We make a range of information available for public access. We can give you certain information if you request it through the access arrangements we have set up, as outlined below.
You can also formally request access to documents we hold under the:
The Australian Privacy Principles outline how we must handle, use and manage personal information. Under these Principles, individuals have a right to access their personal information.
You also have the right to seek information government agencies hold under the FOI Act.
People receiving aged care can request access to their health records from their aged care provider.
Providers are legally obligated to provide this information. If they don't, you can raise a complaint with us. We'll work with you and the provider to resolve the issue.
Someone else's information
If you're seeking care records of someone you don't legally represent, there are restrictions under the:
- Australian Privacy Principles
- Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act
- Aged Care Act 1997.
You'll need written consent from them or their legal representative to access someone else's information.
Once you have written consent, you can contact the provider directly with the request.
Information about how a provider runs its business is generally only available if the provider agrees to release it.
Types of information
We can informally provide certain kinds of information via email or phone. This includes:
- documents we've previously sent you
- records of conversations you've had with us
- some database entries relating to a complaint or application you've made.
We aim to respond to requests within 30 days. Please contact us to make a request.
If we can't provide the information you've asked for, we may ask you to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
There are limitations on what we can release under the FOI Act. Unless you have consent, we may be unable to release information that's not your personal information or relates to a provider. We also don't hold complete care records for all care recipients.
For this reason, we recommend contacting the provider directly first. If unsuccessful, you can raise a complaint about their refusal to provide access.
Under the FOI Act, you can ask us:
- for access to any documents we hold (except exempt documents)
- to change information we hold about you that is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading
- to review our decision to restrict access to a document or not amend a personal record.
Exempt documents may include those containing:
- protected information (as defined by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and Aged Care Act 1997)
- national security information
- material obtained in confidence
- Cabinet documents.
To access information under the FOI Act, you can search what we've already published or make a formal FOI request.
The easiest way to make an FOI request is to complete the application form (PDF, 375 KB).
You can also make a written request. Make sure you:
- specify that you're requesting information under the FOI Act
- provide enough detail about the documents for us to process your request
- let us know whether we should send notices to you by post or email.
When your application form or written request is complete, you can either email it to FOI@agedcarequality.gov.au or post it to:
The Freedom of Information Officer
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
GPO Box 9819
Canberra ACT 2601
If you need any help with your FOI request, please contact our FOI officer by emailing FOI@agedcarequality.gov.au or calling 1800 500 294 (free call).
Fees and charges
There's no application fee for an FOI request.
There's also no processing charge for requests for access to documents containing only your personal information.
Processing charges may apply to other requests. The list of charges is available in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982.
If we decide to impose a charge, we'll give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation.
If the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20. If the estimated charge is more than $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.
You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including:
- financial hardship, or
- on the grounds of public interest.
If you do, you should explain your reasons and give evidence of financial hardship.
We may decide to remit, reduce or not impose processing charges based on certain circumstances.
We'll confirm we've received your FOI request within 14 days and respond within 30 days. We'll also give you an estimate of any charges that apply to your request. We may need to extend our response time by another 30 days if your request is complex or contains information about someone else and we need to consult with them.
When we've decided, we'll send you a letter outlining our reasons and your right to request a review.
If 30 days have passed and we are yet to respond or contact you about an extension, this is deemed a refusal of your request. You can apply to the Australian Information Commissioner seeking a review of the deemed refusal decision (more information below).
If you disagree with our decision
If you disagree with our decision or any charges imposed, you can request a free review. You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed if:
- we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document
- we defer giving you access
- we impose a charge
- we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, outdated or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.
There are two types of reviews available:
- You can request an internal review, which means the decision will be reviewed by another officer within our agency. We'll let you know their decision within 30 days of your request.
- You can request a review by the Australian Information Commissioner (Information Commissioner) on our original or internal review decisions. You have 60 days to request a review by the Information Commissioner or 30 days if you're an affected third party.
Making a complaint
If you're unhappy with how we've handled your request or our Information Publication Scheme, you can lodge a complaint with:
Freedom of Information disclosure log
For full details, see our FOI disclosure log.
If you need more information, please contact our FOI Officer:
- email: FOI@agedcarequality.gov.au
- phone: 1800 500 294 (free call).
More information about the FOI Act is available at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.