Not all of the records in PROV’s collection are available for everyone to view. Several sections of the Public Records Act 1973 allow for the closure of records, for the following reasons:

  • The records contain personal and private information, such personnel records, medical records, police and prison records and case records concerning students, welfare recipients, children in government care or compensation claimants; these are closed under section 9.
  • The records contain categories of confidential information, such as Cabinet deliberations, communications from other governments, law enforcement methods or procedures, trade secrets, and documents protected by legal professional privilege; these are closed under section 10(1).
  • The records contain information which could be used in the planning and commission of terrorist acts, such as schematics of transportation systems, public utilities, public buildings and disaster response plans; these are closed under section 10AA.
  • The records are fragile; these are closed under section 11 of the Public Records Act 1973 – contact PROV and we can show you how to access digital or other copies of the records.
  • Access to most records of Parliament is restrictedcontact PROV and we can show you how to apply to the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council.

 

The chart below is a guide on how to seek access to a record which is closed under each of the sections of the Public Records Act 1973. The method varies depending on the grounds for closure as described above, who is making the request, the reason for seeking access and the agency which is responsible for the record (which we’ve shortened to “the agency” in the chart).

Start at the left column with the reason the record is closed, and move rightwards to find instructions on how to seek access. If you’re not sure which section of the Public Records Act 1973 the record is closed under, or if PROV holds the record, contact us. Keep in mind that most closures of records which are principally about people are closed under section 9.

 

You’ll note that a common path to access is a Freedom of Information (FoI) application. Keep in mind that

  • some records are not subject to FoI – for example, records created by courts about cases heard – affected agencies generally have a registrar or other contact for access requests
  • Records created before 5/7/1978 are not subject to FoI – this date was set at the time that the Freedom of Information Act 1982 commenced (this does not apply if you are seeking access to a record about yourself)

 

For more information on FoI, visit the FoI home page.

 

If you’d like to obtain records about your own adoption, contact the Family Information Network and Discovery (FIND).

If you’d like to obtain your own police record, submit a Consent to Check and Release Police Record form to Victoria Police.

If you’d like to access a court record which is closed to public access at PROV (or for any record still held by a court), follow the link to the relevant court from Court Services Victoria’s website.

 

 

Where is the record?

What is its access status?

Date record created

Record content

Access point

Type of access / notes

Not in PROV collection

N/A

N/A

N/A

Agency

Seek advice from the agency on whether the record exists and, if so, how to apply for access.

In PROV collection

Open

N/A

N/A

PROV

Access at PROV Reading Room.

In PROV collection

Closed - s11 (fragility)

N/A

N/A

PROV

When you request access, the record's physical condition will be assessed by PROV. If the record is too damaged to handle, a digital copy may be provided.

In PROV collection

Closed - s10(1)

N/A

N/A

Agency

Seek advice from the agency on how to apply for access under FoI.

In PROV collection

Closed - s9 (personal and private information)

N/A

About you

Agency

Seek advice from the agency on how to apply for access under FoI.

In PROV collection

Closed - s9 (personal and private information)

N/A

On behalf of a relative or other person who is alive

Agency

The person on whose behalf you are acting should make a request for access to the agency under FoI. If that person is incapacitated and you are acting as that person's guardian, seek advice from the responsible agency.

In PROV collection

Closed - s9 (personal and private information)

Pre 5/7/1978

About anyone other than yourself, regardless of whether they're alive or whether you're related to the person

Agency / PROV

Contact PROV initially - this may be a request to be made to the agency or a special access request, depending on several factors.

In PROV collection

Closed - s9 (personal and private information)

Post 5/7/1978

About anyone other than yourself, regardless of whether you're related to the person

Agency

Seek advice from the agency on how to apply for access under FoI.

In PROV collection

Closed - s10AA (security)

N/A

N/A

Agency

Seek advice from the agency on how to apply for access.

In PROV collection

Restricted

N/A

N/A

PROV

Contact PROV initially. We can assist you in applying to Parliament for access to the records.