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The application process

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (the Act) provides a statutory timeframe of 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of an application in which to process the request and provide a response (determination). In some cases it may be necessary to extend the time limit for processing your application. The agency will notify you if this is the case.

The exception to the timeframe is where an extension is granted by the Principal Officer, FOI (DEW Chief Executive) under Section 14A of the FOI Act or if the FOI Officer negotiates an extension with the applicant.

Upon receipt of a valid application the agency will advise the applicant in writing that the application has been received and begin the process to conduct a thorough search for relevant documents. If the application appears to be excessive the FOI officers may contact the applicant to allow them the option to narrow the scope of the request to reduce the costs.

Once all documents have been identified they will be catalogued and processed in accordance with the Act.

Should the agency require an advance deposit, as per section 17(6) of the Act, the processing of your application will be suspended until payment of the advance deposit has been received. Once payment has been received a final determination will be provided to the applicant.

The Agency will, in the first instance, provide the determination electronically.