Victorian Current Acts

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Power to require a further search for documents

    (1)     This section applies if the Information Commissioner reasonably believes that an agency or Minister has failed to undertake an adequate search for documents that relate to a decision that is the subject of a review under this Division.

    (2)     During the review, the Information Commissioner may give a notice to an agency or Minister to require the agency or Minister

        (a)     in the case of a decision of an agency under section 25A(1) or 25A(5), to process or identify a reasonable sample of the documents to which the request relates; or

        (b)     in any other case, to further search or to cause a further search to be undertaken for documents in the possession, custody or control of the agency or Minister.

    (3)     The agency or Minister must comply with a requirement of the Information Commissioner under subsection (2) within the reasonable period stated in the notice, being not less than 10 business days.

    (4)     The Information Commissioner, on request of the agency or Minister, may extend the time for complying with a notice under subsection (2).

    (5)     The Information Commissioner may specify any reasonable means or method for undertaking a further search under subsection (2)(b).


The Information Commissioner may specify that the agency is required to undertake a search of the agency's email system by searching specified keywords.

    (6)     The required period for completing the review under section 49J is suspended from the time the Information Commissioner gives a notice under subsection (2).

    (7)     The agency or Minister must notify the Information Commissioner within 3 business days after the end of the period referred to in subsection (2) or (3) of the following information—

        (a)     in the case of a notice under subsection (2)(a)—

              (i)     that the agency or Minister has processed or identified a reasonable sample of the documents; and

              (ii)     the nature of the documents processed or identified; and

              (iii)     whether the decision to refuse to grant access under section 25A(1) or 25A(5) is likely to be upheld;

        (b)     in the case of a notice under subsection (2)(b), that the agency or Minister has completed the further search and whether or not any further documents have been located.

    (8)     After receiving a notification under subsection (7), the Information Commissioner may decide to refer the matter back to the agency or Minister in accordance with section 49L.

S. 49KB inserted by No. 20/2017 s. 33.

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