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Freedom of Information (FOI)

The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) is to give members of the public rights of access to information held by the Government of the Commonwealth and of its agencies.

Making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request

The request must:

  • be made in writing;
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act;
  • provide enough information to the Commission to clearly identify the documents sought.

FOI requests should be sent by post to:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
GPO Box 5480
Sydney NSW 2001


The FOI Act provides that charges may be imposed for processing FOI requests. The Commission may decide to reduce or not impose charges for any reason, including where the applicant can establish grounds of financial hardship or general public interest. Cheques and money orders are to be made payable to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Information Publication Scheme (IPS)

As a result of major changes to the FOI Act, Australian Government agencies which are subject to the FOI Act, are required to publish a range of information on their web sites as part of an Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This includes the agencies structure (links to governance section), functions (links to governance section), appointments (links to working with us section) annual reports (links to annual report page), consultation arrangements (links to working with us section), and details of the agency's FOI officer.  Information routinely released from FOI requests and routinely provided to parliament must also be published online.

The Scheme is intended to form the basis for a more open and transparent culture across government with agencies encouraged to take a proactive approach to publishing the information they hold, and to consider what they should be publishing over and above what they are obliged to publish.

Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

All Australian Government agencies are required to publish a list of documents obtained under FOI, within 10 working days of the applicant receiving the documents. Documents disclosed in response to an FOI request are subject to the following exceptions:

  • personal information or information about the business, commercial, financial or professional affairs of any person if publication would be unreasonable;
  • information determined by the Australian Information Commissioner not to be disclosed;
  • information that cannot reasonably practicably be published because of required deletions to the document.

The Commission FOI Disclosure Log contains a summary of documents obtained under FOI. Interested parties may access copies of the documents listed in the Commission's FOI Disclosure Log (either in hard copy, CD or, where possible, email) by contacting the FOI Coordinator (contact details below).

By post:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
GPO Box 5480
Sydney NSW 2001

or by email:

or by telephone: +61 2 9126 3600 (International)

Further information

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner web site provides useful information about FOI processes more generally

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