Administrative access to information

Last updated: 28 October 2019

Requesting information or documents

You may request information from the OAIC through administrative access. Administrative access is a less formal process than making an FOI request.

Some examples of information that may be appropriate for administrative access include:

  • your own personal information (minimum requirements of Australian Privacy Principle 12 under the Privacy Act must be met) 
  • data or statistics that are not already available online
  • policies and guidelines that are not already available online

Most requests for information or copies of documents can be dealt with informally and quickly — a phone call or email may be all that is required. You can contact us to informally request access to OAIC information.

We are obliged, as a minimum, to deal with your requests to access your personal information in accordance with Australian Privacy Principle 12 under the Privacy Act. For other documents, we will generally aim to provide you with administrative access to those documents within 30 days. Decisions to refuse documents under the administrative access are generally not reviewable. However, you also have the right to make an FOI request for documents containing the information at any time. If we are unable to fulfil your administrative access request, we may ask you to make an FOI request for the information.

Personal information held by the OAIC

We must, under the Privacy Act, provide you with access on request to personal information that the OAIC holds about you, subject to certain limitations.

OAIC staff are able to provide certain kinds of personal information quickly and informally through administrative access. This includes documents that have previously been provided to you by the office, records of conversation (if any) between yourself and OAIC staff, and most database entries relating to the progress of any complaint or application for Information Commissioner review (IC review) that you have made to the OAIC.

We must respond to your request for your personal information within 30 days after you make your request. If we refuse to provide your personal information, we must provide you with a written statement of reasons. If you are unhappy with the way the OAIC has handled your access request for your personal information, you can make a privacy complaint to us. You can also make an FOI request for the information at any time.

Before making an FOI request to the OAIC for your personal information, you should consider speaking to our enquiries line about the matter.

Correction of your personal information

You may also request that the OAIC corrects personal information that it holds about you. We must, having regard to the purpose of information we hold about you, take reasonable steps to correct your personal information if we are satisfied that it is inaccurate, not up to date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. We must respond to your request for correction to your personal information within 30 days.

Fees and charges

There is no charge or fee for administrative access.

Other information we hold

OAIC datasets are available on data.gov.au.

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