The Office of the Information Commissioner can accept complaints about Freedom of Information decisions and Privacy issues concerning NT Government organisations (and, from 1 July 2005, local government authorities).
We are independent. We do not take sides in a complaint. We do not represent complainants, government organisations or anyone else involved in a complaint. We do not give legal advice.
We do our best to resolve complaints informally. Our main aim is to assist the parties to find a solution that meets their needs and obligations. We inform the parties about the rights and limitations in the Information Act, so that they can make a realistic assessment of what they can hope to achieve from the formal processes under the Act. We explore with the parties alternatives for resolution both within and outside the processes in the Act. Our preferred outcome is for the parties to agree on a solution.
If, after 1 July 2004, an organisation decides to refuse you access or correction or decides to charge you a fee, you can apply to the organisation for internal review. Another person within the organisation will review the initial decision.
You should make an application for internal review within 30 days from receiving the initial decision. If you do not, the organisation can refuse to review the decision and it will be taken to have confirmed the decision.
If you are not satisfied with the internal review decision, you can complain to the Information Commissioner. You should complain within 90 days of receiving the internal review decision from the organisation. If you do not, the Commissioner may refuse to accept your complaint.
A complaint must be made in a form approved by the Commissioner.
If an organisation does not notify you of an initial decision on your application for access or correction within the time allowed, it is taken to have refused access or correction. You can then apply for internal review as above.
An organisation usually has 30 days to notify you of its decision from the time a valid application is received (including any application fee payable). This may be extended for a variety of reasons, including transfer of the application, the need to conduct extensive searches, and the need to consult with third parties. The organisation should inform you if the 30 day period is extended.
If an organisation does not notify you of an internal review decision on your application for access or correction within the time allowed (again, usually 30 days), it is taken to have refused access or correction.
You can then lodge a complaint to the Information Commissioner.
In some cases, an organisation is required to consult another person, organisation or government before it makes a decision on whether or not to give access to information. Even if you are consulted, and you object to disclosure, the organisation can still decide to disclose the information to an applicant. The organisation will notify you of its decision.
If you have been consulted under s.30, and the organisation has decided to disclose the information, you can complain to the Information Commissioner. You should complain within 30 days of receiving the notice of decision from the organisation.
A complaint should be made in a form approved by the Information Commissioner.
If you are concerned that someone has interfered with the privacy of your personal information, you should contact the organisation first and request that it resolve or rectify your complaint.
For events that have taken place on or after 1 July 2004, if you are not satisfied with the response of the organisation (or you have received no response within a reasonable time), you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
A complaint to the Commissioner must be made within 12 months of becoming aware of the problem (if it is not, the Commissioner may refuse to accept the complaint).