Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives members of the public a general right of access to documents of an agency and official documents of a Minister, other than exempt documents or parts of documents. Exemptions may relate to national security, material obtained in confidence, Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the Act.

The Act allows individuals access to their personal records held by Government and enables them to correct any personal information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

The Act also requires an agency to publish information on its operations under the Information Publication Scheme and a disclosure log of information that has been accessed under FOI requests. A FOI applicant may find the information they are seeking is already available in those publications.

Making an FOI request

To make an FOI request via email to asa.foi@defence.gov.au.

Describe as clearly as possible the information being sought, including any reference numbers and a date range.

Request process

FOI requests are processed in accordance with the FOI Act and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner guidelines.

Receiving access

Once a request has been completed available documents will be forwarded to the applicant.

If the requested documents, or parts of them, are within an exemption specified in the Act, reasons for the decision to exempt will be provided.

Charges

There is no application fee, though processing charges may apply to requests other than for documents containing only personal information. If there is a charge, a written estimate will be provided.

Applicants can ask for a charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. Evidence may be requested when seeking a waiver of charges.

Review rights

Applicants have the right of a review of FOI decisions. The following options are available:

Disclosure log

The FOI Act provides that a disclosure log of information accessed under FOI requests must be published, except for personal, business or certain other information.

Once an FOI release has been provided to the applicant, it will also be made available on this page. There are currently no Australian Submarine Agency FOI releases to disclose.