Make an FOI complaint

Last updated: 1 August 2019

On this page

  • What you have to do first
  • It’s free to lodge a complaint

  • Your complaint must be writing

If you’re not happy with the way an agency has handled your freedom of information (FOI) request, we encourage you to complain to the agency. If they don’t respond to your complaint or you’re not happy with their response, you can lodge a complaint with us.

You can’t make an FOI complaint about a minister.

It’s free to make an FOI complaint.

You can withdraw your complaint at any time.

If you want an agency’s decision changed, you need to ask for an internal review or an Information Commissioner review.

Lodge a complaint with us

Your complaint must be in writing. We can’t take it over the phone.

We recommend you write to us using our online FOI complaint form.

Please give a clear and brief description of each issue you’re complaining about and what outcome you’d like.

If you’re unable to use our online form, download and complete this version: Microsoft Word (61.71 KB). Then send it to us either by:

  • email, send it to foidr@oaic.gov.au (be aware that email isn’t encrypted, so it can be copied or tracked)
  • mail, send it to the Director of FOI Dispute Resolution, GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001 (send it by registered mail if you’re concerned about sending it by standard post)
  • fax, send it to 02 9284 9666

If you have any questions about the personal information we collect when you lodge a complaint and how we handle it, please read our privacy policy or phone our Enquiries Line (1300 363 992).

Help lodging a complaint

If you need:

For all other help, please phone our Enquiries Line (1300 363 992).

Is there a charge?

No.

What happens if you complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman?

If you lodge an FOI complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman, they’ll transfer it to us; unless it’s part of a larger complaint they’re investigating.

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