Section 63 - Protection in respect of offences
Extract of legislation
|Protection in respect of offences
|Where access has been given to a document and—
|the access was required or permitted by this Act to be given; or
|the access was authorized by a Minister or a council, or by an officer having authority, in accordance with section 26 or Division 1 of Part VI, to make decisions in respect of requests in the bona fide belief that the access was required by this Act to be given—
|neither the person authorizing the access nor any other person concerned in the giving of the access is guilty of a criminal offence by reason only of the authorizing or giving of the access.
A person who authorises access, and a person involved in giving access, to a document under the Act is not guilty of a criminal offence only because they authorised or gave access to a document under the Act. For example, a person authorised under section 26 to make FOI decisions for an agency is protected under this section.
This protection applies where:
- an agency or Minister gives access to a document under the Act;
- the Act required or permitted access to the document;
- the access was authorised by a Minister, a council, or an authorised officer, who honestly believed the Act required access be given to the document.
See section 62 – Protection against actions for defamation or breach of confidence for more information on what ‘requires’, ‘permits’ and ‘bona fide’ means and when the protection applies.