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Freedom of Information Part II Statements - Department of Government Services

These FOI Part II statements provide a snapshot of the types of documents held by DGS and how to locate them, as well as an overview of the functions of the department.

Who we are: organisation and functions

The Department of Government Services (Department) is a Victorian Government department established to improve the way Victorians and businesses access government services.  We bring important day-to-day services together in one department to make things easy and seamless for Victorians and businesses. 

The Department is divided into a transformation group and two service groups. The transformation group is responsible for the Department’s strategic and reform agenda to accelerate the digital transformation of the whole of the Victorian government. It makes available the foundational technology and digital platforms capability, implements policies and undertakes projects which address the opportunities and risks of digital transformation and provide digital platforms and infrastructure that improve productivity and effectiveness.

The Customer & Regulatory Services Group, being one of the two service groups, is directed at serving Victorians and businesses through customer and regulatory services. This Group works to make it easy for Victorians and business to engage with government through the delivery of efficient and effective services to provide great customer experiences.

The Corporate Services Group, being the other service group, is accountable for policy development, corporate governance and the delivery of corporate services to the Victorian Public Service enabling better service delivery and productivity.

The Department supports the following Ministerial portfolios:

  • Government Services
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Local Government
  • Small Business

Boards, councils, committees and other bodies of the Department

Government Services

  • Cenitex
  • Public Record Office Victoria
  • Service Victoria

Consumer Affairs

  • Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Commissioner for Residential Tenancies
  • Chief Dispute Resolution Officer
  • Estate Agents Council
  • Motor Car Traders Claims Committee
  • Residential Tenancies Bond Authority
  • Consumer Policy Research Centre

Small Business

  • Business Licensing Authority

Local Government

  • Arbiter Panel List
  • Commissions of Inquiry as established under section 209 of the Local Government Act 1989 and section 200 of the Local Government Act 2020 from time to time
  • Councillor conduct framework
  • Councillor Conduct Panel List
  • Independent reviews and reports as appointed by the Minister for Local Government from time to time
  • Municipal Monitors
  • Victorian Local Government Grants Commission


The Department administers a number of Acts and Regulations. The General Order and supplements list the decision-making powers of the agencies and Ministers of the Department.

Department of Government Services           
1 Macarthur Street           
East Melbourne, VIC 3002           
03 9651 5111

What we have: types and categories of documents

The department possesses a wide range of document types and categories.

Document types

The types of documents that the Department possesses include:

  • policies, procedures and standards
  • briefings
  • correspondence
  • contracts and agreements
  • registers
  • surveys
  • complaints 
  • meeting records
  • financial records
  • business cases
  • applications, licences and permits
  • grants and funding documentation

Document categories

The categories of documents relate to the functions of the Department and its business units. These categories of documents include:

  • Digital Victoria
  • Local Government Victoria
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Dispute Services
  • Whole of Victorian Government Grants Centre
  • Service Victoria
  • Telecommunications
  • Procurement
  • Accommodation, Carpools and Libraries
  • Business Licencing Authority
  • Cyber Security

The above lists are not exhaustive of the types or categories of documents possessed by the agency but rather provide a snapshot of the information available.

What you can get: publicly available information and FOI

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), the public has the right to request access to documents relating to their personal affairs and departmental activities subject to certain exceptions and exemptions.

  1. A request under the FOI Act to access documents held by the Department under the FOI Act must be lodged in writing and can be made:

    online: OVIC - Make a Request 


    Alternatively, you may send an application to the Department’s FOI unit at the following address:

    Freedom of Information
    Office of the General Counsel
    Department of Government Services
    GPO Box 4912
    Melbourne Vic 3001           
  2. You must also pay the application fee or provide evidence that paying the fee would cause you hardship (a copy of the Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card would be acceptable).
  3. Describe the documents to which you are seeking access as clearly and specifically as possible:
    • When describing the documents, it will be useful to refer to the type of document (from the categories of documents above) being sought to ensure that the exact documents you want are located.
    • Be as specific as possible narrowing timeframes and explicitly removing any extraneous documents you do not require as this may reduce the time taken to complete your request. The Department will refuse access to documents that are ‘too voluminous’ which substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations.
  4. Provide certified photo ID (if requesting personal affairs information).

Our procedure

Once we receive the request, we will determine whether it is a valid request and if so, search for the documents, apply any exemptions which may be applicable and release them to you. Whether we release the documents in full, in part or exempt in full, we will provide you with a decision letter to explain our decision.

We are legislated to provide you with our decision on your requested documents in 30 days. We may ask you for an extension depending on the size and complexity of the documents and the consultation which we will have to undertake.

Access charges may apply to various parts of the FOI process such as searching, photocopying, retrieval, and creation of documents. Please note that access charges may still apply even if the application fee is waived.

Review rights

If you wish to make a complaint or seek a review about a FOI decision, you can do so at the website of the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC). This can be competed at the following online at OVIC - FOI complaints.

Before making a request under the FOI Act

Significant amounts of information are available to the public for free or for a fee. The information you want may be publicly available without having to make a FOI request which will save you both time and money.  It is also worth noting that a person is not entitled to access to documents under the FOI Act where information contained in the document is available to the public for free or for a fee.  

Public databases

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)The archive of State and Local Government in Victoria which contains many historical personal and public 
Data.Vic Data collected by the Victorian 

Services offered

Many records can be found online through the relevant service for free. If you cannot find it on the website, it is advisable to contact the service directly and they may be able to provide it. This service is free, handled by the subject experts and is faster than a FOI request.

Public Registers

There are many public registers in Victoria which contain information you can access for free.

If the public registers do not provide you with the information you need you can send a request to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) who manage the registers directly.

What we publish: reports, policies, rules and procedures

The Department produces a wide range of publications such as annual and governance reports, and other policies and procedures which govern the daily operations of the department. This includes interpretations of Acts administered by the agency, manuals, guidelines and codes of conduct. If there are documents of this nature that are not currently available online, requests can be submitted directly to the relevant departmental business unit.

The department will publish an annual report which contains details of the department’s objectives and how they are met. The first annual report will be available in 2024.

For more information on our privacy policy, see the Privacy Statement.