The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) gives any person the legal right to access documents in the possession of AHPRA and the National Boards, subject to any exemptions that may apply.
Documents can include minutes, memoranda, submissions, reports, correspondence, emails, photographs, audio recordings and metadata.
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (2009) (National Law) as in force in each state and territory establishes the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) to provide for the regulation of 15 health professions for the protection of the public.
The National Law establishes the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Agency Management Committee (AManC) and National Boards for each of the 15 regulated health professions.
Under the National Law, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) (as modified by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Regulation 2018) applies as a law of a participating jurisdiction to AHPRA, the AManC and each of the National Boards (the agencies).
The Principal Officers of the agencies are the Chief Executive Officer of AHPRA and the Chairpersons of the AManC and each National Board.
Under the FOI Act, Principal Officers have the power to authorise staff within AHPRA to make FOI decisions.
AHPRA manages the FOI functions on behalf of the CEO of AHPRA and the Chairpersons of the AManC and each National Board under authorised decision-making arrangements within the meaning of the FOI Act.
Under the National Law, the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth), Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cth) apply to AHPRA, the AManC and the National Boards as modified by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Regulations 2018.
The National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner carries out the functions of the Freedom of Information Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner and the Ombudsman under the relevant legislation, which includes oversight of AHPRA’s FOI functions.