Freedom of Information

The ACT Freedom of Information Act 1989 (the Act) gives individuals the legal right to:

  • access documents held by ACT Ministers and their directorates;
  • ask for personal information to be changed if it is incomplete, out-of-date, incorrect or misleading; and
  • appeal against a decision to refuse access to a document or amend or annotate a personal record.

Freedom of Information Act 1989 img-icn-extlink

Freedom of Information Requests

Each ACT Government directorate is responsible for responding to FOI requests that relate to their functions or roles.  Before making a request for access to documents, you should first approach the directorate you think may hold the documents relevant to your request.  Each directorate has an FOI officer who can assist you in making your request.

Individuals seeking information are encouraged to seek access by contacting the directorate before resorting to the more formal FOI procedure.  A request should be made, in writing, requesting access to documents under the FOI Act.  Requests can be made by letter or by using the FOI online application form.

The request should:

  • identify the document(s) sought;
  • provide as much information as possible about the document(s) requested to assist in processing the request (for example the date the documents were created, or describe in detail the subject matter in which you are interested); and
  • supply a contact telephone number and postal address.

All FOI requests to the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate should be directed to:

The FOI Coordinator
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601

or fax to:
The FOI Coordinator
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
+61 2 6207 5883

or email to: CMTEDDfoi@act.gov.au

or deliver to:
The FOI Coordinator
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
Level 2, Canberra Nara Centre
1 Constitution Avenue
CANBERRA ACT

Further information on FOI processes is available in the Directorate's FOI Information Sheet:

or you can contact the FOI Coordinator, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate by phone: +61 2 6207 5883  or +61 2 6207 8175.

Exemptions

The FOI Act sets out certain types of documents which may not be accessible (called exempt documents).  Exemptions are generally used to protect essential public interests, confidential matters or the private or business affairs of others.

If the Directorate decides not to grant access to the documents requested, it will provide written reasons for the decision and advise you (the applicant) of your rights of appeal.

If you are unhappy with the initial decision you may:

  • request the Directorate reconsider its initial decision (this is known as an internal review);
  • seek an independent review of the decision by the ACT Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal (ACAT review) if you are not satisfied after the Directorate has conducted an internal review;
  • complain to the Ombudsman about the Directorate's decision or action (Ombudsman review); and 
  • appeal if the Directorate does not provide reasons for the decisions made on the request or there are delays in informing you.

Charges

There is no application fee for FOI requests to ACT Government agencies.

However, processing charges may apply for requests.  In order to minimise any charges, please consult with the FOI Coordinator to be sure that you are requesting only the documents you really need.

If you are advised that charges will be imposed, you are able to seek the remission of processing charges on the grounds of personal affairs, financial hardship or public interest.

For applicants who believe that charges should be waived on the grounds of public interest, guidelines are available at the Justice and Community Safety website img-icn-extlink

Freedom of Information Online

As part of the ACT Government's commitment to Open Government, all written documents released under the FOI Act will be available for online access by the public.  Exceptions to this are documents that are exempt for privacy, commercial confidentiality or copyright reasons.  The information will be made available on the Open Government website

Full details of the Online FOI Publication Policy are available at Freedom of Information Online

Section 7 - Directorate Organisation, Functions and Decision-Making

Section 7 of the Act requires directorates to provide a public statement about the structure and functions of the Directorate and public participation in decision-making processes.

Section 8 - Directorate Publications and Manuals

Section 8 of the Act requires the principal officer to prepare and make available each year a statement listing all publicly accessible documents that are used by the Directorate in making decisions under a legislative scheme.

CMTEDD has a large amount of publications available around the many functions within the Directorate. Many of these documents can be found on this website or you can contact us by emailing CMTEDDFOI@act.gov.au or phoning (02) 6207 8175.

img-backtotop