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How to make a Freedom of Information request

How to make a request to Defence, under section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), for access to a document.

A request to Defence for access to a document under the FOI Act must:

  • be in writing; and
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act; and
  • provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister, to identify it; and
  • give details of how notices under the FOI Act may be sent to the applicant (for example, by providing an electronic address to which notices may be sent by electronic communication).

There is no application fee involved with making an FOI request but there may be processing charges associated with processing your FOI request. If your FOI request has processing charges involved, the FOI Directorate will advise you in writing before formally proceeding with your FOI request.

Please note: Should your request be subject to charges, Defence will require an address to process any payments.


  • There are no costs associated with the making of an FOI request.
  • The first five hours of decision-making time is free of charge; after that $20 an hour.
  • There is also a $15 an hour charge for search and retrieval of documents captured in an FOI request.
  • Any charges are not payable where an agency or Minister fails to notify the applicant of the decision within a period prescribed in the FOI Act (including a permitted extension period).
  • An applicant who seeks access to their own personal information does not pay any charges.

For further information please visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website.

Please be sure you have read the content above before making an FOI request.