The broad objective of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Commonwealth. The FOI Act:
- gives members of the public a general right of access to documents of an agency and official documents of a Minister, other than exempt documents
- allows individuals access to their personal records held by Government and enables them to correct any personal information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
In order to do this, individuals can submit a request to an Australian Government agency for access to documents an agency holds and obtain copies of those documents. There are, however, certain exemptions prescribed in the FOI Act which restrict the type of documentation that can be released.
- The Information Publication Scheme details information obtainable from the PSR website without following a formal process under the FOI Act.
- The FOI disclosure log lists documents released in response to an FOI request under the FOI Act.
How to apply for access to documents
To make an FOI request, applicants must apply in writing. This can be either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter posted to:
Professional Services Review
PO Box 7152
Canberra Business Centre
In the request, applicants must:
- state that documents are being sought for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act;
- specify a postal or email address where correspondence can be sent;
- provide a telephone number (or email address), as this will also be helpful in case further information is required; and
- describe as clearly as possible the information being sought. Include any reference numbers or articles that may assist in identifying specific material.
The request will be valid from the date that the request has been clearly clarified.
If an applicant asks a third party to make an FOI request on their behalf, the person applying needs to provide to PSR a specific, written authority to send copies of documents to the applicant, care of that person, or to allow that person to inspect copies of documents containing information about the applicant.
For assistance with FOI requests, please contact the PSR FOI Contact Officer on (02) 6120 9100 or by email at email@example.com
More information about the FOI process, including fees and charges and review rights.