Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
Current version for 4 July 2014 to date (accessed 22 November 2014 at 05:53)
Part 4Division 6

Division 6 How access is provided

72   Forms of access

(1)  Access to government information in response to an access application may be provided in any of the following ways:
(a)  by providing a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information,
(b)  by providing a copy of a record containing the information,
(c)  by providing access to a record containing the information, together with such facilities as may be necessary to enable the information to be read, viewed or listened to (as appropriate to the kind of record concerned),
(d)  by providing a written transcript of the information in the case of information recorded in an audio record or recorded in shorthand or other encoded format.
(2)  The agency must provide access in the way requested by the applicant unless:
(a)  to do so would interfere unreasonably with the operations of the agency or would result in the agency incurring unreasonable additional costs, or
(b)  to do so would be detrimental to the proper preservation of the record, or
(c)  to do so would involve an infringement of copyright, or
(d)  there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information in the way requested by the applicant.
Note. Decisions about how to provide access are reviewable under Part 5.

73   Access to be unconditional

(1)  An agency is not entitled to impose any conditions on the use or disclosure of information when the agency provides access to the information in response to an access application.
(2)  A condition may be imposed as to how a right of access may be exercised (such as a condition that prevents an applicant making notes from or taking a copy of a record that is made available for inspection) but only to avoid there being an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
(3)  A condition may be imposed that access to medical or psychiatric information will only be provided to a medical practitioner nominated by the applicant and not to the applicant personally.
Note. Access can also be made conditional on the payment of processing charges (s 64) and on the provision of evidence of identity or other personal factors relevant to the agency’s decision to provide access (s 55).

74   Deletion of information from copy of record to be accessed

An agency can delete information from a copy of a record to which access is to be provided in response to an access application (so as to provide access only to the other information that the record contains) either because the deleted information is not relevant to the information applied for or because (if the deleted information was applied for) the agency has decided to refuse to provide access to that information.

75   Providing access by creating new record

(1)  An agency is not prevented from providing access in response to an access application to government information held by the agency by making and providing access to a new record of that information.
(2)  An agency’s obligation to provide access to government information in response to an access application does not require the agency to do any of the following:
(a)  make a new record of information held by the agency,
(b)  update or verify information held by the agency,
(c)  create new information, or produce a new record of information, by deduction, inference or calculation from information held by the agency or by any other use or application of information held by the agency.

76   Providing access to information not applied for

An agency is authorised to provide access to government information in response to an access application that is in addition to the information applied for, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

77   Period within which access rights must be exercised

(1)  When an agency decides to provide access to government information the applicant has a period of 6 months (the access period) to access the information.
(2)  The access period starts from when notice of the decision to grant access is given to the applicant (even if access is conditional on payment of any processing charge). If the agency has decided to defer providing access, the access period starts from the end of the deferral.
(3)  The agency may extend and further extend the access period in a particular case by notice to the applicant.
(4)  An access applicant’s entitlement to access lapses at the end of the access period.

78   Deferral of access

(1)  An agency that has decided to provide access to government information in response to an access application may defer providing that access if:
(a)  the information is contained in a record (or a draft of or extract from a record) that, by or under this Act or some other legislative instrument, is required to be published but is yet to be published, or
(b)  the information is contained in a record (or a draft of or extract from a record) that has been prepared for presentation to Parliament, or that has been designated by the responsible Minister for the agency as appropriate for presentation to Parliament, but is yet to be presented, or
(c)  the information is contained in a record (or a draft of or extract from a record) that has been prepared for submission to a particular person or body, or that has been designated by the responsible Minister for the agency as appropriate for submission to a particular person or body, but is yet to be submitted.
Note. A decision to defer access is reviewable under Part 5.
(2)  Access may be deferred only until the record has been so published, presented or submitted.
(3)  If access is to be deferred, the notice of decision of the access application given to the applicant must state that access is to be deferred and state the date on which access will be provided or (if that date is not known) describe the event following which access will be provided and the expected date of that event.
(4)  If access to information is deferred for more than 12 months, the applicant is entitled to make a further access application for the information. No application fee or processing charge is payable in respect of the further application and access pursuant to the further application cannot be deferred under this section.

79   Provision of information subject to subpoena

(1)  An agency need not comply with a requirement of a subpoena or other order of a court for the production of a document that the person who requested the issue of the subpoena or applied for the order has been given access to by the agency in response to an access application made by the person.
(2)  This section does not apply if the court that issued the subpoena or order specifically orders to the contrary.
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