Freedom of information

Open access information

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2016 (ACT) the Commission must make certain information available through an open access scheme — for example, documents about how we are organised and about our policies. Before you make a freedom of information (FOI) application look at the open access website to see if what you are looking for is there.

Asking for information first

You can ask the Commission for information you want from us.  We may be able to give it to you without you making a freedom of information (FOI) application.

Making an FOI application

If you make an FOI application, it needs to have enough detail in it to understand what information you want. If it does not give us enough details, we must help you to give us those details within a reasonable time.  You must also provide us with a postal or an email address so that we can contact you. If you are asking for your personal information, you need to provide us with proof of your identity. If you have done all this, we will let you know in writing within 10 working days that we have received your application and are working on it.

Paying a fee

We can charge a fee for your FOI application, but we must tell you if we are going to do that and give you an estimate. You don’t have to pay a fee to get your own personal information.

Deciding an FOI application

Our information officer will usually have 20 working days from when we get your FOI application to decide about your application. The information officer can take longer if we need to ask someone else about giving you the information — for example, because their personal information is in the document you want. We can also ask you if you agree to us having more time if we need it. We can also sometimes ask the Ombudsman to give us more time.

The information officer can decide that:

  • we will give you all the information you want
  • or we do not have the information you want
  • or we cannot give you the information because it is not in the public interest to do so
  • or we can refuse to deal with your application
  • or we can refuse to confirm or deny that we have the information.

If some of the information in a document is not in the public interest to give you, we may be able to give you the rest of the information in that document and block out (redact) the information that is not in the public interest to give you.

Reasons for decision

The information officer must give you reasons in writing for their decision.

Review of decisions

You may be able to ask for the information officer’s decision to be reviewed by the ACT Ombudsman.  If you are not satisfied with the Ombudsman’s decision, you may be able to ask the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to review the decision.

Disputing a decision

You can dispute our decision if:

  • we decide your application is outside the scope of the Act
  • we decide to release documents contrary to your views (if you are a consulted party)
  • you believe we should have taken steps to consult you about the release of documents
  • we refuse to deal with the application
  • we decide charges are payable (but not the amount of the charge)
  • we don’t grant access to the documents either in full or part
  • the documents don’t exist or can’t be found
  • we do not process your application within 20 working days.

Disclosure log

We publish decisions about FOI applications on a disclosure log. We do not have to publish decisions about applications for personal information.


Contact us for more information on FOI