16 Documents

(1)

Where the information requested by any person is comprised in a document, that information may be made available in 1 or more of the following ways:

(a)

by giving the person a reasonable opportunity to inspect the document; or

(b)

by providing the person with a copy of the document; or

(c)

in the case of a document that is an article or thing from which sounds or visual images are capable of being reproduced, by making arrangements for the person to hear or view those sounds or visual images; or

(d)

in the case of a document by which words are recorded in a manner in which they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound or in which words are contained in the form of shorthand writing or in codified form, by providing the person with a written transcript of the words recorded or contained in the document; or

(e)

by giving an excerpt or summary of the contents; or

(f)

by furnishing oral information about its contents.

(1A)

Subject to subsections (2) and (3), information made available in any of the ways listed under subsection (1) may be made available in electronic form or by electronic means.

(2)

Subject to section 17, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation shall make the information available in the way preferred by the person requesting it unless to do so would—

(a)

impair efficient administration; or

(b)

be contrary to any legal duty of the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation in respect of the document; or

(c)

prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or section 7 or section 9 and (in the case of the interests protected by section 9) there is no countervailing public interest.

(3)

Where the information is not provided in the way preferred by the person requesting it, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation shall, subject to section 10, give to that person—

(a)

the reason for not providing the information in that way; and

(b)

if that person so requests, the grounds in support of that reason, unless the giving of those grounds would itself prejudice the interests protected by section 6 or section 7 or section 9 and (in the case of the interests protected by section 9) there is no countervailing public interest.

Section 16(1A): inserted, on 26 March 2015, by section 7 of the Official Information Amendment Act 2015 (2015 No 29).

Section 16(2)(c): amended, on 1 April 1987, by section 4(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

Section 16(3)(b): amended, on 1 April 1987, by section 4(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).