You can complain about an agency’s actions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). This is a separate process from asking for an Information Commissioner review of a decision that has been made under the FOI Act by an agency. Complaints usually focus on how an agency has handled your freedom of information (FOI) request or complied with other obligations under the FOI Act.
Who can make a complaint?
Any person can complain about an agency's actions in relation to an FOI activity. You do not need to have requested documents. Before making a complaint, you should raise your concerns directly with the agency.
Is there a fee for making a complaint?
No. There is no application fee.
Before making a complaint
Prior to making a complaint, you should raise your concerns directly with the agency.
When you make an FOI complaint, an OAIC staff member will contact you to discuss your complaint and you will be kept informed of the progress of your complaint. Before deciding whether to investigate your complaint, we may make preliminary inquiries of the agency you have complained about. If the Information Commissioner decides to investigate your complaint, we will write to the agency and request information to assist with the investigation.
You can find out more at What will happen to my FOI complaint?
Lodging a complaint
FOI complaints to the OAIC must be made in writing. Our preference is for you to use the online FOI complaint form if at all possible.
- the online FOI complaint form (requires Adobe Reader 9.3 or later on your computer) otherwise use this Microsoft Word version61.71 KB.
- by mail (if you have concerns about postal security, you may wish to consider sending your complaint by registered mail)
- by fax
- by email (note: email that is not encrypted can be copied or tracked).
See our Contact us page for further information and specific contact details.
What information do I need to put in the complaint?
To help the Information Commissioner adequately address your complaint, please specify the agency you are complaining about and provide as much relevant information as possible. Be clear about the issues in your complaint and what action or outcome you would like to see as a result.
If you need help we can assist you. Contact us on 1300 363 992.
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