Reviews and complaints

Last updated: 30 July 2019 RSS feed


If you’re not happy with an agency or minister’s decision in response to your freedom of information (FOI) request, you can ask for a review of the decision. You can ask for an internal review or Information Commissioner review.

You may not be happy, for example, with an agency or minister’s decision:

  • not to give you access to the document you requested or in the form you requested
  • to charge you for access to the document you requested or the amount of the charge
  • to refuse to amend or annotate a document you think is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading
  • to give others access to a document you think should not be released because it contains your personal or business information 
  • to give access to a document about your physical or mental health through a qualified individual rather than directly to you


If you’re not happy with the way an agency has handled your FOI request, you can lodge a complaint with us.

You can’t make an FOI complaint about a minister.

If an agency has not made a decision in response to your FOI request within the time the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) allows, we recommend that you apply for Information Commissioner review rather than complain about delay. If you do this, the FOI Act gives the OAIC power to require the agency to make a decision on your request.

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