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Contents (2009 - 52)
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Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
Current version for 1 July 2017 to date (accessed 24 September 2017 at 09:47)
Part 2 Division 1
Division 1 Ways of accessing government information
5   Presumption in favour of disclosure of government information
There is a presumption in favour of the disclosure of government information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
6   Mandatory proactive release of certain government information
(1)  An agency must make the government information that is its open access information publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
Note.
 Part 3 lists the information that is open access information.
(2)  Open access information is to be made publicly available free of charge on a website maintained by the agency (unless to do so would impose unreasonable additional costs on the agency) and can be made publicly available in any other way that the agency considers appropriate.
(3)  At least one of the ways in which an agency makes open access information publicly available must be free of charge. Access provided in any other way can be charged for.
(4)  An agency must facilitate public access to open access information contained in a record by deleting matter from a copy of the record to be made publicly available if inclusion of the matter would otherwise result in there being an overriding public interest against disclosure of the record and it is practicable to delete the matter.
(5)  An agency must keep a record of the open access information (if any) that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure. The record is to indicate only the general nature of the information concerned.
(6)  Nothing in this section or the regulations requires or permits an agency to make open access information available in any way that would constitute an infringement of copyright.
7   Authorised proactive release of government information
(1)  An agency is authorised to make any government information held by the agency publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
(2)  The information that an agency decides to make publicly available is to be made publicly available in any manner that the agency considers appropriate, either free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost to the agency.
(3)  An agency must, at intervals of not more than 12 months, review its program for the release of government information under this section to identify the kinds of government information held by the agency that should in the public interest be made publicly available and that can be made publicly available without imposing unreasonable additional costs on the agency.
(4)  An agency can facilitate public access to government information contained in a record by deleting matter from a copy of the record to be made publicly available if inclusion of the matter would otherwise result in there being an overriding public interest against disclosure of the record.
(5)  The functions of an agency under this section may only be exercised by or with the authority (given either generally or in a particular case) of the principal officer of the agency.
8   Informal release of government information
(1)  An agency is authorised to release government information held by it to a person in response to an informal request by the person (that is, a request that is not an access application) unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
(2)  An agency can release government information in response to an informal request subject to any reasonable conditions that the agency thinks fit to impose.
(3)  An agency cannot be required to disclose government information pursuant to an informal request and cannot be required to consider an informal request for government information.
(4)  An agency can decide by what means information is to be released in response to an informal request.
(5)  An agency can facilitate public access to government information contained in a record by deleting matter from a copy of the record to be released in response to an informal request if inclusion of the matter would otherwise result in there being an overriding public interest against disclosure of the record.
(6)  The functions of an agency under this section may only be exercised by or with the authority (given either generally or in a particular case) of the principal officer of the agency.
9   Access applications
(1)  A person who makes an access application for government information has a legally enforceable right to be provided with access to the information in accordance with Part 4 (Access applications) unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
(2)  An agency is not subject to the direction or control of any Minister in the exercise of the agency’s functions in dealing with a particular access application.
(3)  The function of making a reviewable decision in connection with an access application made to an agency may only be exercised by or with the authority (given either generally or in a particular case) of the principal officer of the agency.
10   Disclosure and access under other laws
(1)  This Act is not intended to prevent or discourage the publication or giving of access to government information as permitted or required by or under any other Act or law that enables a member of the public to obtain access to government information.
(2)  This Act does not affect the operation of any other Act or law that requires government information to be made available to the public or that enables a member of the public to obtain access to government information.
11   Act overrides secrecy provisions in other legislation
This Act overrides a provision of any other Act or statutory rule that prohibits the disclosure of information (whether or not the prohibition is subject to specified qualifications or exceptions), other than a provision of a law listed in Schedule 1 as an overriding secrecy law.
Note.
 For overriding secrecy laws it is conclusively presumed that there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information. Other secrecy laws are to be taken into account as considerations against disclosure in determining whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. See section 14.