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Freedom of Information requests

The broad objective of the FOI Act is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth.

How to make a request for access to documents under the FOI Act

Requests made under the FOI Act must:

  • be in writing; and
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act; and
  • provide such information concerning the document that will allow OPC to identify it; and
  • provide details of how notices provided by OPC in relation to the FOI request can be sent to the applicant.
FOI requests to OPC should be sent to:

Executive Officer
Office of Parliamentary Counsel
Locked Bag 30
Kingston ACT 2604

FOI requests may also be lodged by email at

Processing FOI requests

Upon receipt of your FOI request, OPC will provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt within 14 days. In accordance with the FOI Act, an FOI applicant must be notified of a decision within 30 days of receipt. However, as some documents may be subject to a third party consultation process, the FOI Act provides agencies with the right to extend the applicable timeframe by an additional 30 days. If consultation is required, you will be informed accordingly.

Fees and charges

FOI requests no longer require an application fee to be provided

The FOI Act provides that additional charges may be imposed for processing requests (except where you are seeking documents containing your own personal information). Should your FOI request incur any charges, you will be provided with an estimate of the applicable charges. Your request will not proceed until your response to the estimate is received by OPC.

OPC may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges under certain circumstances.

Review rights

Following receipt of the decision on access, you are entitled to seek an internal review of the decision. If you wish to utilise this option, you are required to write to the FOI Coordinator within 30 days of being notified of the decision.

Alternatively, you may write to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) seeking a review of OPC's decision. This can be done as a result of either the initial decision or the internal review decision.

Subsequent review options after internal review and OAIC review are also available. The complete process for seeking a review on access is provided in the decision letter sent to you at the completion of your request.

Further information

The FOI Coordinator can be contacted on (02) 6120 1452 to discuss any prospective request to OPC. You can also contact us by email at

From 1 May 2011, agencies will be required to provide public access to documents released in accordance with the FOI Act. OPC documents released under the FOI Act can be obtained by accessing the FOI Disclosure Log.


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