The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) makes a range of information available for public access. You can formally request access to documents managed by the AIC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
The FOI Act gives you the right to:
- request access to copies of documents (except exempt documents) that the agency stores
- ask for information that agency stores about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
- seek a review of the agency’s decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.
You can request access to any document that the agency manages. The AIC can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, that are exempt under the FOI Act. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters as set out in the FOI Act.
Requesting access to documents
A request for documents under the FOI Act must:
- be in writing
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
- provide information about the document(s) to help us in processing your request
- provide an address for reply (this can be an email address).
You can send your request to the Australian Institute of Criminology:
GPO Box 1936
Canberra ACT 2601
An application form is available for your convenience.
Evidence of identity for requests to access personal information
If you are seeking access to documents that contain personal information either in relation to yourself or on behalf of another person, the Australian Institute of Criminology requires that you provide evidence of your identity with your application. If you are seeking documents containing personal information on behalf of another person, both parties must provide evidence of their identity.
You are required to provide a certified copy of any identification document. Documents that provide sufficient evidence of identity include:
- birth certificate
- citizenship certificate
- Australian drivers licence.
The AIC prefers a copy of an identification document to be certified as a true copy of the original by a person having the power to sign a Commonwealth statutory declaration. A list of such persons is on the Commonwealth Attorney-General Department's website.
Letter of authorisation for requests made on behalf of another person
If a third party is acting on your behalf, it is a requirement that you submit a letter of authorisation with the FOI application.
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. If the AIC decides to impose a charge, you will be given a written estimate and the basis for the 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 evidence.
What you can expect from the Australian Institute of Criminology
You will be notified of receipt of your request within 14 days. You will also be provided with an estimate of any charges that apply to your request.
You will receive notification of the AIC’s decision within 30 days unless that time has been extended.
If a document contains information about a third party, or contains information provided by a state agency, the Australian Institute of Criminology will need to consult with them and may need to extend the timeframe by another 30 days.
The AIC may also seek your agreement to extend the time by-up-to 30 days if your request is complex.
If you disagree with the decision
Once the AIC has made a decision about your FOI request, you will be sent a letter explaining the decision and your review and appeal rights.
You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:
- a refusal to give you access to all, or part of a document
- if the agency defers giving you access
- a decision to impose a charge, and the amount of that charge
- a refusal to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with the AIC’s decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for the decision to be reviewed.
You can request in writing that the Australian Institute of Criminology reconsider its decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in the AIC. You will be advised of the new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.
The AIC may also seek your agreement to extend the time by up to 30 days if your request is complex.
Information Commissioner review
You can ask the AIC to review the original decision or the decision on internal review within 60 days of the date of decision (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.
The Information Commissioner 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 the way the AIC has handled your request, you can make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner who may investigate. More information is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
The Commonwealth Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about the AIC’s actions. The Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner will consult to avoid the same matter being investigated twice.
If you require more information, please contact the Australian Institute of Criminology, FOI Coordinator by email at email@example.com or through postal address:
GPO Box 1963
Canberra ACT 2601
More information on the FOI Act can be found on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.