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Guide to section 25A(1) – Substantial and unreasonable requests

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The right of access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to documents held by government agencies and Ministers is not unrestricted. One qualification, in section 25A, is that an agency or Minister may refuse to process a request that would involve a substantial and unreasonable diversion of an agency’s resources or a substantial and unreasonable interference with a Minister’s functions. This type of request is commonly known as a ‘voluminous request’, although this term is not used in the FOI Act.

This guide details how section 25A(1) should be interpreted and applied.

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