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Freedom of information guidance notes

These Freedom of Information (FOI) guidance notes help agencies consider the application of two exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) when dealing with FOI requests.

These exemptions are:

  • Cabinet document exemption
  • deliberative document exemption.

Deliberative documents are those that involve the weighing up or evaluation of the competing arguments or considerations that may have a bearing upon a course of action.

The notes were developed in 2011 in consultation with the Australian Information Commissioner, the Freedom of Information Commissioner and the then Australian Government Solicitor.

The notes should be read in conjunction with the Australian Information Commissioner’s FOI Guidelines. FOI decision-makers must take note of these guidelines when they perform a function or exercise a power under the FOI Act. ​