The AAT is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). All personal information we collect is handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.

We have a Privacy Policy which explains our information handling practices:

A summary is set out below.

How we handle personal information


We collect personal information only when it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, our functions or activities. These functions and activities include:

  • dealing with applications under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act) and the Migration Act 1958 and, in particular, applications for review of administrative decisions
  • arranging and managing examinations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Proceeds of Crime Act)
  • managing enquiries, complaints and freedom of information and privacy requests
  • informing interested persons about AAT decisions and other developments at the AAT through our AAT alerts email service
  • managing the personnel of the AAT
  • facilitating the general administration of the AAT, including undertaking consultation processes and liaison in relation to the AAT's practices, procedures and operations.

We collect personal information directly from the individual to whom it relates or from his or her representative. However, we also collect information from other persons where this is required or authorised under the AAT Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act, or it is otherwise unreasonable or impracticable to collect it only from the individual concerned.

Use and disclosure

We use and disclose personal information for the purpose for which it was collected and will only use or disclose information for another purpose where this is permitted under the Privacy Act. In general, we do not use or disclose personal information for another purpose unless one of the following applies:

  • the individual has consented
  • the individual would reasonably expect the AAT to use or disclose the information for that other purpose and it is either related or, in the case of sensitive information, directly related to the purpose for which it was collected
  • it is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order
  • it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to somebody's life, health or safety, or to public safety, or
  • it is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty or sanction, or for the protection of public revenue.

Our Privacy Policy sets out who, other than the individual concerned, can usually access personal information that we hold.

It is not our usual practice to disclose personal information to overseas recipients.

Data quality

We take steps to ensure that the personal information we collect is accurate, up-to-date and complete. These steps include maintaining and updating personal information when individuals advise us that their personal information has changed.

Data security

We take steps to protect the personal information we hold against misuse, interference and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. These steps include restricting physical access to AAT offices, password protection for accessing our electronic systems, secure storage for information held offsite and, where required, secure storage for information held on site, including restricting access to classified material to specific AAT personnel who have the required level of clearance.

When no longer required, personal information is destroyed in a secure manner, or deleted in accordance with the requirements of the Archives Act 1983.

Access and correction

If you are a party to an application under the AAT Act or that individual's representative, you are permitted to access any documents or other material on the AAT file relating to in some your cases, subject to any confidentiality or other restrictions. You may otherwise request access to the personal information we hold about you, or request that we change that personal information, under the Privacy Act or the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

We will allow access or make changes to the personal information we hold unless we consider that there is a sound reason not to under the Privacy Act, FOI Act or other relevant law. If we do not agree to make requested changes, you may make a statement about the requested changes and, in most cases, we will attach this to the record. We note that it is not generally possible to make changes to AAT decisions once they have been finalised.

For information about how to access personal information in relation to your AAT case, see our Access to information and documents in AAT cases page. Contact details for accessing other types of personal information we hold are set out in the relevant section of our Privacy Policy.

For information about making a request under the FOI Act, see our Freedom of information page.

Making a complaint

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your personal information, or if you are concerned we have breached our obligations under the Privacy Act, you must first write to us and lodge a complaint. Written complaints can be sent to our Principal Registry or emailed to We will respond to you within 30 days.

If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Australian Information Commissioner. More information is available on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's website.

How to contact us

Contact our Principal Registry, Sydney by phone, email, post or fax if you want more information about how we handle personal information.