Guidelines for agencies on receiving and using marked-up documents provided with an OVIC Notice of Decision
This guidance sets out the guiding principles for Victorian public sector organisations (agencies) receiving and utilising marked-up copies of documents from OVIC as part of a review under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act) of an agency’s freedom of information (FOI) decision.
When a Notice of Decision from the Information Commissioner or Public Access Deputy Commissioner is issued to an agency and applicant, a Schedule of Documents is generally annexed to the Notice of Decision, containing written directions on the redactions required to be made to each document subject to review, to give effect to the decision.
As part of OVIC’s commitment to taking a proactive and practical approach to reviewing FOI decisions, and to assist agencies in giving effect to Notices of Decision, on a case-by-case basis OVIC will provide agencies with marked-up copies of documents using Adobe’s Redax plug-in, when issuing a Notice of Decision. This will streamline the process of preparing documents for release following an OVIC review decision and reduce ambiguity. This will also likely result in more timely release of information to applicants.
It is at the agency’s discretion as to how it uses any marked-up documents provided by OVIC. For example, whether it applies the redactions and issues the documents to the applicant, or whether it marks-up a fresh set of documents in accordance with the agency’s own policies and procedures. Once the marked-up documents are in the possession of the agency, the agency is responsible for their use, disclosure, and accuracy.