The Right to Information Act 2009 (replacing the Freedom of Information Act 1991) commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:
- authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications
- authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications
- giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities, and
- providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.
The Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management is a public authority.
The Right to Information (RTI) office only release information that is not available from another source.
Section 3 of the Act outlines the following objectives:
- The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania
- by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania
- by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance, and
- by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State.
- This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by the public authorities and Ministers.
- This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.
- It is the intention of Parliament
- that this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1), and
- that discretions conferred by this Act be exercised so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the provision of the maximum amount of official information.