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The main function of the Information Commissioner is to, in response to complaints by applicants, provide independent external review of decisions made by agencies on access applications and requests to amend personal information under the FOI Act.

Freedom of Information gives the public a right to access government documents, subject to some limitations. In Western Australia, under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the FOI Act), the right applies to documents held by most State government agencies (such as departments, public hospitals, public universities and State government authorities), Ministers and local government. Together, these bodies are referred to as “agencies”.

Documents accessible under the FOI Act include paper records, plans and drawings, photographs, tape recordings, films, videotapes or information stored in a computerised form.

Agencies are required to assist applicants to obtain access to documents at the lowest reasonable cost.

Anyone can also apply to have personal information about themselves in government documents amended if that information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.