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Consultation paper — text descriptions

Personal and business information — Third party review rights under the Freedom of Information Act 1982

Third party review rights flowcharts — text descriptions

Text descriptions on this page describe the flowcharts included as images in the above consultation paper.

Flowchart 1: Primary agency decision to grant access

Was the third party invited to make a submission under ss 27 or 27A prior to the agency's access grant decision?

If no:

  • the agency is not required to notify the third party of its access grant decision. The third party cannot apply for internal or IC review of the agency's decision. The FOI applicant should be given access as soon as reasonably practicable following the agency's decision.

If yes:

  • did the third party make a submission opposing release?
    • If no, the agency is not required to notify the third party of its access grant decision. The third party cannot apply for internal or IC review of the agency's decision. The FOI applicant should be given access as soon as reasonably practicable following the agency's decision
    • If yes, the agency must notify its access grant decision to the third party, who can then apply for internal or IC review. The FOI applicant cannot be given access until the third party's opportunity to apply for internal and IC review has run out.

Back to flowchart 1 in consultation paper

Flowchart 2: Primary agency decision to refuse access

Was the third party invited to make a submission under ss 27 or 27A prior to the agency's access refusal decision?

If no:

  • the agency is not required to notify the third party of its access refusal decision. The third party cannot apply for internal or IC review of the agency's decision.

If yes:

  • did the third party make a submission opposing release?
    • If yes, the agency is not required to notify its access refusal decision to the third party, but it is good practice to do so as the third party must later be notified if the access refusal decision is either changed on internal review to an access grant decision or is the subject of an application for IC review
    • If no, the agency is not required to notify the third party of its access refusal decision. The third party cannot apply for internal or IC review of the agency's decision.

Back to flowchart 2 in consultation paper

Flowchart 4: Application by FOI applicant for internal review of an access refusal decision

Was the third party invited to make a submission under ss 27 or 27A prior to the agency's primary decision to refuse access?

If no:

  • the agency must consider whether to consult the third party under ss 27 or 27A. The time for making the internal review decision cannot be extended to facilitate consultation
  • if the access refusal decision is affirmed, the agency is not required to notify its decision to the third party
  • if the access refusal decision is changed to an access grant decision, a third party who was invited to make a submission and did so must be notified of the decision and their right to seek IC review. The FOI applicant cannot be given access until the third party's opportunity to apply for IC review has run out.

If yes:

  • the agency is not required to notify the third party of the internal review application, or provide an opportunity to make a further submission
  • if the access refusal decision is affirmed, the agency is not required to notify its decision to the third party
  • if the access refusal decision is changed to an access grant decision, the third party must be notified and can apply for IC review of the agency's decision. The FOI applicant cannot be given access until the third party's opportunity to apply for IC review has run out.

Back to flowchart 4 in consultation paper

Flowchart 6: Application by FOI applicant for IC review of an access refusal decision

Was the third party invited to make a submission under ss 27 or 27A, at either the primary or internal review stage?

If no:

  • the OAIC must consider whether to consult the third party under ss 27 or 27A
  • neither the agency nor the OAIC is required to notify the third party of the IC review application. However, the third party can apply to be made a party to the IC review as a person whose interests are affected by the IC review.

If yes:

  • the agency must take all reasonable steps to notify the third party of the IC review application, whether or not they made a submission opposing release. Upon receiving a notice the third party can apply to the OAIC to be made a party to the IC review.

Back to flowchart 6 in consultation paper