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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

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. 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.

In this section

Rights and responsibilities
This page outlines jurisdiction and coverage of the FOI Act

FOI review process
Individuals have the right to request review of an FOI decision. This page outlines the FOI review process

This page provides detail on the specific rights conferred by the FOI Act

FOI decisions
This section holds all decisions made by the Australian Information Commissioner under the FOI Act

FOI resources
This section holds resources for individuals and agencies on their rights and responsibilities, and the application of the FOI Act

FAQs for individuals
This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about FOI, for individuals.

FAQs for agencies
This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about FOI, for agencies.

FOI guidelines
This section holds guidelines about the operation of the FOI Act under section 93A of that Act. Section 93A also requires Australian Government ministers and agencies to have regard to these guidelines when performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act.

FOI complaints
Individuals have the right to make a complaint about how their FOI request has been handled by an agency

Other FOI jurisdictions
All states and territories, and many other countries have equivalent FOI legislation