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Freedom of Information

Accessing documents and information we hold

Freedom of information

We publish a range of information for public access.

You can also formally request access to any documents we hold under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Your rights

The FOI Act gives you the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

Whilst you can seek access to any document we hold, we can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents where relevant exemptions in the FOI Act apply. Exemptions may apply to documents, or parts of documents which contain information relating to:

  • personal information
  • national security
  • law enforcement methodology or investigations
  • documents containing material obtained in confidence, or
  • other matters set out in the FOI Act.

Documents available outside the FOI Act

You can seek access to information, including personal information, in documents, we hold about you, without following a formal process under the FOI Act, as follows:

Requests for AFP personnel related information

Record requests by AFP personnel for their related information can be obtained by completing the relevant form. Incomplete forms will not be actioned.

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Check if the information you want is already available in our:

How to make an FOI request

Complete the FOI form

Freedom of information request form

If you are unable to access this form, you can send your request by:

  • Post:
    Freedom of Information
    Australian Federal Police
    GPO Box 401
    Canberra ACT 2601

Your request must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide information about the document(s) you wish to access so we can process your request, including a date range
  • provide an address for a reply.

If you are making an FOI request on behalf of another person, you need to provide a specific written authority from that person.

Fees and charges

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests.

The most common charges are:

Activity item Charge
Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document $15.00 per hour
Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions First 5 hours: Nil
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium $4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopy $0.10 per page
Inspection: supervision of you inspecting documents, audio or visual recordings at our offices $6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request Cost of postage or delivery

If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.

What you can expect from us

We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your request. We will give you our decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended. If a document contains information about a third party, we may need to consult them and may need to extend the time to give you our decision by another 30 days. We may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.

Our decision

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed if we:

  • 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 documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in the AFP. We will advise you of our internal review decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Information Commissioner review

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review our original decision or our decision on internal review within 60 days of the decision date (or 30 days after you are notified if you are an affected third party).

The Information Commissioner can affirm or vary the decision or substitute a new decision. They may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. More information is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).


If you are unhappy with how we have handled your request, you can complain to the OAIC, who may investigate our actions.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about our actions. However, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the OAIC will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.

Get in touch

If you need help with your request, please email