Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Requesting access to documents

Review of decisions


Internal review

The FOI Act gives you the right to seek an internal review of the decision refusing to grant, or a decision granting partial access to documents in accordance with your request

The internal review will be conducted by a senior officer who had no involvement in the initial decision

No particular form is required for the request for internal review, but it would help the decision maker if you included in your application the ground on which you consider the decision should be reviewed

You may also seek internal review or review by the AAT of the decision to impose a charge

Applications for internal review should be addressed to:

FOI Coordinator
Customs and Border Protection
Customs House
5 Constitution Avenue

Information Commissioner

An application may be made to the Information Commissioner for a review of the following decisions:

(a) a decision to refuse access to a document

(b) a decision made by Customs and Border Protection on internal review to refuse access to a document

(c) a decision to refuse a further period for making an application for internal review of a decision to refuse access to a document

An application to the Information Commissioner must be in writing and must give details of how notices may be sent to you (for example, by providing an electronic address to which notices may be sent by electronic communication) and include a copy of the decision given by Customs and Border Protection

Your application may contain particulars of the basis on which the review is sought

The application for a review by the Information Commissioner must be sent to the Information Commissioner:

  • at the address of the Information Commission specified in a current telephone directory
  • postage by pre-paid post to an address mentioned in paragraph (a)
  • sending by electronic communication to an electronic address specified by the Information Commission

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review

If you are still dissatisfied after a review you may appeal to the AAT. You may also appeal to the AAT if you have not been notified of the decision on your request for access, or of the decision on your request for review, within the required time

Appeals to the AAT must be lodged in writing within 60 days of being notified of the review decision or within 60 days of the expiry of the required time where a decision has not been notified

Appeals must be accompanied by payment of a lodgement fee. That fee may be refunded to you in certain circumstances

Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

You may lodge a complaint at any time with the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been processed

The Ombudsman has power to investigate your complaint and make recommendations where appropriate

Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman can be made orally or in writing and should be addressed to:

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442

  • Telephone: (02) 6276 0111