Freedom of information

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has responsibility for regulating and providing advice on the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The FOI Act is the legislative basis for open government in Australia and covers Australian Government ministers and most agencies.

Individuals have rights under the FOI Act to request access to government documents. This includes documents containing information about them or about government programs, policies and decisions. In some circumstances individuals can also ask Ministers and agencies to correct or add a note to any information they hold about them.

The FOI Act also requires agencies to publish specified categories of information, and allows them to proactively release other information.

This section is concerned with the FOI Act as it applies across the Australian Government. Information about making a freedom of information (FOI) request to the OAIC is available on the Access our information page.

This page makes up a part of the OAIC Information Publication Scheme IPS

FOI News

  • FOI stats available in open data format

    (FOI news) Monday, 07 July 2014

    The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has published freedom of information (FOI) statistics from 2012–13 in an open data format for the first time. The statistics track the number of FOI requests to agencies and ministers, the outcome of those requests, compliance with...

    Read more: FOI stats available in open data format

  • Update to FOI Guidelines Part 4

    (FOI news) Tuesday, 17 December 2013

    The freedom of information (FOI) Guidelines Part 4, on charges for access, has been updated by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). The OAIC recently released updates to Parts 2 (Scope of the application of the FOI Act), 5 (Exemptions) and 9 (Internal review), and will...

    Read more: Update to FOI Guidelines Part 4

  • Information Commissioner: Discussion of FOI 2010–2013

    (FOI news) Tuesday, 10 December 2013

    Professor John McMillan gave a presentation about the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) at a Public Law Weekend at the Australian National University on 15 November 2013. His speech reviews the last three years of the FOI Act, which have been the most active in the history of freedom of...

    Read more: Information Commissioner: Discussion of FOI...

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