Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under s 93A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982
Version 1.2, January 2013
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) was established on 1 November 2010 by the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010.
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Date of initial publication: December 2010; revised January 2013
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Content from these guidelines should be attributed as: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Guidelines issued by the Australian Informaiton Commissioner under s 93A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Enquiries regarding the licence and use of the guidelines are welcome at:
The Australian Information Commissioner’s Guidelines
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) s 93A provides that the Australian Information Commissioner may issue written guidelines for the purposes of the FOI Act. Agencies must have regard to these guidelines in performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act (s 93A(2)). The guidelines are not a legislative instrument (s 93A(3)).
These Guidelines summarise the key provisions of the FOI Act and outline important amendments that were made to the FOI Act by the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010. The Guidelines also contain guidance on the performance of functions and the exercise of powers under the FOI Act. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will apply these Guidelines in discharging the functions conferred on the Commissioner by the FOI Act and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010.
These Guidelines will be updated from time to time to take account of the Information Commissioner’s decisions under s 55K of the FOI Act on access refusal and access grant decisions, and relevant decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court. It is open to a party to a review proceeding before the Commissioner to frame a submission that is in agreement or disagreement with a statement in these Guidelines, or that raises an issue not canvassed in the Guidelines. Independently of any review proceeding, the Information Commissioner also invites commentary on the Guidelines.
Prof. John McMillan
Australian Information Commissioner
Part 1 — Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act 1982
Part 2 — Scope of application of the Freedom of Information Act
Part 3 — Processing requests for access
Part 4 — Charges for providing access
Part 5 — Exemptions
Part 6 — Conditional exemptions
Part 7 — Amendment and annotation of personal records
Part 8 — Decisions on FOI requests
Part 9 — Internal review
Part 10 — Review by the Information Commissioner
Part 11 — Complaints and investigations
Part 12 — Vexatious applicant declarations
Part 13 — Information publication scheme
Part 14 — Disclosure log
Part 15 — Reporting
A comprehensive contents page appears at the beginning of each Part of these guidelines.