Western Power's Freedom of Information (FOI) Officer coordinates the receipt and processing of all FOI applications relating to Western Power.
Purpose of the Act
The Freedom of Information Act 1992 (FOI Act) was introduced in November 1993, to create a general right of access to documents held by State and local government agencies and certain statutory corporations.
As a statutory corporation Western Power aims to make its documents available promptly in accordance with the FOI Act.
What is a document?
For the purposes of the FOI Act, the term "document" covers many forms of records and includes files, computer printouts, maps, plans, photographs, tape recordings, films, video tapes and electronically stored information.
Western Power's documents relate to a variety of functions and activities such as:
- all aspects of the management of the SWIN, including planning, construction, maintenance, emergency response and associated business processes
- the availability of electricity supply to customers
- educating the community on risks associated with the electricity network
- the delivery of efficient electrical services
- customer network information (such as power supply connections, reliability and capacity, and community consultation on projects).
Documents available free of charge and without a FOI application
We produce and release a number of reports each year which are available to download at no cost from this website. These reports are:
- Annual report
- Statement of Corporate Intent
- Annual planning report
- Annual asset management report
- Annual reliability and power quality report.
We also produce numerous pamphlets, information booklets, brochures and other printed material regarding various issues on electricity matters. These documents are also available to the general public, free of charge, from our head office (subject to availability).
Documents that are available only through a FOI application
The types of document we hold that may, subject to the FOI Act, be accessed under a FOI application include the following:
- Email communications
- Computer records
- Internal memoranda
- Reports (not already publicly available)
- Notebook or diary entries
- Office manuals
- Incident reports relating to accidents, electrical faults and outages
- Audio tapes
- Audio tapes
- Minutes and agendas of meetings
Receipt of FOI applications
FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general enquiries may be directed to Western Power's FOI Officer.
The FOI Officer is the initial contact point for all FOI-related matters.
All FOI applications must:
- be in writing
- give specific information so that the documents requested can be identified
- give an Australian address to which notices can be sent
- be lodged at the agency with the relevant application fee payable
Applications will be acknowledged in writing and you will be notified of the decision within 45 days (or other time permitted under the FOI Act).
Fees and charges
The rate of fees and charges are set under the FOI Act Regulations. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary. More information below.
Notice of decision
We will give you a notice of decision within 45 days which will include:
- the date the decision was made
- the name and designation of the officer who made the decision
- if access is refused, the reasons why
- details of the rights of review and the procedures to follow to exercise those rights
Rights of review
When we have considered the application, we will provide a notice of decision to the applicant. If the decision is to not amend the information in accordance with the application, under the FOI Act the applicant has the right to apply to us to have the decision reviewed internally, unless the decision was made by our CEO in which case the right of review is to the Information Commissioner.
Applications for review of a decision must be sent to us in writing within 30 calendar days of the notice of decision. The application must be sent to Western Power's Freedom of Information Officer.
Where Western Power's CEO was the original decision-maker or any matter remains in dispute after an internal review, the applicant has the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner who will then decide whether to conduct an "external review" of the matter. The complaint must be lodged within 60 days of the notice of decision.
In certain instances, questions of law that arise in the course of dealing with a complaint may be referred to the Supreme Court.
The internal and external reviews may confirm our decision, vary the decision, or completely set aside the decision and provide a substitute decision. No fees or charges apply to internal or external reviews.
Documents we hold
Our records relate to functions and activities such as:
- transmission and distribution documentation
- reform policy
- environmental policy
- Minister's support
- customer network information
Contact for FOI applications, payments, correspondence and general enquiries
Please send all FOI applications, correspondence, payments and general enquiries to our Freedom of Information Officer:
363 Wellington Street