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Information Sheet
INFORMATION SHEET – Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy 
Act 2009
Applying for documents:  Which Act? - A guide for 

Queensland’s Information Access Scheme
Queensland's information access scheme creates two different Acts that people 
can use to access documents held by Queensland Government: the Information 
Privacy Act 2009 
(Qld) (IP Act) and the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) 
(RTI Act).
Both the RTI Act and the IP Act allow people to apply for documents containing 
information.  The IP Act creates a right for individuals to apply for their own 
personal information.  The RTI Act creates a right for individuals to apply for all 
other information. The Act under which your application will be dealt will depend 
upon the type of information you are seeking.  
What is personal information?
Personal information is information or an opinion about an individual whose 
identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or 
opinion.  Information does not have to be correct in order to be personal 
information.  Information does not have to contain a name to be personal 
Simply put, your personal information is information that is about you.  It does not 
have to be sensitive or relate only to your private life.  It could, for example, be 
information about where you work or where you go to school, or about your 
business affairs or your work roster. 
Which Act is relevant to my application?
Applications for access to information under the RTI Act or the IP Act must be 
made on the approved form1 or by contacting the relevant government agency2.
There is a section on the approved form for applicants to indicate which 
description most closely describes their application for access by checking one of 
three boxes. 
If you indicate that you are seeking access to:
1 The approved form can be downloaded from the RTI website at or, alternatively, you can 
contact the OIC Enquiries service on 3234 7373 to request a copy to be sent to you.
2 In this information sheet, references to an “agency” include Ministers, unless otherwise specified.
Right to Information and Privacy Guidelines

x documents that are non-personal in nature – your application will be dealt 
with under the RTI Act.
For example – documents about a new government initiative 
x personal information relating to yourself or on behalf of another person –
your application will be dealt with under the IP Act.
For example –
documents about your
medical treatment in 
a public hospital
x documents that contain both personal information relating to yourself or on 
behalf of another person and documents which may contain the personal 
information of another person and/or non-personal information – your 
application will be dealt with under the RTI Act.
For example – documents about a recruitment process for a Queensland 
government job you applied for, including job applications submitted by 
other people

The table of example applications and scenarios contained within this information 
sheet may provide further guidance for determining which Act applies.
What will it cost me to apply?
There is an application fee3 that must be paid when you apply for access to 
documents under the RTI Act.  No action can be taken on your application until 
this fee is paid.  There may also be charges relating to processing the application 
and accessing the documents. 
There is no application fee for applications seeking access to only documents 
containing your personal information under the IP Act.  Under the IP Act, there 
may be charges relating to accessing the documents. 
Where do I go for more information? 
The Office of the Information Commissioner's website (
contains guidelines and information sheets on the RTI Act and the IP Act.
For further information on how to make access applications under the RTI Act or 
IP Act please refer to the following information sheets:
How to make an application under the RTI Act
How to make an application under the IP Act
3 See Guideline – Fees and Charges
Right to Information and Privacy Guidelines

Table of example applications and scenarios
Which Act?
The applicant is seeking documents about 
himself that is his personal information. 
An applicant 
It is inevitable that there will be the personal 
applies for 'my 
IP Act
information of others contained in the 
medical records'.
document—such as the names of nurses or 
doctors—but that is not enough to make this 
into an application which must be decided 
under the RTI Act.
The applicant is seeking documents about 
An applicant 
herself.  The fact that someone has made a 
applies for 'all 
complaint about an individual is their personal 
documents about 
IP Act
information. It is also the personal information 
the complaint 
of the person who made the complaint, but that 
made about me'. 
does not stop it from being the personal 
information of the applicant.
Applying for 
photographs of 
The fact that the photographs and recordings 
dogs, including my 
triggered an investigation and were shown to 
dogs, and 
the victim of a dog attack are not enough to 
make them personal information about the
recordings of a 
applicant. The fact that photos are of an 
person attacked 
applicant’s dog are not enough to make it the 
by my dogs where 
applicant’s personal information where there is 
the photos and 
no information of the applicant, or linkable to 
recordings have 
the applicant, written or marked on the photos.4
no information 
about me. 
The applicant may or may not have been the 
An applicant 
subject of one of those grievance 
applies for 'details 
of all grievance 
Regardless, the applicant's request is for 
undertaken in 
information about each and every investigation, 
which means that the intent is for more than 
just information about himself. 
4 As occurred in Tomkins and Rockhampton Regional Council QICmr 2 (22 January 2016)
Right to Information and Privacy Guidelines

Which Act?
If the mother is making the application on 
An applicant 
behalf of the child under section 45 of the IP 
applies for 
Act, then this will be an IP Act application.
documents about 
IP Act or RTI 
her child's care in 
If it is not being made on behalf of the child, 
an after school 
then it is an RTI application, because it is one 
individual applying for the personal information 
of another individual. 
An applicant 
applies for 
A deceased person does not have personal 
information, so the application for information 
relating to the 
about the deceased is not an IP application. 
shifts worked by a 
deceased person. 
An applicant 
applies for all 
Regardless of whether the applicant is one of 
documents about 
those public service officers or one of the 
complaints made 
people who complained, this will be an RTI 
about public 
application, because applicant is seeking more 
service officers in 
than just the applicant's personal information.  
Town X.
An applicant 
applies for 
Even if the applicant was one of the protesters, 
documents about 
the applicant is clearly seeking access to more 
the protests to ban 
than just the applicant's personal information.  
logging in a state 
For additional information and assistance please refer to the OIC’s 
guidelines, or contact the Enquiries Service on 07 3234 7373 or email
This information sheet is introductory only, and deals with issues in a 
general way.  It is not legal advice.  Additional factors may be relevant
in specific circumstances.  For detailed guidance, legal advice should 
be sought.
If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this 
document, please submit them to
Published 1 July 2009 and Last Updated 19 July 2016
Changes to legislation after the update date are not included in this document
Right to Information and Privacy Guidelines