Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report – 1991 Freedom of Information Act

Section 8 Statement

The Reserve Bank is an exempt agency under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 in relation to documents in respect of its banking operations (including individual open market operations and foreign exchange dealings) and in respect of exchange control matters.

Facilities for Access and FOI Procedures

Inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act, including requests for access to documents, should be directed to the Secretary, Head Office, or to the Managers of branches (General Manager at Note Printing Australia). Applications should be accompanied by the application fee (currently $30). Facilities to inspect documents to which access has been granted are available in the Bank's branches.

Organisation and Functions

The Reserve Bank of Australia is Australia's central bank. It was established by Commonwealth legislation in 1911. Its functions, powers and responsibilities are specified in the Reserve Bank Act 1959, the Banking Act 1959, the Financial Corporations Act 1974 and the Regulations under those Acts. Additional information is contained in the booklet Reserve Bank of Australia: Functions and Operations, available at all Reserve Bank branches.

Categories of Documents

Categories of documents available to the public are detailed in Functions and Operations. A list of publications, including speeches, articles, occasional papers, information booklets, conference volumes, regular press releases and other publications is published from time to time in the Bank's Bulletin. The most recent list is in the June 1991 issue. Other documents held by the Bank take the form of working files on policy and operational matters, statistical data, personnel, premises and general administration.


Twenty-two requests for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act were received in 1990/91, compared with 21 in the previous year. One request for internal review of a decision was also received. Fifteen of the requests in 1990/91 were from staff or former staff.

Six requests were granted in full. Eight were refused on the grounds that the documents either did not exist, could not be located or were exempt under the Act. Eight were granted in part; the other documents to which access was requested were exempt under the Act.

The cost to the Bank of administering the Act in 1990/91 is estimated to have been approximately $23,000, compared with approximately $10,200 in the previous year.