Freedom of information requests

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives the public a right to access information held by Defence.

Why make a FOI request

A FOI request should be made when:

  • seeking Defence corporate information create on or after 1 January 2002
  • seeking to amend or annotate information related to an ADF current or ex-serving member
  • not satisfied with the result of a Personal information request.

How to make a FOI request

Make and FOI request by using the online form, or by submitting a request in writing to or the Defence FOI postal address.

If seeking personal information about a current or ex-serving member, including the amendment or annotation of personal information under the FOI Act, use the Personal information request.

Confirmation of receipt of a FOI request will be sent within 14 days and an estimate of any fees will be provided before the request is processed.

FOI request outcomes

Defence will send a letter explaining the FOI request decision within 30 days, unless otherwise notified. Defence may extend the 30 day period to complete a request when:

  • The requestor agrees to the extension of time.
  • The request captures a large amount of information.
  • Defence is required to consult third parties.

Information might be redacted or denied in full, where it is exempt from release under the FOI Act.

FOI request outcomes are disclosed on the FOI disclosure log page.

FOI request outcome review

Where the requestor is not satisfied with the FOI request decision, they have the right to request a review of the decision via:

  • Defence internal review - must be requested via email to within 30 days of the FOI request decision.
  • External review by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - must be requested within 60 days of the FOI request decision.

FOI request exemptions

The following Defence bodies are exempt from the functions of the FOI Act.

  • Australian Signals Directorate
  • Defence Intelligence Organisation
  • Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (with the exception of the Australian Hydrographic Office).

FOI also does not provide contact details for any current or past Defence employees.