Accessing DFS Information

How can I access DFS information?

The Department publishes a large volume of material on this website.

How can I access information held by DFS?

1. Search on this website:

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, certain information is required by law to be available on our website, free of charge.  This is called "open access information" and includes our:

You should check the open access information at the links above to see if the information you are looking for is already available. In addition to the “open access information” which the Department is required by law to make available, the Department also proactively releases a large volume of other information. Our publication guide will give you some guidance about the other kinds of information the Department holds and releases publicly.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for on this website, you can ask us whether the information has already been released by the Department proactively in some other form (eg., in printed form).

You can contact us to ask if the information you are after has been released by the Department either on this website or in another form. Some publications may only be available on the payment of a fee, but we will let you know if that is the case.

2. Make an informal request:

If the information you are after has not already been published by the Department, but is information which raises no particular concerns in terms of possible public interest reasons why it should be kept confidential, then the Department may be able to release it to you on request without the formalities of having to make a formal application.

If you think this applies to the information you are after you can contact us to make an informal request.

Generally, we try to release information we hold without the need for you to make a formal access application, unless there are good reasons to require one.

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, however, Government agencies are not required to release information without an access application. The Department reserves the right to require you to lodge an access application, particularly if there may be significant public interest considerations that need to be taken into account in deciding whether the information can be released or if you request a large volume of information or if it would otherwise take the Department a significant amount of time to consider your request.

3. Make a formal access application:

If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by the Department on request, then you have a right to formally apply for access to specific information.You can make a formal application by downloading and completing the government information access form (PDF, 133kb). Applications are accepted by the Department’s Right to Information Officers:

Department of Finance and Services
(Excluding Fair Trading, Industrial relations etc)

Level 22 McKell Building
2-24 Rawson Place
Tel: (02) 9372 8720
Fax: (02) 9372 8733

NSW Fair Trading
PO Box 972
Tel: (02) 9619 8672 and 9777 8804
Fax: (02) 9338 8970

Land and Property Information
1 Prince Albert Road, Sydney NSW 2000 or
GPO Box 15, Sydney NSW 2001
Tel: 1300 052 637 - Free call Australia wide
Tel: 61 2 9228 6666 – International

Office of State Revenue
GPO Box 4042 SYDNEY NSW 2001
Tel: (02) 6354 7130

The Act says that we are only able to accept access applications that:

  1. Are in writing and sent to us at the address above;
  2. Clearly state you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW);
  3. Enclose the $30 application fee;
  4. Have a return postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence; and
  5. Include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.If your application does not include these five things, it will be invalid and will not be processed. If that happens, however, we will let you know and we will help you, if possible, by explaining how you can make a valid application.

Otherwise we will write to acknowledge receipt of a valid access application within 5 working days, and will deal with your application within 20 working days (subject to any extension allowed for under the Act). If any extension of time is required to deal with your application, we will let you know in writing.

Application fees and processing charges

The application fee for making an access application is $30. Processing charges can also be imposed at the rate of $30 per hour. In some circumstances an advance deposit can be required. We will let you know in writing if that applies to your application. Certain discounts may apply, including on financial hardship and public interest grounds – for more details see the Information Commissioner Fact Sheets.

Access application form

Although there is no legal requirement for you to use any particular form to make an access application (beyond satisfying the five requirements set out above), we have created a government information access form (PDF, 133kb) that you may wish to use for convenience.

Review Rights

The right to information regime allows applicants extensive rights of review, either as an internal review by the agency, or a review by the Information and Privacy Commission and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. An application for internal review is $40, and must be made with 20 working days of a decision being notified to an applicant. Applications for review to the Information and Privacy Commission and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal must be made within 40 working days of a decision being made.