Freedom of Information Act 1982


SECTION 24AA   When does a practical refusal reason exist?  

For the purposes of section 24 , a practical refusal reason exists in relation to a request for a document if either (or both) of the following applies:

(a) the work involved in processing the request:

(i) in the case of an agency - would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations; or

(ii) in the case of a Minister - would substantially and unreasonably interfere with the performance of the Minister ' s functions;

(b) the request does not satisfy the requirement in paragraph 15(2)(b) (identification of documents).

Subject to subsection (3), but without limiting the matters to which the agency or Minister may have regard, in deciding whether a practical refusal reason exists, the agency or Minister must have regard to the resources that would have to be used for the following:

(a) identifying, locating or collating the documents within the filing system of the agency, or the office of the Minister;

(b) deciding whether to grant, refuse or defer access to a document to which the request relates, or to grant access to an edited copy of such a document, including resources that would have to be used for:

(i) examining the document; or

(ii) consulting with any person or body in relation to the request;

(c) making a copy, or an edited copy, of the document;

(d) notifying any interim or final decision on the request.

In deciding whether a practical refusal reason exists, an agency or Minister must not have regard to:

(a) any reasons that the applicant gives for requesting access; or

(b) the agency's or Minister's belief as to what the applicant's reasons are for requesting access; or

(c) any maximum amount, specified in the regulations, payable as a charge for processing a request of that kind.

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