Should an agency consult anyone else before releasing a document?
Yes, in certain circumstances. Consultation may be required for certain types of documents: where documents affect Commonwealth-State relations (s 26A) or Norfolk Island intergovernmental relations (s 26AA), are business documents (s 27) or are documents affecting another person’s privacy (s 27A).
Even when there is no specific requirement to consult, the FOI Act does not preclude consultation between agencies. If it appears another agency has an interest in a document, consult that agency to make sure you have as much information as possible to enable you to make the correct or preferable decision. The processing time is not extended for this consultation. See Part 3 of the Guidelines.