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IC review procedure direction

The Australian Information Commissioner can, under section 55(2)(e)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), give a written direction as to the procedure to be followed in relation to Information Commissioner reviews (IC reviews) generally. A direction given under this section is not a legislative instrument.

The ‘Direction as to certain procedures to be followed in IC reviews’, linked below, applies to agencies and ministers during IC reviews and during preliminary inquiries prior to the commencement of an IC review, if such inquiries are undertaken. The Direction sets out the procedures that agencies and ministers must follow in respect of the production of documents, the provision of a statement of reasons where access has been deemed to be refused and the provision of submissions.

The Direction takes effect from 26 February 2018.

The Australian Information Commissioner has also issued guidelines under s 93A of the FOI Act to which agencies and ministers must have regard in performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act (FOI Guidelines). The Direction supplements Part 10 of the FOI Guidelines, which covers the broad principles and procedures for IC reviews.