Australian Bureau of Statistics
Making an FOI request
MAKING A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
Please note: Schedule 2, Part II, Division 2 of the FOI Act provides that documents containing information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 are exempt from Freedom of Information requests.
DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE OUTSIDE THE FOI ACT
You can get certain information, without following a formal process under the FOI Act.
Requests for provision of data should be referred to our National Information Referral Service in the first instance.
You should check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and FOI Disclosure Log to see if the information you are looking for is already on our web page.
HOW TO MAKE A REQUEST
Your FOI request must:
You can make an FOI request by post, fax, or email. You can use the request form.
While using the FOI Request form is not compulsory, it will assist you to provide the details needed to process your request.
You can send your request:
If you require assistance with your request please contact the FOI Contact officer on 02 6252 7203 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
FEES AND CHARGES
There is no application fee for an FOI request.
There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:
If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.
You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will also give you an estimate of the charges that apply to your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.
If you disagree with our decision
When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:
You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
Information Commissioner review
You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website at www.oaic.gov.au.
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate our actions. More information is available on the OAIC’s website at www.oaic.gov.au. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.
If you require more information, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on 02 6252 7203 or by email at email@example.com.
Certain documents that we have released under the FOI Act can be obtained at our FOI disclosure log page. Information about us is also available on our Information Publication Scheme.
This page first published 6 May 2011, last updated 27 March 2013