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AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION ACT 2002 - SECT 19A

Examiner may request information from agencies

             (1)  Subject to section 20A, an examiner may, by writing served on the principal officer of an agency, or on a person who is, or has been, a member, officer or employee of an agency, request that principal officer, or that person, as the case may be, to furnish to the examiner, by writing signed by that principal officer, or by that person, information specified in the request, being information that:

                     (a)  was acquired by the first-mentioned agency in the ordinary course of performing its functions, or was acquired by that person in that person's capacity as a member, officer or employee of the second-mentioned agency, as the case may be; and

                     (b)  is relevant to a special ACC operation/investigation.

             (2)  Subject to section 20A, an examiner may, by writing served on the principal officer of an agency, request that principal officer to send to the examiner a document or thing specified in the request, being a document or thing that relates to the performance by the agency of its functions and is relevant to a special ACC operation/investigation.

             (3)  Where:

                     (a)  a relevant request in relation to an agency has been served on a prescribed officer of the agency; and

                     (b)  the prescribed officer considers it appropriate, having regard to the relevant matters in relation to the request, to comply with the request;

the prescribed officer may comply with the request.

             (4)  Where:

                     (a)  a relevant request in relation to an agency has been served on a person who is, or has been, a member, officer or employee of the agency but who is not a prescribed officer of the agency; and

                     (b)  a prescribed officer of the agency considers it appropriate, having regard to the relevant matters in relation to the request, for the person to comply with the request;

the prescribed officer may direct the person in writing to comply with the request and, if the prescribed officer does so, the person shall not refuse or fail to comply with the request.

             (5)  Subsections (3) and (4) have effect subject to:

                     (a)  subsection (6); and

                     (b)  a taxation secrecy provision; and

                     (c)  a secrecy provision specified in an arrangement under section 20A; and

                     (d)  sections 63 and 133 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and clause 152 of Schedule 1 to that Act;

but have effect despite any other secrecy provision.

Note:          If the information is protected information (within the meaning of section 355- 30 in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 ), the officer or person may decline to disclose that information unless an exception in Division 355 in that Schedule covers the disclosure.

             (6)  Where:

                     (a)  a relevant request in relation to the Security Appeals Tribunal has been served on a person who is, or has been, a member, officer or employee of that tribunal; and

                     (b)  if subsections (3) and (4) of this section had not been enacted, section 81 of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 would prohibit the person from furnishing or sending to the examiner, in compliance with the request, particular information, or a particular document or thing, that originated with, or was directly or indirectly received by that tribunal or by such a member, officer or employee from, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

subsection (3) or (4), as the case requires, of this section does not entitle or require the person so to furnish the information or send the document or thing.

          (7A)  An action, suit or proceeding does not lie against:

                     (a)  a prescribed officer of an agency; or

                     (b)  a person who is, or has been, a member, officer or employee of an agency;

in relation to any action taken by such an officer or person in compliance, in accordance with this section, with a request under this section.

             (8)  In this section:

"agency" means a Commonwealth agency or a State agency.

"Commonwealth agency" means an agency within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and includes an exempt agency.

"exempt agency" means a body specified, or the person holding an office specified, in Part I of Schedule 2 to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (other than such a body that is specified in Schedule 2 to this Act) and includes the Inter-State Commission.

"officer" , in relation to an agency, includes the principal officer, and a prescribed officer, of the agency.

"prescribed agency" means an agency prescribed for the purposes of this definition and includes the Fair Work Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Inter-State Commission.

"prescribed officer" , in relation to an agency, means:

                     (a)  except in a case where paragraph (b), (c), (d) or (e) applies--the principal officer of the agency;

                     (b)  in the case of a court--the holder of a judicial office pertaining to the court, being an office established by the legislation establishing the court;

                     (c)  in the case of a tribunal (other than the Security Appeals Tribunal) or prescribed agency that consists of one person--that person;

                     (d)  in the case of a tribunal (other than the Security Appeals Tribunal) or prescribed agency that consists of 2 or more persons--any of those persons; or

                     (e)  in the case of the Security Appeals Tribunal--the President of that tribunal.

"principal officer" means:

                     (a)  in relation to a Commonwealth agency other than an exempt agency--the person who is the principal officer of the agency for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 ; or

                     (b)  in relation to an exempt agency:

                              (i)  in a case where the regulations declare an office to be the principal office in respect of the agency--the person holding that office; or

                             (ii)  in any other case--the person who constitutes the agency or, if the agency is constituted by 2 or more persons, the person who is entitled to preside at any meeting of the agency at which the last-mentioned person is present; or

                     (c)  in relation to a State agency--the person holding office or acting as head (however described) of the agency.

"relevant matters" , in relation to a relevant request in relation to an agency, means the following matters:

                     (a)  the nature of the information, document or thing to which the request relates;

                     (b)  the functions of the agency;

                     (c)  the nature of the special ACC operation/investigation to which the information, document or thing, as the case may be, is relevant;

                     (d)  the public interest.

"relevant request" , in relation to an agency, means a request under this section, being:

                     (a)  a request to the principal officer of the agency to furnish particular information that was acquired by the agency in the ordinary course of performing its functions;

                     (b)  a request to a person who is, or has been, a member, officer or employee of the agency to furnish particular information that was acquired by the person in the person's capacity as such a member, officer or employee; or

                     (c)  a request to the principal officer of the agency to send to the examiner a document or thing that relates to the performance by the agency of its functions.

"State agency" means the following agencies:

                     (a)  a Department of a State;

                     (b)  an instrumentality of a State, including a body corporate established for a public purpose by or under a law of a State;

                     (c)  a company in which a controlling interest is held by any one of the following persons, or by 2 or more of the following persons together:

                              (i)  the Crown in right of a State;

                             (ii)  a person or body covered by paragraph (b);

                            (iii)  a person or body covered by either of the above subparagraphs.

Penalty:  10 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months.



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