Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 - SECT 21

Deferment of access

             (1)  An agency which, or a Minister who, receives a request may defer the provision of access to the document concerned:

                     (a)  if the publication of the document concerned is required by law--until the expiration of the period within which the document is required to be published; or

                     (b)  if the document concerned has been prepared for presentation to Parliament or for the purpose of being made available to a particular person or body or with the intention that it should be so made available--until the expiration of a reasonable period after its preparation for it to be so presented or made available; or

                     (c)  if the premature release of the document concerned would be contrary to the public interest--until the occurrence of any event after which or the expiration of any period of time beyond which the release of the document would not be contrary to the public interest; or

                     (d)  if a Minister considers that the document concerned is of such general public interest that the Parliament should be informed of the contents of the document before the document is otherwise made public--until the expiration of 5 sitting days of either House of the Parliament.

             (2)  Where the provision of access to a document is deferred in accordance with subsection (1), the agency or Minister shall, in informing the applicant of the reasons for the decision, indicate, as far as practicable, the period for which the deferment will operate.



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