The application process

The agency has a statutory timeframe of 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of an application in which to process the request and provide a response (determination). In some cases it may be necessary to extend the time limit for processing your application. The agency will notify you if this is the case.

The exception to the timeframe is where an extension is granted by the Principal Officer, FOI (DEWNR Chief Executive or Minister) under Section 14A of the FOI Act or if the FOI Officer negotiates an extension with the applicant.

Upon receipt of a valid application the agency will advise the applicant in writing that the application has been received and begin the process to conduct a thorough search for relevant documents.

Once all documents have been identified they will be catalogued and reviewed in detail accordance with the FOI Act. If the application is excessive the FOI officers may contact the applicant to allow them the option to narrow the scope of the request to reduce the costs.

Should the agency require an advance deposit, as per section 17(6) of the Act, the processing of your application will be suspended until payment of the advance deposit has been received. Once payment has been received a final determination will be signed by the Accredited FOI officer before being posted to the applicant.

As part of the Government’s Digital by Default Declaration, where the determination exceeds 100 pages, the Agency will provide the determination electronically.