Disclosure Log 2013 -(post 22 February 2013 amendments)
On 22 February 2013, amendments were made to Section 78 of the Right to Information Act 2009. The new amendments require government departments and agencies to publish details of all valid right to information applications; including details of the information sought by the applicant and the date of the application. This information must be included on the disclosure log as soon as practicable after a valid application is made.
Once a decision has been made on right to information applications and access has been given, it is now a requirement to publish the names of applicants and entities, and publish documents. However, these obligations only apply to documents that do not contain the applicant's personal information.
If departments and ministers decide to give access to a document that does not contain personal information of the applicant, and the applicant accesses the document within the access period (40 business days), departments and ministers are required to also include in the disclosure log a copy of the document, the name of the applicant and if access to the document was sought for the benefit or use by an entity other than the applicant, the name of the other entity*.
If the applicant does not access the document within the access period, then the details of the document and information about the way in which the document may be accessed will be included in the disclosure log.
*Under section 78B of the RTI Act, information must be deleted from any document or information included in a disclosure log under section 78(2), including an individual's name, if publication:
Publishing blank pages on disclosure logs
In some cases, deleting information under section 78B will result in no text remaining on a document. Similarly, blank pages may exist due to redaction through the decision-making process, for example, where a page contains irrelevant information or access to the document was refused. There is no public benefit in publishing documents containing only blank pages, or only deletions, particularly as their publication impacts on the capacity of the web to publish other, more useful material. On this basis, departments and Ministers are not expected to publish blank pages on disclosure logs. Where pages are blank as a result of decision-making processes, these pages are not included on the disclosure log.
Reasons for not publishing documents
Where the released documents are not attached to the relevant entry (from 3 January 2014), the following information will help you identify the department’s reason for not including the documents:
(a) No documents released, or pages would be blank after the removal of personal information.
Publication Scheme Coordinator