The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act) gives members of the public a general right of access to documents of an agency and official documents of a Minister, other than exempt documents or parts of documents. Exemptions may relate to national security, material obtained in confidence, Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the Act. The Act allows individuals access to their personal records held by Government and enables them to correct any personal information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading. The Act also requires an agency to publish information on its operations under the Information Publication Scheme and a disclosure log of information that has been accessed under freedom of information (FOI) requests. A potential FOI applicant may find the information they are seeking is already available in those publications.

Receiving access

Once the FOI request has been completed by ASBFEO, any available documents will be forwarded to the applicant. If the requested documents or parts of them are within an exemption specified in the Act, ASBFEO will provide reasons for the decision to exempt. The FOI Act provides that a disclosure log of information accessed under FOI requests must be published, except for personal, business or certain other information set out in section 11C of the Act. ASBFEO publishes its responses to FOI requests on the Treasury website at the same time as providing the response to the applicant. Documents released under the FOI Act are generally made available on the website after 4pm on Fridays (other than public holidays).

Disclosure Log

Once the FOI request has been provided to the applicant, the request will be made available on the Treasury website's Disclosure Log.

How to apply for access

To make an FOI request the applicant should:

  • apply online:
  • apply in writing: Freedom of Information, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, GPO Box 1791, CANBERRA ACT 2601

Describe as clearly as possible the information being sought. Include any reference numbers or articles that may assist in identifying specific material and where possible include a date range.

Request process

ASBFEO processed FOI requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and guidelines from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.


There is no application fee for an FOI request. Processing charges may apply to requests other than for documents containing only personal information. If there is a charge, the applicant will receive a written estimate. Applicants can ask for a charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. Evidence may be requested when seeking a waiver of charges.

Review rights

Applicants have the right of a review of FOI decisions made by ASBFEO. The following options are available:

Internal review

Review by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

FOI Contact

Mail address: Freedom of Information, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, GPO Box 1791, CANBERRA ACT 2601


Phone: 1300 650 460