Departmental indexed file lists

Senate Order for the production of indexed lists of departmental and agency files

In 1994, the Senate agreed to a motion by Senator Brian Harradine requiring that all Australian Government departments and agencies produce an indexed list of their files every six months for tabling before parliament. The production of the list is intended to make the operations of Government more transparent to the Australian public.

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to give Australians greater access to relevant Government information quickly and easily, the original Senate Order was amended in 1998 and now requires departments to also list these files on their Internet websites.

The lists are tabled twice a year, once in the Spring sittings and once in the Autumn sittings.

  • Spring sittings - files created in the preceding July to December
  • Autumn sitting - files created in the preceding January to June

Requirements of the Senate Order for the Production of Indexed Lists of Departmental and Agency Files

The Department's indexed list of files

In accordance with the Senate Order, the Department's list of files does not include:

  • files transferred to the National Archives of Australia;
  • files related to the internal administration of the Department (staff or personnel, accounts, training, or general administrative matters); and
  • case related files (for example personal representation or dealings with the personal affairs of departmental or agency client).

In addition, the Department's lists do not include files whose titles would disclose the deliberations of Cabinet.

In accordance with the Senate Order, some information in file titles has been deleted, such as:

  • commercially confidential information
  • identifiably personal information
  • any security classified information which is disclosed in, or which could be established from, a file title.

In response to the Senate Order that the list be 'indexed', the files are arranged under the names of the current divisions and branches of the Department, and then by file number.

File lists

If you have any difficulties in accessing the information, or need further help with alternative formats, please contact us.





Departmental files may include approved acronyms and abbreviations for groups or topics currently in use within the Department or for Division, Branch, Section and Unit names.

How to access Departmental records under the FOI Act 1982

Any enquiries regarding access to Departmental records under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 can be made to the FOI Coordinator.