How long does it take to get a decision?

The Act sets out clear timeframes for the processing of an RTI application by a public authority or Minister.  Timeframes vary, however, depending on which stage of the process is being undertaken.  The following timeframes are those contained in the Act, but they can be changed  by negotiation in some circumstances.  The following timeframes run from the moment your application has been accepted:

  • the original decision on your application must be made within 20 working days of its acceptance
  • an internal review decision must be made within15 working days of you requesting it.
  • sometimes a third party might need to be consulted by an authority which can increase the time frame for a decision by another 20 working days: and
  • a decision on external review   is to be completed as soon as practicable after receipt of the application

Third party consultations in two circumstances: where the information is the personal information of another person or it is related to a third party’s business affairs.  If a public authority or Minister is of the view that a third party in either of these situations would be reasonably concerned about the release of the information, then consultation occurs and the additional 20 working days are added.