The FOI Act has statutory deadlines requiring agencies to acknowledge an applicant's request within 14 calendar days and provide a decision on the release of documents within 30 calendar days. Failure to meet these deadlines is considered a breach of the Act.
In the memo requesting your assistance a deadline will be stipulated. It is important that you adhere to this deadline or inform the FOI officers if it is unreasonable and why. This deadline allows the FOI officers time to receive and assess the documents within the timeframes stipulated in the Act.
Can I get an extension of time?
If you believe you will be unable to meet the deadline stipulated it is important to:
- consult with the FOI officers as soon as possible, delay may result in a request for extension being refused
- detail the work and time involved in retrieving the information
- provide detail regarding the length of the extension you seek.
The Act has provision for requesting various extensions. Any information you provide regarding the length of time it will take to retrieve the information will be used to support an application for extension.
Requesting an extension does not necessarily mean that an extension will be granted, therefore it is important to continue processing as much of the request as you can within the deadline provided. The FOI officers will consult with you regarding the extension and provide a new deadline should an extension be granted.