How do I make an FOI request?

Making an FOI request is simple. You just need to put it in writing and send it to us by email or post.

Make sure you:

  • tell us that the request is an ‘application for the purposes of the FOI Act’
  • provide information about the document(s) to assist us to process your request
  • describe what it is you want as clearly as you can, and if possible include information like dates and the name of the document if you know it
  • provide an address for reply – include your email or postal address, preferably both

If someone else is helping you make the request or making the request on your behalf, that’s fine. Just make sure you include aspecific written authority in your request which tells us:

  • the name of the person
  • that you authorise the person to ‘receive and inspect on your behalf copies of documents which contain information about you, and which are addressed to you care of that person’.

You can send your request by:

FOI Contact Officer
Australian Building and Construction Commission
GPO Box 9927
Melbourne VIC 3001

There may be charges applicable for processing your request or providing documents to you. These charges are governed by the FOI Act.

Help with an FOI request

If you need help with your request, please contact the FOI Contact Officer on 03 9603 0907 or by email at foi@abcc.gov.au.

What happens after you make an FOI request?

We will tell you within 14 days that we have received your FOI request. You may also receive from us an estimate of any charge that may apply to processing 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’ll 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.

What if I disagree with a decision?

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision. The letter will also explain your options and next steps.

If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed if:

  • we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document
  • we defer giving you access to a later date
  • we impose a charge for the documents
  • we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

If you have authorised another person to assist you with your request that person can also disagree with the decision and request a review.

Requesting a review by the ABCC

To request a review by the ABCC you can simply contact us again in writing and ask that we ‘reconsider our decision through an internal review’. Make sure you include any relevant reference to your original request and our response. A different ABCC officer will then undertake an internal review of the decision. We will advise you of our new decision in writing within 30 days of receiving your request for review.

Requesting a review by the Australian Information Commissioner

You can ask the Australian Information Commissioner to review either our original decision, or our decision on internal review. This has to happen 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 has the power to:

  • confirm the decision
  • change the decision
  • make a new decision.

The Information Commissioner may decide not to conduct a review in certain circumstances. 

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request, you can make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner who is able to investigate our actions.

More information

More information is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.

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