ACT FOI key concepts, exemptions and decision-making

Who should attend

This course is for ACT government employees, in particular FOI decision-makers who deal with FOI requests and assess whether documents ought to be exempt from disclosure under the ACT Freedom of Information Act 2016 (ACT FOI Act) and officers responsible for handling the administrative aspects of FOI processing.

Course outline

This full-day course comprises:

  • key concepts of the ACT FOI Act including its scope and purpose
  • key steps in managing the processing of an FOI application, including:
    • determining the validity and scope of the request
    • consultation
    • fees and charges
    • forms of access
    • review of decisions
  • a detailed examination of the most commonly used exemption provisions within the ACT FOI Act
  • discussion of the legislative requirement to provide statements of reasons for decisions to refuse access to documents
  • the role of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal and what to expect if a decision is appealed.

We will use exercises to involve the participants in the handling of requests and will provide a substantial manual for future reference in the workplace.


ACT government employees will gain a working knowledge of the processes for dealing with FOI requests as prescribed by the ACT FOI Act and releasing documents in accordance with it. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to identify issues and make defensible decisions on the applicability of the exemption provisions that are available under the ACT FOI Act when processing FOI requests.


Our presenters are AGS lawyers who have a great depth of knowledge of the government environment, and who practise extensively in the areas of information access and administrative law.


The course runs for 1 day, 9 am – 4.30 pm, with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided.


Standard fee – $880 (inclusive of GST). No more than 20 people will be accepted on each course, and courses will only be conducted if we receive sufficient nominations.