If you have lodged a formal application to access Council documents and you disagree with a decision about the release of information, you have a right to have that decision reviewed.
For example a reviewable decision includes a decision:
- that an application is not a valid access application
- to refuse to deal with an access application (including such a decision that is deemed to have been made)
- to provide access or to refuse to provide access to information
- that government information is not held by Council
- that information applied for is already available to the applicant
- to refuse to confirm or deny that information is held by Council
- to impose a processing charge or to require an advance deposit
A complete list of reviewable decisions is set out in Section 80 of the GIPA Act and are also shown on page two of the Internal Review Application. You can download the Internal review application form
(PDF 28 kb).
You generally have three options in having a decision reviewed:
1. Internal review
You have 20 working days after the notice of a decision has been posted to you to ask for an internal review. The review must be carried out by a more senior officer than the person who made the original decision. The review decision must be made as if it was a fresh application. If the Council’s General Manager made the original decision, you cannot ask for an internal review, but you can ask for an external review (see below).
There is a $40.00 fee for an internal review application except if the decision is ‘deemed refusal’ and this could occur if your application was not processed within the required time. In this case, you cannot be charged any review fee. Your application will be acknowledged within five working days of receiving it. Council must decide the internal review within 15 working days (this can be extended by 10 days if third party consultation is involved or, or by agreement with you).
2. External review by the Information Commissioner
If you disagree with any of the decisions listed above, you can ask for a review by the Information Commissioner. If you are the person applying for access to information, you do not have to have an internal review of the decision before asking the Information Commissioner to review it. If you are not the access applicant, you must seek an internal review before applying for review by the Information Commissioner. You have eight weeks from being notified of the decision to ask for a review by the Information Commissioner. On reviewing the decision, the Information Commissioner can make recommendations about the decision to the agency. Note: You cannot ask the Information Commissioner to review a decision that has already been reviewed by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
3. External review by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal
If you disagree with any of the decisions listed above, you can ask for a review by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT). You do not have to have the decision reviewed internally, or by the Information Commissioner before applying for review by the ADT. You have up to eight weeks from being notified of the decision to apply to the ADT for review. However, if you have applied for review by the Information Commissioner, you have four weeks from being notified of the Information Commission’s review outcome to apply to the ADT.