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How do I apply for an Information Commissioner review of a Freedom of Information decision?

You must apply in writing and you can lodge your application in one of the following ways:

online: by using our online merits review form 

post: GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001

fax: +61 2 9284 9666

email:  enquiries@oaic.gov.au 

in person: Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Your application must include a copy of the notice of the decision that you disagree with (if one was provided), and your contact details. You should also set out why you disagree with the decision. For full details see FOI fact sheet 12: Your review rights.

If you need help we can assist you. Contact us on 1300 363 992.

Is there a fee for applying for an Information Commissioner review?

No. There is no application fee.

When do I have to apply?

The table below sets out the decisions you can apply to have reviewed and when you must apply to the Information Commissioner.

Reviewable decisions and time limits

If you are objecting to ...

You must apply to the Information Commissioner ...

a decision to refuse access to documents

within 60 days of being given notice of the decision

a charge

within 60 days of being given notice of the charge decision

a refusal to amend a document

within 60 days of being given notice of the decision

a decision to grant access to another person

within 30 days of being notified of that decision

You can ask the Information Commissioner for an extension of time to apply, and this may be granted if the Information Commissioner considers it is reasonable in the circumstances. For full details see FOI fact sheet 12: Your review rights.

Can the Information Commissioner decide not to review a decision?

Yes. The Information Commissioner may decide not to carry out a review if the application is frivolous or lacking in substance, or if you fail to cooperate with the process or cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts. You cannot appeal against that decision.

The Information Commissioner may also decide that it would be better for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to review the matter, and if so, will advise you of how to apply to the AAT. For full details see FOI fact sheet 12: Your review rights.

Can I withdraw my application for an IC review?

Yes. An application can be withdrawn at any time before the Information Commissioner makes a decision. For full details see FOI fact sheet 12: Your review rights.