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Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives you the right to request access to documents our department holds.

Freedom of information disclosure log

We publish documents released in response to freedom of information (FOI) requests in yearly disclosure logs:

We are not required to publish information if:

  • it's not reasonably practicable to do so
  • it would involve the unreasonable publication of: 
    • personal information
    • information about someone’s business, commercial, financial or professional affairs
    • information the Australian Information Commissioner determines should not be disclosed.

Please contact us if you would like to:

  • access FOI released documents that we have not published in the disclosure logs
  • access FOI released documents from 2016 or earlier.

We do not remove documents from the disclosure log unless there are special circumstances. If you would like to request that we consider removing a published document, please contact us.

Making an FOI request

To request documents under the Act you must:

  • submit a request in writing stating that you’re requesting information under the Act
  • provide enough detail so we can identify the right documents
  • provide a postal or email address so we can contact you regarding the outcome.  

Cost

The first 5 hours of decision making are free, but charges may apply to cover longer processing times. See the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 for a schedule of charges.

We will advise you of any charges and wait for your confirmation before processing the request.

You do not have to pay if:

  • the requested documents contain only your personal information
  • we exceed the agreed processing times.

Document format

We publish documents in PDF format. If you experience issues with PDF files, please contact us.

We can also publish information in other formats. There may be a charge for this depending on the format and number of documents you request.

Decision making process

We will confirm receipt of your request within 14 days, and a decision will usually happen within 30 days. We can extend this decision period under certain circumstances. For example, we will extend this timeframe by 30 days if we need to consult with third parties.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) explains processing times.

Reasons for refusal

We can refuse to provide access to documents, or parts of documents, if they are exempt under the Act.

Some common reasons for exemption:

  • legislation prohibits the release of the documents
  • the documents contain an unreasonable disclosure of personal information
  • the documents are subject to legal professional privilege
  • the documents are internal working documents and not in the public’s interest
  • the documents are commercially sensitive.

We always explain the reason for our decision. If you're unhappy with our decision there's an FOI review process.

Read more

Read about the FOI review process on the OAIC’s website

Contact us

  • Email FOI@industry.gov.au
  • Write to: FOI Coordinator, Legal Branch, GPO Box 9839, Canberra ACT 2601

Last updated: 18 February 2022

Content ID: 12516