The objects of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) are to:
- give the Australian community access to information held by the Australian Government by requiring agencies to:
- publish information
- provide a right of access to documents in their possession
- increase public participation in Government processes to promote better informed decision making
- increase scrutiny, discussion, comment and review of the Government's activities
- increase recognition that Government information is to be managed for public purposes and that it is a national resource
- as far as possible, facilitate and promote public access to information, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost.
A person who wants to gain access to documents held by the department may make an FOI request. The department is required to handle this request, make a decision and provide reasons for the decision if access is refused.
How to make a Freedom of Information application
Applications for access to documents must:
- be in writing
- state that the application is made under the FOI Act
- provide enough information concerning the documents sought as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the department to identify the documents requested
- provide an address for correspondence (postal or email address).
There is no application fee for FOI requests.
FOI requests may be sent to the department in one of the following ways:
Via email to: FOI@dese.gov.au
Via post to:
The FOI Coordinator
Child Care and Corporate Legal Branch
Location Code: C50MA10 - LEGAL
GPO BOX 9880
CANBERRA ACT 2601
The FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing applications.
The department may decide to reduce or not impose charges on the grounds of financial hardship or if the applicant can demonstrate that it is in the general public interest to release the documents.
If you would like further information about making a Freedom of Information request, please contact a member of the FOI Team by email to FOI@dese.gov.au.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website contains additional information about the FOI Act.