Issue of Notices by the Commissioner
The Commissioner may issue three types of Notice to a public authority:
A decision notice will be issued when the Commissioner has dealt with a complaint about how a public authority handled an FOI request. The decision notice will state:
- the Commissioner’s reasons for the decision;
- steps (if any) to be taken by the public authority to comply with the requirement or to comply with the request for the information;
- the period of time within which those steps must be taken; and
- the right of appeal against the notice to the High Court.
There is no power for the Commissioner to vary or cancel a decision notice.
An Information Notice can be issued to a public authority when the Commissioner
- has received a complaint (usually only in circumstances when an informal request has failed to elicit sufficient information); or
- reasonably requires information to determine whether a public authority has complied, or is complying, with a requirement of Part 2 (access to information held by public authorities); or whether it is conforming with the code
The information must be supplied in the form, and within the time frame, specified in the notice.
The Commissioner may cancel an Information Notice.
An Enforcement Notice can be issued to a public authority if the Information Commissioner is satisfied that a public authority has failed to comply with a requirement of Part 2 (access to information held by public authorities).
The notice will specify the steps required to be taken by the public authority and the time frame for doing so.
The Commissioner may cancel an Enforcement Notice.
Appeals against Notices
A public authority cannot appeal any notice to the Commissioner.
Appeals against notices may be made on a point of law to the High Court in accordance with the Rules of Court.