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FOI PROJECT: The Federal government has a secrecy problem

The Freedom of Information (FOI) system is a powerful tool in our democracy. It shines a light into the darkest places of government, making it possible for journalists, advocates and communities to find out what is being done in our name and hold governments accountable to the people they serve.

But Australia’s FOI system is broken. Instead of making it easy for people to find out what is going on, government agencies appear to be trying to keep secret as much information as possible. This leaves vulnerable communities unable to interrogate policies or decisions that affect them and the government is less accountable to the people.

Navigating the FOI system

We've produced a two-part guide to help you get the answers you need from the Federal government:

Part I: how to submit an FOI request to the Federal government

Part II: what to do if your FOI request gets rejected - and how to appeal

Watch our webinar with FOI experts Jen Robinson, Senator Rex Patrick, Geoffrey Watson SC, journalist Lisa Cox and Grata acting executive director Maria Nawaz:

Assessing how the Federal government treats FOI requests

We've also spoken with journalists, lawyers, community groups and other users of the FOI system - and come up with a list of the Federal government's worst excuses for rejecting FOI requests.

Read our FOI Litigation Hit List report