Part 4 of the FOI Guidelines (Charges)

15 April 2019
Tags: Closed

This consultation is closed. The deadline for submissions was 30 April 2019.


Under s 93A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) the Australian Information Commissioner has power to issue written guidelines for the purposes of the FOI Act. Australian Government agencies are required to have regard to any guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner when performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has updated Part 4 of the FOI Guidelines (Charges) to reflect the introduction of the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019 on 1 April 2019. (The 2019 Charges Regulations replace the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 which ceased on 31 March 2019.)

Further information about the 2019 Charges Regulations can be found in the Explanatory Statement.

View the consultation draft

View the submissions

Purpose of consultation

The OAIC seeks comment from interested stakeholders on the content, guidance, readability and accessibility of the updated Part 4 of the FOI Guidelines.

Main changes to Guidelines

Part 4 was last updated in December 2016. The main changes we have made to the 2016 version are:

  1. Updated references to the 2019 Charges Regulations and its provisions.
  2. Updated references to recent IC review and AAT decisions.
  3. Reinforcement of the lowest reasonable cost objects of the FOI Act and the circumstances in which charging may not be appropriate.
  4. Explanation of two new provisions in the 2019 Charges Regulations – ss 10(2) and 10(3) which provide that a charge can be adjusted after an FOI request has been processed (see [4.75] – [4.80]).
  5. Some sections have been rewritten to increase readability.

How to provide comments

Submissions can be made by:

Post GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001

The closing date for comments is 30 April 2019.

Although you may lodge submissions electronically or by post, electronic lodgement is preferred. To help the OAIC meet its accessibility obligations, we would appreciate can providing your submission in a web accessible format or, alternatively, in a format that will allow the OAIC to easily convert it to HTML code, for example, Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.

The OAIC intends to make all submissions publicly available. Please indicate when making your submission if your submission contains confidential information that you do not want to make public. Requests for access to confidential comments will be determined in accordance with the FOI Act.

Privacy collection statement

The OAIC will only use the personal information it collects during this consultation for the purpose of reviewing Part 4 of the FOI Guidelines (Charges).