skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer


6th April 2020

Due to the current impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on Defence’s capability to process FOI requests in accordance with the statutory timeframes required under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, we are seeking an extension of time from all applicants under section 15AA of the FOI Act.
During this time, we encourage you to use self-service or administrative processes to obtain the information you are requesting. Our team can assist you with these enquiries.
We are working hard through this uncertain time to process all applications in accordance with the statutory timelines. We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this period.

What are you looking for?

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) gives you the legal right to access documents in the possession of this agency.

  • The FOI Act defines a document as:

    • any paper or other material on which there is writing or a mark, figure or symbol
    • electronically stored information
    • a map, a plan, a drawing or a photograph
    • any article from which sounds, images or writing are capable of being produced.
What is a document for the purpose of Freedom of Information?


The Department of Defence is an 'agency' within the meaning of the FOI Act and, for the purposes of the FOI Act, includes the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Australian Navy Cadets, the Australian Army Cadets and the Australian Air Force Cadets.

Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation (AGO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) are exempt bodies from the FOI Act.

FOI Delegations

For the purpose of the FOI Act, the Secretary of Defence is the 'principal officer' of the agency. As the principal officer, the Secretary has the power to delegate decision-making arrangements under section 23 [Decisions to be made by authorised persons] of the Act by using the FOI instrument of authority [PDF-111 KB].

FOI Framework

The framework for the FOI function incorporates the FOI Act, Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Guidelines issued under section 93A of the FOI Act and Defence's Guidance for FOI Decision Making.

FOI Function and Services

The FOI functions, in broad terms, are to manage the day-to-day administration of the FOI Act within the Department of Defence (which, for the purposes of the FOI Act, includes the ADF and cadet elements), on behalf of the Secretary. Clients include the government, public, journalists, members of parliament, public interest groups, current and former Defence personnel.