Section 9 - Unpublished documents not to prejudice public
Extract of legislation
|9||Unpublished documents not to prejudice public|
|Where under section 8 any agency is required to make available a document containing rule, policy, guideline or practice relating to a function of the agency and the agency fails—|
|(a)||to make the document available; or|
|(b)||to include the document in a statement required to be published under section 8—|
|before the time at which the person did or omitted to do any act or thing relevant to the performance of that function in relation to him (whether or not the time allowed for publication of a statement in respect of the document had expired) that person shall not be subject to any detriment by reason only of the application of that rule, policy, guideline or practice, where with knowledge of that rule, policy, guideline or practice he could have avoided the detriment lawfully.|
Section 9 states that no individual can suffer a detriment by virtue of not having complied with a rule, policy, guideline, or practice that was not listed or made available for inspection and purchase under section 8(2).
The effect of section 9 is that where an agency does not make document falling within section 8(1) available for inspection and purchase, the agency cannot act based only on that rule, policy, guideline, or practice that is detrimental to a person, where that person claims they could have avoided the detriment if they knew about the rule, policy, guideline, or practice.
Consequently, an agency should ensure each document captured by section 8(1) is publicly listed (for example on a webpage) or otherwise published.
If a rule, policy, procedure, or practice captured by section 8(1) is not listed or published, an agency risks having to withdraw or change decisions that they make if an individual suffers a detriment because they did not know of the existence of the rule, policy, procedure, or practice.