This Information Sheet explains how non-profit organisations can apply for financial hardship status under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act).
To ensure non-profit organisations with limited financial resources can apply for documents, the RTI Act allows those organisations to apply to have the processing and access charges waived for access applications made under the RTI Act.1
An application for financial hardship status should be made before the non-profit organisation makes an access application under the RTI Act.
Financial hardship status is available to a non-profit organisation that can demonstrate it is:
The Information Commissioner has a wide discretion about the evidence which can be considered when deciding whether an organisation is a non-profit and whether it is in financial hardship.
A ‘non-profit organisation’ is ‘an organisation that is not carried on for profit or gain of its individual members2. Non-profit organisations applying for financial hardship status must provide documentary evidence that shows:
An organisation is more than a group of people who decide to do something together. There must be evidence of structure and planning, for example a constitution, constituent documents, or charter, or a certificate of registration or incorporation.
The organisation's non-profit status can be reflected in documents such as a copy of the organisation's constitution or rules of incorporation. In past decisions, the Information Commissioner has referred to an organisation's:
Evidence that demonstrates the organisation’s financial position can include:
In making a determination, the Information Commissioner may consider the nature and size of the funding base and any liquid funds. In assessing the nature and size of an organisation’s funding base, the Information Commissioner has previously considered:
In considering the financial position of a non-profit organisation, the Information Commissioner has used the Current Ratio, Quick Ratio, and Working Capital financial analysis tools.
A non-profit organisation may apply to the Information Commissioner for financial hardship status by making a written application3 in one of the following ways:
By mail: PO Box 10143, Adelaide Street, Brisbane Qld 4000
By email: email@example.com
In person: Level 7, 133 Mary Street, Brisbane Qld.
There is no set timeframe for the Information Commissioner to make a decision.
After the Information Commissioner has considered all the evidence provided, a prescribed written notice will be issued setting out the decision.
A decision that a non-profit organisation has financial hardship status has effect for one year from the date of the decision. During this time, the organisation must notify the Information Commissioner of any substantial improvement in the organisation’s financial circumstances as soon as practicable.4
If the organisation is not satisfied with a decision refusing togrant financial hardship status, the organisation may appeal the decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.5
Current as at: April 17, 2018