Freedom of Information process

Freedom of Information process

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) makes a range of information available for public access. You can formally request access to documents managed by our agency under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The FOI Act gives you the right to:

  • request access to copies of documents (except exempt documents) that our agency stores
  • ask for information our agency stores about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • seek a review of our agency’s decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

You can request access to any document that the agency manages. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, that are exempt under the FOI Act. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters as set out in the FOI Act.

Under Section 12(1)(c) of the FOI Act, a person is not entitled to obtain access to a document that is available for purchase by the public in accordance with arrangements made by an agency (such as a police history check).

More information about obtaining a National Police Check is on the National Police Check page.

A request for documents under the FOI Act must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide information about the document(s) to help us in processing your request
  • provide an address for reply (this can be an email address).

You can send your request to the ACIC:

By post

FOI Coordinator

GPO Box 1936

Canberra ACT 2601

By email


An application form is available for your convenience.

Before making a request, you should check the information our agency has published under the Information Publication Scheme and FOI Disclosure Log to see if what you are seeking is already available. 

If you are seeking access to documents that contain personal information either in relation to yourself or on behalf of another person, we require you to provide evidence of your identity with your application. If you are seeking documents containing personal information on behalf of another person, both parties must provide evidence of their identity.

You are required to provide a certified copy of any identification document. Documents that provide sufficient evidence of identity include:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • citizenship certificate
  • Australian drivers' licence.

We prefer a copy of an identification document to be certified as a true copy of the original by a person having the power to sign a Commonwealth statutory declaration. A list of such persons is on the Commonwealth Attorney-General Department's website.

Letter of authorisation for requests made on behalf of another person

If a third party is acting on your behalf, it is a requirement that you submit a letter of authorisation with the FOI application.

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis for the calculation.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide evidence.

You will be notified of receipt of your request within 14 days. We will also provide you with an estimate of any charges that apply to your request.

You will receive notification of our agency’s decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended.

If a document contains information about a third party, or contains information provided by a state agency, we will need to consult with them and may need to extend the timeframe by another 30 days.

We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

Once we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining the decision and your review and appeal rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • a refusal to give you access to all, or part of a document
  • if our agency defers giving you access
  • a decision to impose a charge, and the amount of that charge
  • a refusal to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for the decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that the ACIC reconsider our decision through an internal review. Another officer in our agency will conduct the internal review. You will be advised of the new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

Australian Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review the original decision or the decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party).

The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision.

The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

If you are unhappy with the way our agency has handled your request, you can make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate. More information is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our agency’s actions. The Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

If you require more information, please contact the ACIC FOI Coordinator by email at or through postal address:

FOI Coordinator

GPO Box 1963

Canberra ACT 2601

More information on the FOI Act is on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.