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Complaints

Many problems can be resolved quickly by contacting the agency to discuss your concerns. You can also resolve particular problems more formally.

1. You are not satisfied with the initial decision

If you do not understand the decision, you can contact the agency to discuss your concerns. If you believe that the decision is wrong, then in most cases, you will have a right of review by the Freedom of Information Commissioner. Information on reviews by the Commissioner are available on the Freedom of Information Commissioner website

If the decision maker was the principal officer, you would need to apply to VCAT for a review of the decision (the Principal Officer is usually the Chief Executive Officer of the agency concerned).

Your decision letter should tell you how to apply for a review by the Freedom of Information Commissioner or to appeal to VCAT.

2. The initial decision is taking too long

Agencies have 45 days from when they receive your request to tell you their decision. However delays can occur. If you do not receive a response within 45 days you can:

3. You are unhappy with the way in which your request was handled

Even if you are not dissatisfied with the decision or the time it took, you may be unhappy about other aspects of how your request was handled. These sorts of complaints can be made either to the agency or to the Freedom of Information Commissioner.