Freedom of Information Act 1982


SECTION 20   Forms of access  

Access to a document may be given to a person in one or more of the following forms:

(a) a reasonable opportunity to inspect the document;

(b) provision by the agency or Minister of a copy of the document;

(c) in the case of a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being reproduced, the making of arrangements for the person to hear or view those sounds or visual images;

(d) in the case of a document by which words are recorded in a manner in which they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound or in which words are contained in the form of shorthand writing or in codified form, provision by the agency or Minister of a written transcript of the words recorded or contained in the document.

Subject to subsection (3) and to section 22 , where the applicant has requested access in a particular form, access shall be given in that form.

If the giving of access in the form requested by the applicant:

(a) would interfere unreasonably with the operations of the agency, or the performance by the Minister of his or her functions, as the case may be;

(b) would be detrimental to the preservation of the document or, having regard to the physical nature of the document, would not be appropriate; or

(c) would, but for this Act, involve an infringement of copyright (other than copyright owned by the Commonwealth, an agency or a State) subsisting in matter contained in the document, being matter that does not relate to the affairs of an agency or of a Department of State;

access in that form may be refused and access given in another form.

Subject to subsection 17(1) , where a person requests access to a document in a particular form and, for a reason specified in subsection (3), access in that form is refused but access is given in another form, the applicant shall not be required to pay a charge in respect of the provision of access to the document that is greater than the charge that he or she would have been required to pay if access had been given in the form requested.


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