Exemptions

The right to access documents held by government is subject to certain limitations that ensure that sensitive information is properly protected. If you request a document from the department or the minister under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), you may not be given access to all or part of the document if it falls within one of the categories of exemptions under the FOI Act.

Release of documents under the FOI Act

The decision maker decides to release documents subject to appropriate exemptions under the FOI Act, namely:

SectionExemption
7Exemption of certain persons and bodies
21Deferment of access
22Access to edited copies with exempt or irrelevant matter deleted
24Power to refuse - diversion of resources
24ADocuments cannot be found, do not exist or have not been received
33Documents affecting national security, defence or international relations
34Cabinet documents
37Documents affecting enforcement of the law and protection of public safety
38Documents to which secrecy provisions of enactment apply
42Documents subject to legal professional privilege
45Documents containing material obtained in confidence
46Documents disclosure of which would be contempt of Parliament or contempt of court
47Documents disclosing trade secrets or commercially valuable information
47AElectoral rolls and related documents
47BPublic interest conditional exemptions - Commonwealth-state relations
47CPublic interest conditional exemptions - deliberative process
47DPublic interest conditional exemptions - financial property of the Commonwealth or Norfolk Island
47EPublic interest conditional exemptions - certain operations of agencies
47FPublic interest conditional exemptions - personal privacy
47GPublic interest conditional exemptions - business
47HPublic interest conditional exemptions - research
47JPublic interest conditional exemptions - the economy