Complaints about an agency's handling of your FOI request

The object of the ACT Freedom of Information Act 2016 (the FOI Act) is to extend, as far as possible, the ACT community's right of access to information in the possession of the ACT Government.

The FOI Act applies to 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 20 working days, but this period may be extended with the agreement of the applicant or if consultation with third parties is required.

The FOI Act provides two forms of review for those people who have sought access to documents under the Act, and are not satisfied with the response of an ACT Government department or authority to their request:

  1. review by the Ombudsman
  2. review of the Ombudsman's decision by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

If you are dissatisfied with the agency's decision on your request, you should first ask for the decision to be internally reviewed. If you are not happy with the agency review, you can complain to the Ombudsman or ask the Ombudsman to review the decision.

You can complain to the Ombudsman about delays in receiving a decision; denial of access to documents or the agency's response to your request.

The Ombudsman can examine an agency's files and other records.  If the Ombudsman finds that your complaint is justified he or she can recommend that the agency releases information, or in the case of delays, that the agency immediately releases the information you requested.

To make a  complaint about an agency's handling of your FOI request, please select that agency from the drop down menu of our online complaint form.

Access to information held by the Ombudsman

For FOI requests to the Ombudsman's office please see the relevant page: Freedom of information request