(1) Subject to this
Division, the agency has to deal with the access application as soon as is
practicable (and, in any event, before the end of the permitted period)
considering the application and deciding —
whether to give or refuse access to the requested
any charge payable for dealing with the application;
giving the applicant written notice of the decision in the form required by
(2) If the applicant
does not receive notice under subsection (1)(b) within the permitted
period the agency is taken to have refused, at the end of that period, to give
access to the documents and the applicant is taken to have received written
notice of that refusal on the day on which that period ended.
(3) For the purposes
of this section the permitted period is 45 days after the access
application is received or such other period as is agreed between the agency
and the applicant or allowed by the Commissioner under subsection (4) or
(4) On the application
of the applicant, the Commissioner may reduce the time allowed to the agency
to comply with subsection (1).
(5) On the application
of the agency, the Commissioner, on being satisfied that the agency has
attempted to comply with subsection (1) within 45 days but that it
is impracticable, in the circumstances, for it to comply within that time, may
allow the agency an extension of time to comply with subsection (1) on
such conditions as the Commissioner thinks fit.
(6) If an extension of
time is allowed under subsection (5) the agency has to give written
notice of the extension to the applicant as soon as is practicable, and within
45 days after receiving the access application.
(7) If, under
subsection (2), the agency is taken to have refused access, the
Commissioner may, on the application of the applicant, allow the agency an
extension of time to comply with subsection (1) on such conditions (for
example, reduction or waiver of charges) as the Commissioner thinks fit.
(8) If an extension of
time is allowed under subsection (7), subsection (2) does not have
effect unless, at the end of the extended time, the applicant still has not
received notice under subsection (1)(b).
(9) This Division has
effect subject to Division 3.