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Section 63F - Offence to obstruct, mislead or provide false information

Guidelines

Offences for obstructing, misleading, or providing false information

1.1

Section 63F helps to ensure that the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) may efficiently and effectively perform functions and duties, and exercise powers, under the Act. It does this by making it an offence (attracting a penalty) for a person to:

  • wilfully obstruct, hinder or resist;
  • knowingly provide untrue or misleading information to;
  • knowingly make an untrue or misleading statement to;
  • mislead or try to mislead;

the Information Commissioner, Public Access Deputy Commissioner, a delegate of the Commissioners or an OVIC staff member.

1.2

This is unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

1.3

Agencies and Ministers are encouraged to be forthcoming and assist OVIC where possible.

1.4

Agencies and Ministers also have a positive obligation in section 49I to help the Information Commissioner to undertake a review.

1.5

Similarly, agencies must help the Information Commissioner under the Professional Standards such as by:

  • helping to informally resolve a review or complaint;
  • considering a preliminary view from OVIC;
  • responding to a request for documents or information from OVIC within requested or agreed timeframes; and
  • when providing documents subject to review, marking up documents clearly and legibly to show exempt matter and the exemptions that apply.1

More information

For more information on helping OVIC to undertake a review, see section 49I – Agency or Minister must assist Information Commissioner.

  1. FOI Professional Standards 10.1 to 10.4.
  2. FOI Professional Standards 10.1 to 10.4.

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Last updated 9 January 2024

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