The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) gives every person the right to obtain access to documents held by AUSTRAC, subject to specific exemptions which are set out in the FOI Act.
The FOI Act also creates a right to amend/correct misleading or out-of-date information; however, it does not create a right to have documents created or destroyed.
To make a valid request for documents under the FOI Act, the application must:
- be in writing;
- state that the request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act;
- provide such information concerning the documents as is reasonably necessary to enable AUSTRAC to identify the documents; this is sometimes referred to as 'the scope of the request'; and
- provide an address for reply.
Persons who wish to make a request should contact the Freedom of Information Officer on (02) 6120 2631, in the first instance.
AUSTRAC prefers applicants to use the Freedom of Information request for documentation form that can be also accessed below in Word and PDF formats. The information sought in this form is to assist the Freedom of Information Officer to identify and locate the nominated documents. Please provide as much information as possible about the documents you are seeking.
Requests for documents can be sent to AUSTRAC either by post or email to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Attn: Privacy and Information Access Team
Tower 2, Level 27
727 Collins Street
Docklands VIC 3008
Ph: 02 6120 2631
Fax: 02 6120 2601
Potential FOI applicants should also check the information AUSTRAC has published under its Information Publication Scheme (IPS) and FOI disclosure log to see if the information they seek is already publicly available. The IPS and the FOI disclosure log are located on the IPS page of the AUSTRAC website.
No application fee is required.
Processing charges may apply for non-personal information, in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Fees and Charges) regulations.
- AUSTRAC prefers applicants to attach some form of identification from applicants in the form of a photo ID; for example, drivers licence or passport. A photocopy of the identification document/s provided to us will ensure we do not breach an individual's privacy, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. We do not require the original identification document/s.
- The statutory processing time of 30 days commences once the application is deemed to be valid.
- If the information relates to a third party or business affairs of a third person, AUSTRAC will need to consult with this person if it appears to AUSTRAC that the person might reasonably wish to make a contention that the document is exempt. The time period for processing the application will be extended by another 30 days.
- You may seek written permission from any affected third party for the information to be released to you.
- If consultation with a foreign government is required the processing time will be extended by 30 days. You will be notified if this occurs.
- We will only extend the time further if an agreement is in place with you.
- A decision on a request for an internal review will be made by a different decision maker who is a more senior officer than the original decision maker.
Other requests for information
The Freedom of Information Officer can also assist with subpoenas and notices to produce.
All disclosure of AUSTRAC information, other than under the FOI Act, is to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). Part 11 of the AML/CTF Act sets out the secrecy and access provisions applying to what is termed 'AUSTRAC information'.
If you need further information regarding these provisions, please do not hesitate to contact the Freedom of Information Officer (details above).