Freedom of information
In accordance with Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), this information statement contains details about the Labour Hire Authority (LHA) on the following matters:
- Organisation and functions
- Categories of documents
- Freedom of information (FOI) arrangements
- Rules, policies, and procedures
- Report literature.
This statement provides an overview of our functions, a snapshot of the types of information and documents we hold, and instructions on how to access the information, locate publicly available documents, and how to make a request under the FOI Act.
We aim to make as much information publicly available as possible, reducing the need for members of the public to request access to documents.
For more information about FOI in Victoria, please visit the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner’s (OVIC) website.
Statement 1: LHA organisation and functions
LHA was established as an independent statutory body in 2019 following the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work (the Forsyth Inquiry) which exposed the exploitation of labour hire workers across Victoria.
LHA’s statutory functions and powers are set out in the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (LHL Act) and Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (LHL Regulations). We became a self-funded regulator within the portfolio of the Department of Premier and Cabinet on 1 July 2021.
The Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner
Mr Steve Dargavel is the Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner and commenced in the role on 1 October 2018 and is responsible for administering the LHL Act.
LHA regulates the entire Victorian labour-hire industry, regardless of occupation or sector of supply.
Our role is to protect labour-hire workers from exploitation by ensuring that labour-hire providers are licensed and comply with the LHL Act, LHL Regulations and their legal obligations relating to the workplace and other relevant laws.
By doing this, we improve the transparency and integrity of the labour-hire industry.
Statement 2: Categories of documents
LHA holds documents that applicants have provided supporting their labour-hire license applications. Additionally, LHA generates and stores a wide variety of electronic and hard copy documents that aid and assist in the operations and legislative mandate of LHA.
These examples are not exhaustive and only provide a snapshot of the information available.
The types of documents that we create and maintain may include:
- audio-visual material
- briefings and reports
- case files
- financial records
- governance records
- people management records
- meeting papers, minutes, and records
- operational records
- policies, procedures, plans and standards
- project reports
- training and educational material.
The documents fall into the following categories:
- business planning
- financial management
- government relations
- human resources
- incident reports
- legal services
- policies and procedures
- training and education.
Statement 3: FOI arrangements - Making a request
How do I submit a request to access documents under the FOI Act?
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act) gives you the right to request access to documents held by LHA. You can make request by emailing email@example.com or via post addressed to:
Attn: Freedom of Information Officer
Labour Hire Authority (Victoria)
PO Box 393
Bendigo VIC 3552
A valid request must satisfy the following criteria:
- The request must be in writing.
- The request must be sufficiently clear to enable LHA to conduct a search for the requested documents.
- The request must be accompanied with an application fee of $31.80.
How do I ensure that my request is specific and sufficiently clear?
Be clear and specific about the documents you are requesting to access. Your request needs to provide enough information for us to identify and locate all relevant documents.
When writing your request, be specific about what documents you seek and include as much information as possible. Consider:
- what the documents relate to
- the date range in which the documents may have been created
- where the documents might be located, for example, in someone’s email account or a specific business unit
- the type of document you want, for example, an email or a report.
Specifically excluding documents or information may allow us to process your request more quickly. For example: You could specify that you don’t want draft documents or commercial or personal information relating to other people.
If your request is not sufficiently clear to enable us to conduct a search for the requested documents, the FOI officer may contact you to clarify your request.
Pay the application fee
The application fee increases each year on 1 July. As per section 17(2A) of the FOI Act, a request must be accompanied by a fee of two fee units.
The current application fee for financial year 2023-24 is $31.80.
You can pay the application fee by bank cheque, money order or bank transfer. LHA’s bank details will be provided to you when you confirm to make a formal FOI request and choose to pay the application fee via bank transfer.
In accordance with section 17(2B) of the FOI Act, LHA can waive or reduce the application fee if it will cause you financial hardship.
If you request the application fee to be waived or reduced, you should provide evidence of hardship, such as a concession or health care card, a bank statement or statutory declaration outlining why payment would cause you hardship.
Steps after a formal request has been made
If the request is valid
When we receive a valid request, we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your request.
We have 30 days from the date you make a valid request to provide you with a decision. However, this time can be extended by up to 15 days if we need to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents. We may also extend this time by up to 30 days with your agreement. This period may be extended multiple times. We will notify you if and why the time has been extended and the number of days by which we are extending the due date.
If you do not receive a decision within the time required, you can contact us and ask for an update. There can be several reasons why the request has been delayed, and our FOI staff can discuss these with you.
If the request is not valid
If your request is not valid, we will let you know within 21 days and explain why. We will also provide advice on how you can make a valid request.
If we advise you that your request is not valid, we must give you at least 21 days to make a valid request. If you do not begin consulting with us about how to make your request valid or you have not made a valid request after 21 days, we are not required to begin processing your request and may decide to finalise it.
Access charges may apply to the search, photocopying, retrieval, and creation of documents. The FOI officer will inform you of any access charges that may apply to your request and consult with you in this regard.
Where the document requested is subject to an exemption, either in full or in part, an accompanying decision letter will be provided to explain the reason for exemption.
Certain documents are exempt from release as specified in Part IV of the FOI Act. Examples of exempt documents include:
- information communicated by any other state (section 29)
- internal working documents e.g., for the purpose of the deliberative processes involved in the functions of an agency, whereby the disclosure would be contrary to the public interest (section 30)
- information that would prejudice an investigation or the enforcement of the law (section 31(1)(A))
- prejudice the fair trial of a person or the impartial adjudication of a case (section 31(1)(B))
- confidential sources of information in law enforcement (section 31(1)(c))
- documents subject to legal professional privilege (section 32)
- documents that would unreasonably disclose information about the personal affairs of people other than the applicant (section 33)
- documents relating to trade secrets, or to certain other matters of a business, commercial or financial nature (section 34(1))
- documents containing material communicated to an agency in confidence, and whose disclosure would be contrary to the public interest by being reasonably likely to impair the agency’s ability to obtain similar information in the future (section 35(1)(B))
- a secrecy provision in another piece of legislation prohibits disclosure of information (section 38).
Exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a decision or have a complaint about the handling of your request, you may request a review of our decision by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.
The OVIC website provides further information for requesting reviews of freedom of information decisions.