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regarding why fees are charged

I spoke with someone from csa today regarding obtaining our case notes.  His response was 'if you send a letter requesting the info along with a $30 money order this will get you a certain amount of information but it may cost up to $80 if want all of the information ie phone conversation notes and replies from the other party'.  Why do we have to pay for notes taken during conversations between us and csa?  There surely is no privacy issues?  And should we not get a copy of replies from the other party re coa reasons?  None have been forthcoming and now because we have asked for our notes they want us to pay.:(  Is it all about money with them?O_o

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Freedom of information does not mean "free". It means free access to information. The $30 cost is pretty standard. You have to remember that it takes someone time to locate, print, photocopy the information and then post it. That takes time and agencies will charge for their time. Gotta love user pays. :)

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
overcsa said
Why do we have to pay for notes taken during conversations between us and csa?

Overcsa you do not have to pay for the notes, I never have and they are also not covered by FOI as you are party to the communication. As I understand it the CSA are obliged to provide a copy of the notes, although they do appear to try not to give the notes. I would suggest you contact the CSA again and ask for the notes and if they decline or mention FOI then ask them to speak to the FOI officer. Replies from the other party would need FOI as you are not a party to the communication (well that's how I understand it). I've never been asked to pay not ultimately had my request for notes denied, although the last but one time I was told they would be sent but never got them, not that it worries me at all, as it wasn't much of an issue being discussed.
Just to clarify - the individual calling about their own information is free. Asking for information about other people or things is chargeable. As long as privacy is not breached.

From the CSA website:

"The FOI Act extends the right in 2 ways:

Government agencies must publish information about their operations and powers affecting members of the public as well as their manuals and other documents used in making decisions and recommendations affecting the public (Section 9).
Government agencies must provide access to documents in their possession unless the document is within an exception or exemption specified in the legislation.

Understandably, access to all documents in the possession of the Government is not possible as confidentiality must be maintained where it is necessary for the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons and organisations in respect of whom information is collected."

"Publications available

Senior Case Officer Procedural Instructions - These provide policy guidelines for consideration by Senior Case Officers when considering applications for departure (Change of Assessment) under Part 6A of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989.

Debt Policy 2001 - Includes the philosophies underlying CSA's approach to debt collection.

Procedural Instructions - These provide step-by-step guidance to officers when applying the law and CSA policies on a case-by-case basis.

Legal Services Minutes - These provide policy instruction or highlight requirements in particular circumstances.

International Stream documents - these provide guidance and instruction to officers when processing cases involving overseas parents and carers."

 

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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