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4.2.4 Freedom of information and legal requests for information related to casework practice

Last Modified: 28-Jun-2018 Review Date: 01-Jul-2016

Purpose

To guide child protection workers when a request is received for access to client documents held by the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support division.

Practice Requirements

  • Child protection workers must ensure that records are accurate and considerate of natural justice and confidentiality.
  • Child protection workers must maintain proper client file management standards. All records must be dated the day the record was made (refer to Chapter 4.1: Recording obligations).
Process Maps

Not applicable

Procedures

  • Freedom of Information requests
  • Requests from clients
  • Requests from a lawyer, a subpoena, a witness summons or other legal requests
  • Requests from the Western Australia Police to produce records
  • Other requests for information
  • Freedom of Information requests

    The Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992 gives every person the right to apply for access to documents held by State Public Sector agencies and government departments, local authorities, statutory authorities and Ministers.

    The Freedom of Information team provides help and advice on all aspects of Freedom of Information. The team is located within Corporate Information and can be contacted on (08) 9222 2555. For more information refer to Administration Manual entry Freedom of information requests.

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    Requests from clients

    Child protection workers should refer to Chapter 4.1: Client requests: Access to records and electronic recording.

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    Requests from a lawyer, a subpoena, a witness summons or other legal requests

    If a request for information held in client files is received from a lawyer, via a subpoena, a witness summons or any other form of legal request, child protection workers must contact the Release of Information Unit, Corporate Information immediately.

    The Children and Community Services Act 2004 prohibits the release of information relating to the identity of informants, with some limited exceptions. There are other types of information which are not required to be released, for example communications with, and advice from, lawyers acting on behalf of Communities.

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    Requests from the Western Australia Police to produce records

    If an officer from Western Australia Police Service (WA Police) produces a warrant for access to information on a client file, child protection workers should contact Release of Information, Corporate Information immediately for advice.

    All other requests for information from the WA Police must follow the procedures outlined in Chapter 4.2: Working with other agencies - memoranda of understanding and information sharing.

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    Other requests for information

    Refer to Chapter 4.2: Working with other agencies - memoranda of understanding and information sharing.

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