Make an access application

You apply to the public sector organisation that you think holds the information. For example, the following are organisations: NT Police, the Department of the Chief Minister, the Department of Justice, the Optometrists Board.

Before you make an application, you will probably find it useful to contact the organisation to talk about whether an application is necessary and the best way to apply for the information.

If the organisation you apply to has no information or there is an organisation better placed to deal with the application, the organisation you applied to can:

  • transfer your application to the other organisation; or
  • tell you which other organisation holds information you may want to apply for.
  • If your application is transferred, the organisation will let you know.

Make an access application

  • You can make an application as long as it:

    • is in writing;
    • includes your name and an address for correspondence;
    • gives enough detail to identify the information you want;
    • includes sufficient proof of your identity; and
    • includes the application fee (if necessary).
  • You don't have to fill in a form to make an application as long as you satisfy the requirements above, however to make the process easier, some organisations have their own forms for making an application. 

    As long as you have given contact details, the organisation will contact you if something further is needed.

  • Government organisations have a lot of information, so the more specific you can be about the information you want the better.

    It helps to give the organisation as much information as you can so that it can find the information you want more quickly. Useful information can include:

    • the date (or approximate date) the information was created
    • the reason the organisation has the information (eg. someone made a complaint, you visited a hospital, you applied for a job, the government was negotiating a contract, etc.)
    • the person/section in the organisation you believe handles the information
    • the quantity and kind of information you want
    • if the information is correspondence, the parties to that correspondence
    • anything else you might think would help to search for the information.

    Just saying, "I want my file" or "I want everything about me" can make searching difficult. To make things easier you could say something like:

    I was in a traffic accident in early June 1998. It was on the Stuart Highway, 90 kilometres south of Katherine. It happened at about 9 at night. Police attended. One of them was Sergeant Rogers or Kroger or something like that. The police interviewed me and my wife and the driver of the other car. His name was O'Sullivan. We drove a white Toyota Corolla, licence plate number *** ***. He had a green Ford. The Ambulance also came. I want all police reports about the accident.

    Contacting the organisation before you make an application can give you a guide about how to ask for the information you want.

  • The organisation has to satisfy itself about your identity. The organisation may say what it requires on its website or on its application form. You can also contact the organisation to find out what proof of identity it is likely to require in your case.

    For more information, visit Public Sector Organisations.

  • You don't have to pay an application fee if your application is limited to your own personal information. You will have to pay a $30 application fee if some or all of the information you apply for is not your personal information.

    For more information, visit FOI Fees and Charges