Freedom of Information Act 1982


Division 3 - Public interest conditional exemptions  

SECTION 47C   Public interest conditional exemptions - deliberative processes  

General rule

A document is conditionally exempt if its disclosure under this Act would disclose matter ( deliberative matter ) in the nature of, or relating to, opinion, advice or recommendation obtained, prepared or recorded, or consultation or deliberation that has taken place, in the course of, or for the purposes of, the deliberative processes involved in the functions of:

(a) an agency; or

(b) a Minister; or

(c) the Government of the Commonwealth.

(d) (Repealed by No 59 of 2015)


Deliberative matter does not include either of the following:

(a) operational information (see section 8A );

(b) purely factual material.


An agency must publish its operational information (see section 8 ).

This section does not apply to any of the following:

(a) reports (including reports concerning the results of studies, surveys or tests) of scientific or technical experts, whether employed within an agency or not, including reports expressing the opinions of such experts on scientific or technical matters;

(b) reports of a body or organisation, prescribed by the regulations, that is established within an agency;

(c) the record of, or a formal statement of the reasons for, a final decision given in the exercise of a power or of an adjudicative function.


Access must generally be given to a conditionally exempt document unless it would be contrary to the public interest (see section 11A ).

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