Freedom of Information: Public access to University records
The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA) (FOI Act) gives anyone a right to access documents held by public agencies such as universities.
The object of the FOI Act is to promote openness and public accountability. In this spirit, all documents within the scope of an FOI request must be made available to the person requesting, unless a valid exemption applies.
Anything you write in the course of your work is a University record which is potentially subject to FOI – whether formal or informal and regardless of the platform you are using to communicate. Keep in mind that your communication may be viewed by others and that your level of professionalism reflects on both you and the University. For some tips on keeping communications professional, read this previous blog article For the record: How you say it is just as important.
Under limited circumstances, the FOI Act provides for genuinely sensitive and confidential information in contracts to be exempted from disclosure. A briefing note is available to assist staff to ensure that, where appropriate, confidential information in contracts is recognised and managed in a manner which accords with the FOI Act and the University’s policies.
For more about Freedom of Information and how it is managed at the University, visit the University’s Freedom of Information website.