Refusing to Process Voluminous Requests: Contrary to the Spirit of Freedom of Information?
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:01 by Bruce Chen
The power of Victorian government agencies to refuse to process voluminous Freedom of Information (‘FOI’) requests is contained in s 25A(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic). During the initial years of operation, it was claimed that this power would not be ‘antidemocratic’, ‘anti-open government’ or ‘otherwise contrary to the spirit of FOI’, given the existence of adequate safeguards and so long as agencies upheld their duties in practice. This article examines whether that has proven to be the case nearly two decades on from the provision’s introduction in 1993. It concludes that despite several conceptual diffi culties, s 25A(1) has its rightful place in the FOI statutory regime.