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Freedom of information statistics

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 provides a right of access to documents held by agencies and ministers. Sometimes a charge may apply to an FOI request, and review mechanisms allow people to appeal decisions on an FOI request if they disagree.

The data below shows the number of requests received from 1982 to 2016 and the amount of charges notified and collected. This data is sourced from previous FOI annual reports prepared each year from 1983 onwards. Please note that the 1982-83 data covers only seven months (December 1982 to June 1983), and the data about requests for personal information compared to other requests has only been collected from 2000-01 onwards.

Agencies and ministers are also required to provide quarterly and annual ‘statistical returns’ on FOI activity, review numbers and estimated costs. The returns data from 2011-12 to 2015-16 is also available in CSV format below. In the statistical returns CSVs, ‘personal request’ refers to an FOI request for a document containing personal information and ‘other request’ to an FOI request for any other document.

There are also Microsoft Excel versions of the statistical returns optimised for readability and containing additional processing (such as applying a salary multiplier to agency estimated staff time data). Finally, the original survey questions for each year are included: each of the columns in the CSVs can be linked to a survey question asked that year.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Freedom of information statistics
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia
Data Status active
Update Frequency daily
Landing Page http://data.gov.au/dataset/b0771c28-09cc-4c4e-9e61-9a96f6e3d040
Date Published 2014-07-04
Date Updated 2016-11-17
Contact Point
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
enquiries@oaic.gov.au
Temporal Coverage 1982-2016
Geospatial Coverage Australia
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
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