Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
54 Consultation on public interest considerations
(1) An agency must take such steps (if any) as are reasonably practicable to consult with a person before providing access to information relating to the person in response to an access application if it appears that:
(a) the information is of a kind that requires consultation under this section, and
(b) the person may reasonably be expected to have concerns about the disclosure of the information, and
(c) those concerns may reasonably be expected to be relevant to the question of whether there is a public interest consideration against disclosure of the information.
(2) Information relating to a person is of a kind that requires consultation under this section if the information:
(a) includes personal information about the person, or
(b) concerns the person’s business, commercial, professional or financial interests, or
(c) concerns research that has been, is being, or is intended to be, carried out by or on behalf of the person, or
(d) concerns the affairs of a government of the Commonwealth or another State (and the person is that government).
Note. The requirement to consult extends to consultation with other agencies and other governments. See the definition of person in Schedule 4.
(2A) If the agency considers that information about a person consulted under this section is likely to be included in the agency’s disclosure log in relation to the access application, the agency must give a written notice to the person containing the following statements:
(a) that information concerning the application will be included in the agency’s disclosure log and that the person can object to this,
(b) that there is a right of review under Part 5 of a decision by the agency to include information in its disclosure log despite the person’s objection.
(3) If consultation is required concerning the release of personal information about a deceased person, that consultation is to be done by consultation with a close relative of the deceased.
(4) The purpose of consultation under this section is to ascertain whether the person has an objection to disclosure of some or all of the information and the reasons for any such objection.
(5) The agency must take any objection to disclosure of information that the agency receives in the course of consultation into account in the course of determining whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of government information.
(6) If consultation establishes that a person objects to the disclosure of information but the agency decides to provide access to the information in response to the application, access is not to be provided until the agency has first given the objector notice of the agency’s decision to provide access to the information and notice of the objector’s right to have that decision reviewed, and is not to be provided while review rights on the decision are pending.
(7) Review rights on a decision are pending while the objector is entitled to apply for a review of the decision under Part 5 (ignoring any period that may be available by way of extension of time to apply for review), or any review duly applied for is pending.