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Freedom of Information

Under freedom of information law, the public has a right to access the documents we hold, with some exceptions.

How to make an FOI request

If you wish to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access to one or more documents held by the ACMA, your request must:

  • be in writing (there is no special form)
  • state that the request is an application under the FOI Act
  • provide enough information about each document you are seeking so we can identify it
  • give details of how notices under the FOI Act may be sent to you, such as a postal address, an email address or a fax number

Third-party requests

You can ask someone else to make an FOI request on your behalf. If you do this, you must give that person written consent.

If you are making an FOI request on behalf of another person, you must give us a written authority from that person.

How to send a request

  • You may deliver it or post it by pre-paid post to the ACMA (marked to the attention of the FOI Coordinator) at an address set out below
  • By email to foi@acma.gov.au
ACMA locations

Sydney

Level 5 The Bay Centre

65 Pirrama Road

Pyrmont NSW 2009

Canberra

Red Building, Benjamin Offices

Chan Street

Belconnen ACT 2617

Melbourne

Level 32, Melbourne Central Tower

360 Elizabeth Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

PO Box Q500

Queen Victoria Building

NSW 1230

PO Box 78

Belconnen

ACT 2616

PO Box 13112

Law Courts

Melbourne VIC 8010

Time for processing your request

We must notify you about our decision on access within 30 days of receiving your request, unless that period is extended or suspended in accordance with the FOI Act.

Charges for processing your request

You do not have to pay an application fee when you make a request under the FOI Act.

However, we may impose charges for processing your request. This might be for the time spent searching for and retrieving documents, decision-making time, photocopying and postage.

You will not be charged for processing if your request is for access to documents that contain only personal information about you.

The most common charges are:

Activity item Charge

Search and retrieval — time we spend searching for or retrieving a document

$15 per hour

Decision-making — time we spend deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties and making deletions

First five hours: Nil
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour

Photocopying

$0.10 per page

Delivery — posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request

Actual cost of postage or delivery

If we decide to charge you, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25 per cent deposit before we process your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.

Access to documents

We may refuse access to any document if it falls within a specific exemption or an exception set out in the FOI Act. For example, you are not entitled to documents under the FOI Act if their disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the conduct of an investigation, or if they would breach confidentially obligations.

You are also not entitled to obtain access to documents under the FOI Act if they are available to the public for a fee or other charge, or if they are in the collection of certain institutions, such as library material in the National Library of Australia.

If you disagree with our decision

Internal review

You can write to us and ask that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. Another officer in our agency will conduct the internal review. We will advise you of the new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review and complaints

You can ask the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to review our original decision or the internal review decision. This must be done within 60 days of the decision date (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party). The OAIC can affirm or vary the decision or make a new decision.

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can complain to the OAIC who may investigate our actions.

More information on making applications for OAIC review, or lodging complaints, is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Enquiries

Any enquiries about making a request, or the processing of a request, under the FOI Act should be directed to the FOI Coordinator by telephone on (03) 9963 6800 or by email at foi@acma.gov.au.

 

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