FOI decisions

Documents located and retrieved in response to a Freedom of Information request are assessed on their suitability for disclosure to the applicant.

Documents may fall into three distinct categories:

  • full release - documents that can be released in their entirety to the applicant

  • partial release - documents that can be released to the applicant in part, information unsuitable for release will be masked

  • exempt - documents that are considered unsuitable for release (even in part) and fall within one of the exemptions listed in the Act.

A table for each category listing the relevant documents will be provided to the applicant, detailing any applicable exemptions.


Exemptions can be claimed against documents that ANU considers would be unreasonable to disclose. The reasons for claiming these exemptions can range from national security to personal privacy. When an exemption is claimed a detailed description of why ANU believes disclosure of the document would be unreasonable is provided to the applicant in a statement under s26 of the Act.

Public interest conditional exemptions require the document to be assessed against a public interest test (PDF 43KB) to determine the relevance and interest to the public.

Some exemptions which may be used are:

  • s45 obtained in confidence - this exemption relates to documents containing information gathered by ANU where we have undertaken to maintain confidentiality and releasing the information constitutes a breach of confidence

  • s47F personal privacy - this is a public interest conditional exemption, most commonly used to protect the personal information of a third party

  • s47G business affairs - this is a public interest conditional exemption, used to protect the financial, business and professional affairs of a person or organisation.