The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives members of the community a legally enforceable right to seek access to information held by the government. The Victorian Building Authority (the VBA) supports this right by:
- making information about VBA operations available to the public
- facilitating a general right of access to documents held by the VBA, only limiting access to documents by the proper application of exceptions and exemptions provided for under the FOI Act
- delivering an efficient process for disclosing information at minimal cost to the community.
How to make a request
To make a request for documents, you can either write a letter or fill out the VBA application form (PDF, 507.83 KB) (with credit card authority). You should clearly set out the document or documents you seek from the VBA, and provide sufficient detail to enable us to locate them.
We may also require proof of your identity (a copy of your birth certificate or driver’s licence, etc.). If you are submitting a request on behalf of someone else, you should provide a signed authority from that person.
You must also pay the FOI application fee for us to start processing your request (or apply for us to waive the fee, if paying the fee would cause you hardship). We accept payment by cheque (made out to the Victorian Building Authority) or by credit card (Visa/MasterCard only).
If you are paying by credit card, you should not send any of those details by email. The VBA accepts no liability if these details are intercepted and used by a third party without your consent.
Requests for documents held by the VBA should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Victorian Building Authority
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands Vic 3008.
Documents that can be released without an FOI application
Request one of the following document by submitting an online enquiry.
- rectification notices
- plumbing compliance certificates
- certificates prepared by the VBA
- builder’s insurance information
- plumbing audit and inspection reports
- building practitioner or plumber business contact details
The VBA may release these documents to people permitted under law to access them. Where the VBA is unable to verify the person requesting the document is permitted to receive it, the requestor may be referred to make an FOI application.
What happens to a request?
Once we receive your FOI request and the FOI application fee, we will respond to you in writing as soon as practicable, but not later than 30 days, with an outline of our decision. The 30-day time frame may be extended in certain circumstances, including where the VBA is required to consult with third parties, or where you agree to an extension of time.
If we refuse you access to the documents sought, you may apply to the Victorian Information Commissioner for a review of our decision. You must do so within 28 days of the date the decision was sent to you by us. The Information Commissioner has 30 days to conduct the review, unless you agree to an extension in time. For further information visit ovic.vic.gov.au.