FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982

PART III - ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS  

SECTION 27A   Consultation - documents affecting personal privacy  

Scope

27A(1)  
This section applies if:


(a) a request is made to an agency or Minister for access to a document containing personal information about a person (including a person who has died); and


(b) it appears to the agency or Minister that the person or the person's legal personal representative (the person concerned ) might reasonably wish to make a contention (the exemption contention ) that:


(i) the document is conditionally exempt under section 47F ; and

(ii) access to the document would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest for the purposes of subsection 11A(5) .
Note:

Access must generally be given to a conditionally exempt document unless it would be contrary to the public interest (see section 11A ).

27A(2)  
In determining, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), whether the person concerned might reasonably wish to make an exemption contention because of personal information in a document, the agency or Minister must have regard to the following matters:


(a) the extent to which the information is well known;


(b) whether the person to whom the information relates is known to be (or to have been) associated with the matters dealt with in the information;


(c) the availability of the information from publicly accessible sources;


(d) any other matters that the agency or Minister considers relevant. Opportunity to make submissions

27A(3)  
The agency or Minister must not decide to give the applicant access to the document unless:


(a) the person concerned is given a reasonable opportunity to make submissions in support of the exemption contention; and


(b) the agency or the Minister has regard to any submissions so made.

27A(4)  
However, subsection (3) only applies if it is reasonably practicable for the agency or Minister to give the person concerned a reasonable opportunity to make submissions in support of the exemption contention, having regard to all the circumstances (including the application of subsections 15(5) and (6) (time limits for processing requests)). Decision to give access

27A(5)  
If the agency or Minister decides to give access to the document, the agency or Minister must give written notice of the decision to both of the following:


(a) the person concerned;


(b) the applicant. Access not to be given until review or appeal opportunities have run out

27A(6)  
However, the agency or Minister must not give the applicant access to the document unless, after all the opportunities of the person concerned for review or appeal in relation to the decision to give access to the document have run out, the decision to give access still stands, or is confirmed.

Note 1:

The decision to give access to the document is subject to internal review (see Part VI ), review by the Information Commissioner (see Part VII ) and review by the Tribunal (see Part VIIA ).

Note 2:

For when all opportunities for review or appeal in relation to the decision to give access to the document have run out , see subsection 4(1) .

Notice and stay of decision not to apply unless submission made in support of exemption contention

27A(7)  
Subsections (5) and (6) do not apply unless the person concerned makes a submission in support of the exemption contention as allowed under paragraph (3)(a). Edited copies and personal information

27A(8)  
This section applies:


(a) in relation to an edited copy of a document - in the same way as it applies to the document; and


(b) in relation to a document containing personal information - to the extent to which the document contains such information.


 

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