Review rights for FOI

If you disagree with a decision, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) provides you with the right to have certain decisions we make reviewed.

If you disagree with our decision

You can ask for a review if we make the decision to:

  • refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
  • impose a charge
  • refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.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 access to documents that contain information about them can also ask for a review of our decision.

Under the FOI Act, there are 2 forms of review: internal review and external review.

Internal review

You can request an internal review of our original decision. There are no charges for an internal review.

A different person in the department to the person who made the original decision will conduct the internal review. If you wish to seek an internal review of our decision, you can apply in writing within 30 days of receiving our original decision.

We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your review request unless we need additional time and the OAIC grants us an extension.

You can ask for an internal review of your decision by:

  • emailing to
  • post to:
    Freedom of Information Team
    Department of Social Services 
    GPO Box 9820
    Canberra ACT 2601

Information Commissioner (external) review

You can ask the Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our internal review decision within 60 days of the date of decision. The Information Commissioner can affirm, vary the decision or substitute a new decision. The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. There are no charges for an Australian Information Commissioner review.

More information is available on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website.


If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your FOI request, you can contact the department at and outline your concerns.

If you wish to take your complaint further, you can submit a complaint:

FOI contact details

Contact the FOI team if you require more information or have questions about making an FOI request:

You can find further information about the FOI Act on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website.

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