If you are unhappy with the decision of an agency or minister under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), you can:
- apply for internal review by asking the agency or minister to reconsider their decision, so long as the agency head or minister did not personally make the decision
- request that the Australian Information Commissioner (Information Commissioner) review the decision. You can also apply for Information Commissioner review (IC review) after seeking internal review.
You can apply for IC review:
- in writing
- by using our online merits review form. This form is for merits review requests only. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download a copy of the form in Microsoft Word114 KB.
There is no fee for requesting a review.
In most cases you must apply for IC review within 60 days of being notified of the minister’s or agency’s decision. You must apply within 30 days if you are requesting review of a decision to grant access to documents to another person. You can also ask the Information Commissioner to grant you more time to apply for IC review.
For more information about requesting a review see FOI Fact Sheet 12 — Freedom of Information: your review rights.
More information is also available on the What happens to your IC review page.
Your personal information
Use and disclosure of your information
We will use the information you have provided to assess your matter and handle your IC review. In handling your matter, the respondent will be provided with a copy of your application for review to respond to, and the OAIC may disclose the information you give us, including a copy of the documentation you have provided us, to other parties to the IC review. Where appropriate we may also disclose your information to others who have information relevant to your application. If we think we may need to disclose your information to an overseas entity to handle your matter, we will discuss this with you first. The OAIC is required by the FOI Act to publish reasons for decision following an IC review, and these published reasons may include your personal information (though you may choose to have your name withheld).
In case of a review of a decision by the OAIC, we may need to disclose information to a review body, for example a court or tribunal.
Collection of your information
We may need to collect further information from you in order to handle your matter. If you do not provide this information to the OAIC, it may affect how we handle your matter.
We may collect information about you from the respondent. We may also collect information about you from others if they have information relevant to your matter.
Accessing your information
If you would like to access to the information about you that the OAIC holds, please contact our enquiries line. More information is available on the Access our information page on our website.