Your review rights
Client fact sheet
If you disagree with the decision made by the Department of Defence or the Minister under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act), you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. You may want to seek review
if you sought certain documents and were not given full access, if you have been informed that there will be a
charge for processing your request, if your application to have your personal information amended was not
accepted or your comments in response to formal consultation were not accepted.
There are two ways you can ask for review of a decision: internal review
by Defence, or external review
the Australian Information Commissioner.
If Defence makes an FOI decision that you disagree
Do I have to go through the Defence’s internal
with, you can ask Defence to review its decision. The
review process first?
review will be conducted independently to FOI Case
No. You may apply directly to the Information
Management. There is NO
charge for internal
Commissioner, within 60 days
of receiving your
decision. However, going through the Defence
You must apply within 30 days
of being notified of
internal review process gives Defence the
the decision, unless you have sought an extension
opportunity to reconsider its initial decision and your
from Defence. An extension may be granted if
concerns will most likely be addressed more quickly,
adequate reasons for the extension are supplied.
without undergoing an external review process.
make a review decision within 30
When can I go to the Administrative Appeals
. Where Defence has not met its review
obligation, you may then approach the Information
Under the revised FOI Act, you must seek external
review through the Information Commissioner prior
Internal review is not available if the Minister or the
to applying to the AAT for such a review.
principal officer of the agency made the decision
Making a complaint
How to apply for an internal review
You may make a complaint to Defence or the Office
You must apply in writing and should include a copy
of the Information Commissioner about actions
of the notice of the decision provided and the points
taken by Defence in relation to your application. The
to which you are objecting and why.
complaint needs to be in writing.
You can lodge your application in one of the following
Department of Defence
Further information about the external review
process or how to make a complaint to the
PO Box 7910
Information Commissioner is available:
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9284 9666