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You can ask an agency or minister’s office for an internal review if you disagree with a decision relating to your freedom of information (FOI) request

In an internal review, both your FOI request and the decision of the agency or minister’s office are reconsidered. An employee of the agency or minister’s office who didn’t handle your FOI request must do the review. Generally, they’re a more senior employee. If the head of the agency or the minister personally handled your FOI request, then your only option is to ask for an Information Commissioner review.

How do you apply?

Contact the agency or minister’s office in writing. Ask them to review their decision about your FOI request. Let them know what you disagree with. For example, the agency or minister’s office has given access to the document you requested to a qualified individual, not directly to you.

You must contact them, in writing, within 30 days of receiving their decision. If you need more time, you may ask the agency or minister’s office to extend the time to apply beyond 30 days.

Is there a charge?

No.

When will a decision be made?

An agency or minister’s office must make a decision within 30 days of receiving your application for an internal review.

Can you ask for an Information Commissioner review instead?

You can ask for an Information Commissioner review without applying for an internal review, but we recommend you ask for an internal review first. An internal review gives the agency or minister’s office the opportunity to reconsider their initial decision. Your needs may also be met more quickly with an internal review — as a 30 day limit for a decision applies.

If you’re not happy about an internal review decision, you can ask us for an Information Commissioner review

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