Freedom of information request
The object of the ACT Freedom of Information Act 1989 (the FOI Act) is to extend, as far as possible, the Australian Captial Territory community's right of access to information in the possession of the ACT government.
The Act applies to the documents held by the majority of ACT Government agencies. It also applies to documents held by Ministers that relate to the affairs of those agencies. An agency must make a decision about an FOI application within 30 days, but this period may be extended if consultations are required. For FOI requests to the Ombudsman’s office there is no application fee. There may be processing charges under certain circumstances, but both may be reduced or waived on grounds including hardship or the public interest.
For provisions of the FOI Act that apply specifically to the Ombudsman’s office see:
- Information concerning functions and documents of the Ombudsman (Freedom of Information Act 1989, section 7)
- Documents available for inspection and purchase (Freedom of Informtion Act 1989, section 8)
Making an FOI request
General inquiries and requests for access to documents or other matters relating to Freedom of Information may be made in person, by telephone or in writing to the ACT Ombudsman's office. The office is open between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays. For the cost of a local call, people can call 1300 362 072.
The Ombudsman has authorised the Deputy Ombudsmen, all Senior Assistant Ombudsmen, and some executive-level officers to grant or refuse requests for access.
Ombudsman staff are able to provide certain kinds of documents without an FOI request, including:
- documents previously and lawfully provided by or to the complainant by the Ombudsman's office or someone else
- records of telephone conversations involving the complainant
- most database entries relating to the person who made the complaint.
In the course of investigation, we may provide an agency response to the person making the complaint so that he or she can better understand the agency's position.
If you wish to make an FOI request, you should write to the FOI Officer, including the address at which you wish to receive correspondence. It would be helpful if you can specify the documents you seek in as much detail as possible.
- The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website contains information concerning the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act); about FOI; how to make a complaint; how to seek a review; and review decisions.
- Commonwealth Ombudsman website for matters relating to the Australian Government.