Requests from the general public not covered under the guidelines above should be handled as formal requests under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982. Members of the public who contact the APO, overseas missions, or APIS or a Passport Office about how to make an FOI request should be referred to the DFAT website www.dfat.gov.au/historical/foi.html which has a link that provides advice on how to make FOI applications to the Department. The website notes that FOI inquiries can be made to the FOI Section email address FOI@dfat.gov.au.
Examples that need to be handled as formal FOI requests would include:
- Requests from a parent or any other person for passport-related information concerning children where that person did not provide consent on the original application form, or does not have parental responsibility for that child.
- Requests from a person who is not the passport applicant.
- Requests from a person whose passport has been cancelled, or where the Minister has refused to issue a passport.
- Requests concerning an application or record that has a fraud alert or where there are any suspicions concerning the inquirer’s identity or that the information may be used for fraudulent or illegal purposes.
- Requests that would disclose third person information that would not normally be known to the inquirer.