FOI complaints and reviews

Make a complaint about the FOI process

If you have a complaint about the process of obtaining government information, you can complain to the ACT Ombudsman. Complaints can include issues such as delays in processing FOI requests or FOI charges.

The Ombudsman will consider your concerns and may conduct an investigation into your complaint.

You can make a complaint by emailing us at actfoi@ombudsman.gov.au or calling us on 02 6276 3773.

Ask for a review of your FOI decision

If you are not happy with the decision of an agency or a Minister, you can ask the Ombudsman to review the decision. The Ombudsman will try to resolve your application through informal resolution. This may include formal mediation with an accredited mediator. We will consider all available material including your view and the view of the decision-maker. If the matter cannot be resolved through informal resolution or mediation, the Ombudsman will make a formal decision.

Requests for an Ombudsman review must be in writing to actfoi@ombudsman.gov.au.

Please outline why you believe the decision on your access application was incorrect and what outcome you are seeking. You should include a copy of the decision-record, where available. We recommend using this form Applying for an Ombudsman Review to ensure you provide all of the required information.

If you prefer, you can post your completed form with any supporting documentation to us at:
ACT Ombudsman – FOI review, GPO Box 442, Canberra, ACT 2601

There is no fee for requesting an Ombudsman review.

Are there any time limits?

You must make an application for an Ombudsman review within 20 working days after the decision is published in the disclosure log.

In special circumstances, the Ombudsman has the discretion to allow an application for review to be made after the 20 working day period. If you are applying outside of this timeframe, please include reasons why the Ombudsman should accept your application.

What will happen to my application?

When we receive your application, we will check:

  • if it is a reviewable decision
  • you are a person who can apply for review of the particular decision
  • you have applied within the 20 working day timeframe, unless an extension was granted.

If your application proceeds to formal review, we will provide you with a draft decision and invite you to make a submission. We will consider submissions from all participants before making a decision.

The outcomes of our reviews are published on our website—see FOI Review decisions. Your name will not be included in the decision unless you give your consent.

For more information email us at actfoi@ombudsman.gov.au or call 02 6276 3773.

If you are unhappy

If you are unhappy with the Ombudsman’s decision, you can apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) for review. Applications must be made within 20 working days after the Ombudsman’s decision, or within a longer period allowed by the ACAT. To apply email: tribunal@act.gov.au.

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