The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA) requires the University to deal with an FOI application as soon as practicable (and, in any case, within 30 days) after it is received.
The search request email you or your manager received from an FOI Officer for your help includes a ‘due by’ date for your response.
This date was chosen to give the FOI Officer sufficient time to receive and assess the results of your search before the FOI Act’s 30-day deadline is reached.
Can the date be extended?
The FOI Act permits time extensions under certain circumstances, for example if:
'...the application is for access to a large number of documents or necessitates a search through a large quantity of information and dealing with the application within that period would unreasonably divert the agency's resources from their use by the agency in the exercise of its functions...'
FOI Act, Section 14A
Time extensions may only be approved by the Vice-Chancellor. If you think the ‘due by’ date cannot be met, let the FOI Officer know as soon as possible.
- Do not put off processing an FOI Act request because you assume a time extension will be granted - it may not be.
- Do provide the FOI Officer with details of the work involved, how long you think it will take and any other concerns you might have – they are there to help.