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Freedom of information

The Attorney-General’s Department fully supports the objectives of the Freedom of Information Act 1991, which aims to make the business of government open and accountable to the public.

General overview

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (the Act) gives you a legal right to:

  • request access to documents held by state government agencies, government ministers, local councils or state universities
  • request the amendment of documents about you which are incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading
  • seek a review of a decision made by a state government  agency, government minister, local council or university.

State Records of South Australia assists the minister responsible for the Act administer the legislation and provides general advice to members of the public and to government agencies.

A comprehensive overview of how freedom of information operates in South Australia is available from State Records SA, including:

  • about freedom of information in South Australia
  • agencies and documents that are subject to freedom of information
  • documents available outside FOI.

AGD information statement

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 9(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 1991, the following details are provided as part of the information statement of the Attorney-General’s Department which is an agency as defined under Section 4(1) (e) of the Act. 

Subject to certain restrictions, the Act gives members of the public a legally enforceable right to access information held by the Government of South Australia. 

An introduction to freedom of information (FOI) is provided by State Records.

AGD structure and functions

AGD consists of a number of business units. This includes independent statutory offices and statutory bodies. For more information see:

  • the most recent annual report - contains a comprehensive description of the structure and functions of AGD
  • AGD Organisational structure (PDF 85KB) - information about individual business units and offices
  • for a description of the way in which the functions of AGD affect the public please refer to services and support which explains how the department interacts with the community
  • there are no formal arrangements which enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of the department’s policies and the exercises of the agency’s functions. From time to time consultation is undertaken when it is deemed appropriate to engage the public in the formulation of specific policy.  

Exempt agencies

The following business units of AGD are exempt from FOI under Schedule 2 of the Act:

  • the Attorney-General (for matters related to enforcement of criminal law)
  • the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption
  • the Office for Public Integrity
  • the Solicitor-General, Crown Solicitor, Director of Public Prosecutions and Commissioner for Victim’s Rights
  • the Ombudsman 
  • the Public Trustee when undertaking functions as executor, administrator or trustee.

The following business units of AGD are partially exempt pursuant to the FOI (Exempt Agency) Regulations 2008:

  • the Small Business Commissioner.

Judicial functions of courts and tribunals

 The Act does not apply to the judicial functions of courts and tribunals (s6).

 The following business unit(s) of AGD are subject to s6 of the Act:

  • South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)

Documents held within AGD

Documents held by AGD fall broadly into the categories described below. The listing of these categories does not necessarily mean all documents are accessible, in full or in part, requests will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1991. Some documents may be subject to legislative confidentiality provisions that may limit or preclude release in some circumstances, including documents that fall under the secrecy provisions of section 96(A) of the Fair Trading Act 1987. While most are available in hard copy, there are some that are only available electronically.

The categories include:

  • corporate files containing correspondence, memoranda and minutes on all aspects of the department's operations
  • policies, procedures and guidelines prescribing the way various activities and programs are to be performed - AGD corporate policies (Word 329 KB)
  • personnel files relating to the department's employees
  • accounting and financial reports relating to the running of the department
  • departmental annual reports, strategic plans and policy reports
  • minutes of meetings and terms of reference
  • documents relating to the functions of the department's divisions and statutory authorities.

Documents available from the agency

Free of charge

The following types of documents are publicly available free of charge and/or are published on agency's websites and are available by contacting the individual agencies:

  • brochures
  • pamphlets
  • posters
  • information packs
  • applications forms for services
  • discussion papers
  • strategic plans
  • newsletters
  • fact sheets
  • crime statistics
  • media releases
  • annual reports
  • SA Legislation - www.legislation.sa.gov.au.

For purchase

Some AGD business units have documents available for purchase. View a fact sheet containing a list of documents available for purchase and the instructions on how to purchase (including contact details) -  Documents available for purchase (Word 330KB)

Making an application for access to documents

In accordance with the Act, applications for access to documents held by an agency must:

  • be made in writing. You may choose to:
  • specify that the application is made under the Freedom of Information Act 1991
  • be accompanied by the application fee (exemptions apply for Members of Parliament and pensioners or health care card holders)
  • specify an address in Australia to which information can be sent
  • clearly identify the documents being sought or the matter to which they pertain
  • specify whether the documents contain information of a personal nature
  • specify the desired type of access to the document, such as inspection of the document at an arranged location or having a copy made
  • you may be asked to provide evidence of your identity.

Making an application to amend a document

Applications can be made to amend a record held by the agency concerning personal affairs if they are incomplete, incorrect, misleading or out of date.

In accordance with the Act, applications for amendment of documents held by an agency must:

  • be made in writing. You may choose to:
  • specify that the application is made under the Freedom of Information Act 1991
  • specify an address in Australia to which information can be sent
  • clearly identify the record to be amended
  • provide such information as is necessary in order for the records to be amended.

Application to review a determination under FOI

If you are refused access to all or part of a document that you requested access to, you will be informed of the reasons why and advised of your rights to seek a review or appeal.

You can also seek a review or appeal if you have applied for your personal records to be amended under FOI and amendment has been refused.

You can download a copy of an application for review of an FOI determination (decision) on the State Records website.

Contact details for Ombudsman SA

Phone: 8226 8699

Toll Free: 1800 182 150 (within SA)

Email: ombudsman [at] ombudsman.sa.gov.au

Contact details for South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)

Phone: 1800 723 767

Email: sacat [at] sacat.sa.gov.au

Where to send applications

Online FOI Application form is now available at sa.gov.au


Forward applications under the Act to:

The Accredited FOI Officer

Attorney-General’s Department

GPO Box 464

South Australia 5001

Email: freedomofinformation [at] sa.gov.au

Payment options

You can pay your application fee by:

  • cheque or money order (include with your application)
  • credit card
  • EFT.
IMPORTANT: Once your payment by EFT or credit card has been processed, you must notify AGD Freedom of Information by emailing freedomofinformation [at] sa.gov.au. Processing your application will not commence until confirmation of your payment has been received.

Credit card

Enter your payment and card details and confirm the correct amount is paid to ensure your application is processed promptly. 


Please include “FOI-your name” in the bank reference field.

Commonwealth Bank

AGD Corporate Account

BSB: 065-266

Account No: 10019434

Contact an accredited FOI officer

Phone: (08) 8207 1555


Toll Free: 1800 177 076 (within SA)

Availability: 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday

Freedom of Information reporting 2018-19

The Attorney-General’s Department dealt with 106 Freedom of Information Applications in 2018-19.

Freedom of Information Applications dealt with during 2018-19



Applications carried forward from 2017-18

Applications received 2018-19

Applications finalised 2018-19

Applications carried forward to 2019-20

AGD - General*





AGD - Consumer & Business Services





AGD - Forensic Science SA





AGD - Fines Enforcement & Recovery Unit





AGD - Public Trustee





Office of the Attorney- General





Office of the Public Advocate





Equal Opportunity Commission






Until 1 March 2019










* Includes the following units: Office of the Chief Executive, Finance People and Performance, Projects and Technology, Parliamentary Counsel, Policy and Research, State Records and Legislative Services

Applications were received from:

  Number %
Members of Parliament 56 52.83
Members of the public 46 43.40
Media organisations 4 3.77
TOTAL 106 100




No of applications Finalised No of application finalised on time No of applications finalised after the statutory time limit % applications finalised on time % applications finalised after the statutory time limit KPI
92 91 1 99 1 95%



KPI 1   Of the email applications received, those responded to by email

Result KPI
100% 60%

KPI 2   Of total applications received, those responded to by email

Result KPI
95% 60%


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