Freedom of Information

The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) [External link icon] is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth. 

How to make a request for access to documents under the FOI Act

Requests made under the FOI Act must be in writing and:

  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide such information concerning the document that will allow the department to identify it
  • provide detail of how notices provided by the department in relation to the FOI request can be sent to the applicant.

FOI requests to the department should be sent to:

The FOI Coordinator
Legal Services Branch
Department of Finance
One Canberra Avenue

FOI requests may also be lodged by email to

Processing of FOI requests

Upon receipt of your FOI request, Finance will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days.  In accordance with the FOI Act, a decision must be notified to the FOI Applicant within 30 days of receipt.  However, as some documents may be subject to a third party consultation process, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days.  If consultation is required, you will be informed accordingly.

Fees and charges

FOI requests made to the department on or after 1 November 2010 no longer require an application fee to be provided.

The FOI Act provides that additional charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information).  Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges.  Your request will not proceed until a response to the estimate is received by the department.

Finance may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances. 

Review rights

Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision.  If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision.

Alternatively, you may write to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) [External link icon] seeking a review of the department’s decision.  This can be done as a result of either the initial decision or the internal review decision.

Subsequent review options after internal review and OAIC review are also available.  The complete process for seeking a review on access is provided in the decision letter sent to you at the completion of your request.

Further information

The FOI Coordinator can be contacted on (02) 6215 1783 to discuss any prospective request to the department.

Documents released under the FOI Act can be obtained by accessing the department’s FOI Disclosure Log.

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Contact for information on this page: FOI Requests

Last updated: 03 July 2019