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Overview

The objectives of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) are to give the Australian community access to information held by Australian Government agencies and to increase recognition that information held by the Government is to be managed for public purposes, and is a national resource.

Reforms to the FOI Act, which came into effect on 1 May 2011, are aimed at promoting a pro-disclosure culture across government, building a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government operations. CRDC is committed to a proactive approach to publishing information which it holds to the benefit of cotton growers, the wider cotton industry, and the broader Australian public.

CRDC Documents

CRDC publishes or holds documents that are corporate documents such as the Annual Report, Strategic Plan and Annual Operational Plan. These are free while stocks are available, and are also available for free download from CRDC's publications page. In addition, CRDC’s library of final reports will soon be made available via the Publications page of the CRDC website.

In many cases, an application under the FOI Act may not be required as information or documents may be readily available. Up-to-date information on projects funded by CRDC is detailed in the Research and Development section of this website.

Making an FOI Request

If you do wish to make an FOI request to CRDC, your request must:

  • be made in writing
  • state that you are seeking information in accordance with the FOI Act
  • provide enough information for the CRDC to clearly identify the scope of your request, the time period your request falls under, and the category of documents sought (ie. reports, minutes, emails, etc).
  • specify an address (email or postal) so the CRDC can correspond with you about your request.

Although not a requirement under the FOI Act, you may also wish to provide a phone number to make it easier for us to talk to you about your request. More information on making an FOI request, and the FOI process, can be found on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

FOI requests should be sent to:

FOI Officer
Cotton Research & Development Corporation
PO Box 282
Narrabri NSW 2390
Ph: 02 6792 4088
Fax: 02 6792 4400
Email: comms@crdc.com.au 

Processing of FOI Requests

Processing an FOI request can take some time, especially if the number of documents sought is large. If the request for documents contains information about a person, company or organisation other than the applicant, CRDC is required to consult with them before making a decision.

Upon receipt of your FOI request, CRDC will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days, and in accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the FOI applicant within 30 days of receipt. However, if a third party consultation process is required, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days, and applicants will be informed accordingly.

It is important to note that it may not be possible to obtain access to all of the documents sought in the request because some may be exempt from release under the FOI Act.

Fees and Charges for FOI

The FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information). Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until you provide a response to the estimate.

The below table outlines the fees that apply to FOI requests:

Request

Charge

Application

No fee

Search and retrieval

$15 per hour

Decision making and consultation

First five hours free, after that $20 per hour

When a FOI request is not responded to within the statutory time limit

No fees

Internal review

No fee

Request for personal information

No fee

Additional fees apply for photocopying, transcripts, supervised inspections and delivery. CRDC may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.

Review Rights                                               

Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision. If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision. Alternatively, you may write to the OAIC seeking a review of CRDC's decision.

Further Information

The CRDC FOI Coordinator can be contacted on 02 6792 4088 or via comms@crdc.com.au to discuss any prospective request. For more information on the FOI Act and the FOI application process, please visit the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.