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The Freedom of Information Law has provisions for an external appeal to the Information Commissioner if you are refused access to information after the conduct of an internal review. The Information Commissioner is independent from Government and has powers to ensure that the FOI Law is being adhered to.

Your right of appeal

The Information Commissioner has the power to investigate the way the public authority handled your request and the decision they made. If the Commissioner agrees that a public authority has wrongly withheld information, she can order the agency to disclose it to you.

How to appeal to the Information Commissioner

An appeal to the Information Commissioner must be made within thirty days of the date of notification of the refusal by the public authority to grant access.

A person may appeal on the basis that an authority:

  • Gave no response, or failed to make a decision;
  • Failed to communicate information within timelines;
  • Refused a request on the wrong basis; and/or
  • Failed to comply with an obligation under the law, e.g. transferred a request.

Last Updated: 2008-11-20