Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
60 Decision to refuse to deal with application
(1) An agency may refuse to deal with an access application (in whole or in part) for any of the following reasons (and for no other reason):
(a) dealing with the application would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of the agency’s resources,
(b) the agency has already decided a previous application for the information concerned (or information that is substantially the same as that information) made by the applicant and there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the agency would make a different decision on the application,
(b1) the applicant has previously been provided with access to the information concerned under this Act or the Freedom of Information Act 1989,
(c) the applicant has failed to pay an advance deposit that is payable in connection with the application,
Note. See section 70.
(d) the information is or has been the subject of a subpoena or other order of a court for the production of documents and is available to the applicant as a result of having been produced in compliance with the subpoena or other order.
(2) In deciding whether dealing with an application would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of an agency’s resources, the agency is not required to have regard to any extension by agreement between the applicant and the agency of the period within which the application is required to be decided.
(3) In deciding whether dealing with an application would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of an agency’s resources, the agency is entitled to consider 2 or more applications (including any previous application) as the one application if the agency determines that the applications are related and are made by the same applicant or by persons who are acting in concert in connection with those applications.
(4) Before refusing to deal with an access application because dealing with it would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of an agency’s resources, the agency must give the applicant a reasonable opportunity to amend the application. The period within which the application is required to be decided stops running while the applicant is being given an opportunity to amend the application.
(5) Notice of an agency’s decision to refuse to deal with an access application must state the agency’s reasons for the refusal.
(6) An applicant is not entitled to a refund of the application fee when the agency refuses to deal with the application.