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Section 49O - Referral of matter to a relevant authority

Guidelines

Referring a matter to a different authority

1.1

When handling a review, the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC)1 may identify matters that relate to:

  • OVIC’s jurisdiction under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act) (for example, a possible breach of the Information Privacy Principles);
  • the jurisdiction of a different authority (for example, something that only that authority can deal with).
1.2

If this happens, OVIC may refer the identified matter to the right authority, or may handle it under the PDP Act, where it is appropriate.2

1.3

Before referring a matter to a different authority, OVIC must consult with that authority.3

1.4

After referring a matter to a different authority, or deciding to deal with a matter under the PDP Act, OVIC must write to the applicant to let them know, where the referral or decision affects the applicant’s interests.4

1.5

If OVIC refers a matter to a different authority, or decides to deal with the matter under the PDP Act, this happens separately to and does not affect the review being conducted.5 OVIC will otherwise continue with the review under the FOI Act.

Who is a relevant authority?

1.6

Prescribed bodies are listed in Schedule 2 of the Freedom of Information Regulations 2009 (Vic) and currently include the:

  • Auditor-General;
  • Chief Commissioner of Police;
  • Health Complaints Commissioner;
  • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission;
  • Victorian Ombudsman;
  • Racing Integrity Commissioner;
  • Road Safety Camera Commissioner; and
  • Victorian Inspectorate.
  1. Section 6I sets out the functions of the Information Commissioner and the Public Access Deputy Commissioner; both are responsible for handling FOI reviews. In this section, the FOI Guidelines collectively refer to the Information Commissioner, the Public Access Deputy Commissioner, and OVIC staff as ‘OVIC’ unless otherwise stated.
  2. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), sections 49O(1) and 49O(2).
  3. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(1).
  4. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(4).
  5. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(3).
  6. Section 6I sets out the functions of the Information Commissioner and the Public Access Deputy Commissioner; both are responsible for handling FOI reviews. In this section, the FOI Guidelines collectively refer to the Information Commissioner, the Public Access Deputy Commissioner, and OVIC staff as ‘OVIC’ unless otherwise stated.
  7. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), sections 49O(1) and 49O(2).
  8. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(1).
  9. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(4).
  10. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 49O(3).

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Last updated 18 January 2024

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