held by the Departments including, but not limited to, the following documents:

  • Documents relating to your own personal affairs, and
  • Documents of a non-personal nature which are not older than 5 July 1978.

Examples of personal documents held by the departments can include:

  • Ward of the State/Child Protection files
  • Psychiatric patient files from some closed hospitals
  • Disability Services client files, and
  • Public Housing.

Access to requested information may be refused in certain circumstances, in line with the principles of the FOI Act. This information is called "exempt" and can include documents which:

  • affect the personal affairs of another person
  • are commercially confidential
  • concern law enforcement, or
  • contain information supplied in confidence.

Request access to documents

For more information on how you can access your documents, see Making a freedom of information request on the Department of Health and Human Services website.