How to make an FOI request

Before lodging a freedom of information (FOI) request, check if the information you want is already available on the website of the agency you think holds the information. Or, if you want to access to your personal information, try contacting the agency you think holds it first. They may supply the information if you ask (without needing you to lodge a FOI request).

Who can make an FOI request?

Any individual or organisation can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or even be in Australia to make a request.

Your request must be in writing

You must put your request in writing to the agency or minister that holds the document you want to access. Some agencies have an FOI request form on their website for you to complete and send to them.

When you write to the agency or minister:

  • state that you’re requesting access to information under the FOI Act
  • state the document(s) you want, giving enough detail to help the agency or minister to identify the document(s)
  • give an address or email address where the agency or minister can send you the document

You don’t need to give any reasons why you want the information.

Email or post your letter to the agency or minister’s address on their website or in the telephone directory.