15 Decisions on requests

(1)

Subject to this Act, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation to whom a request is made in accordance with section 12 or is transferred in accordance with section 14 of this Act or section 12 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received by that department or Minister of the Crown or organisation,—

(a)

decide whether the request is to be granted and, if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any); and

(b)

give or post to the person who made the request notice of the decision on the request.

(1AA)

If a request (the original request) is amended or clarified after the date on which it is received, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation that receives the request may treat the amended or clarified request as a new request that, for the purposes of subsection (1), replaces the original request.

(1AB)

However, subsection (1AA) does not apply if—

(a)

the original request is amended or clarified because the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation to which the request was made sought an amendment to, or a clarification of, the request; and

(b)

the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation did not seek that amendment or clarification within 7 working days after receiving the original request.

(1A)

Subject to section 24, every department or Minister of the Crown or organisation (including an organisation whose activities are funded in whole or in part by another person) may charge for the supply of official information under this Act.

(2)

Any charge fixed shall be reasonable and regard may be had to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available and to any costs incurred pursuant to a request of the applicant to make the information available urgently.

(3)

The department or Minister of the Crown or organisation may require that the whole or part of any charge be paid in advance.

(4)

Where a request in accordance with section 12 is made or transferred to a department, the decision on that request shall be made by the chief executive of that department or an officer or employee of that department authorised by that chief executive unless that request is transferred in accordance with section 14 to another department or to a Minister of the Crown or to an organisation or to a local authority.

(5)

Nothing in subsection (4) prevents the chief executive of a department or any officer or employee of a department from consulting a Minister of the Crown or any other person in relation to the decision that the chief executive or officer or employee proposes to make on any request made to the department in accordance with section 12 of this Act or transferred to the department in accordance with section 14 of this Act or section 12 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

Section 15: replaced, on 1 April 1987, by section 8(1) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

Section 15(1): amended, on 1 March 1988, by section 57(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (1987 No 174).

Section 15(1AA): inserted, on 26 March 2015, by section 6 of the Official Information Amendment Act 2015 (2015 No 29).

Section 15(1AB): inserted, on 26 March 2015, by section 6 of the Official Information Amendment Act 2015 (2015 No 29).

Section 15(1A): inserted, on 1 December 1989, by section 2 of the Official Information Amendment Act 1989 (1989 No 122).

Section 15(4): amended, on 1 April 1988, pursuant to section 90(d) of the State Sector Act 1988 (1988 No 20).

Section 15(4): amended, on 1 March 1988, by section 57(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (1987 No 174).

Section 15(5): amended, on 1 April 1988, pursuant to section 90(d) of the State Sector Act 1988 (1988 No 20).

Section 15(5): amended, on 1 March 1988, by section 57(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (1987 No 174).