Freedom of information

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information ACT 1982 (FOI Act) gives any person the right to:

  • access copies of documents (except exempt documents) we hold
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record.

You can ask to see any document that we hold. We can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents that are exempt. Exempt documents may include those relating to national security, documents containing material obtained in confidence and Cabinet documents, or other matters set out in the FOI Act.

You should also check the information we have published under the Information Publication Scheme and the Freedom of Information Disclosure Log to see if what you are seeking is already available. Information described in the disclosure log may be obtained by contacting the Freedom of Information Officer.

How to make a request

Your request must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
  • provide information about the document(s) to assist us to process your request
  • provide an address for reply.

You can send your request:

By email

By post

Inspector General of Water Compliance
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
PO Box 3090
Canberra City 2601

Fees and charges

There is no application fee for an FOI request.

There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:

Search and retrieval: time we spend searching for or retrieving a document$15.00 per hour
Decision making: time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletionsFirst five hours: Nil
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
Transcript: preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium$4.40 per page of transcript
Photocopy$0.10 per page
Inspection: supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)
Delivery: posting or delivering a copy of a document at your requestCost of postage or delivery

If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.

If you disagree with our decision

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights.

You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:

  • if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access
  • if we impose a charge
  • if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.

Internal review

You can request in writing that we reconsider our decision through an internal review. An internal review will be conducted by another officer in our agency. We will advise you of our new decision within 30 days of receiving your request.

Our approach

We foster a culture of appropriate information sharing.

We are committed to:

  • publishing information about our agency, including anything required under s8(2) of the FOI Act
  • maintaining this website to keep information current and accessible to the public.

Information Publication Scheme

We take an active approach to sharing information with the public.

The Information Publication Scheme (IPS) details the types of information government must actively share. This is a part of the Freedom of Information ACT 1982 (FOI Act).

As an Australian Government agency, the Inspector-General of Water Compliance must meet these requirements.

Agency plan

The FOI Act provides that an agency must prepare an IPS agency plan.

IPS Agency Plan PDF625 KB
IPS Agency Plan DOCX674 KB


Disclosure log

We publish a disclosure log of documents we have released in response to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. This is required by the Freedom of Information ACT 1982 (FOI Act). Documents are published on the disclosure log within 10 days after it is released to the FOI applicant.

Information described in the disclosure log may be obtained by contacting the FOI Officer:

By email

By post

Inspector General of Water Compliance
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
PO Box 3090
Canberra City 2601

Please see the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water Privacy Policy for information on how personal information is handled.


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