The Information Commissioner is obliged under the FOI Act to fully inform the parties to a complaint of his/her decision, reasons for decision and findings on material questions of fact underlying those reasons, referring to the material on which those findings were based. The Commissioner is also obliged by section 76(8) to publish his/her decisions, but may publish them in a form that is appropriate to ensure that the public is adequately informed of the grounds on which the decisions are made.

Publication of decisions in note form

Where the issues and principles arising in a particular matter are issues and principles previously dealt with by the Commissioner in full, published decisions and the decision, therefore, involves no new principles, the parties will have been informed by letter of the Commissioner's decision, reasons, material findings and the material on which those findings are based.

Such decisions are therefore not published in full, but have appeared in note form only since 1 January 2000.


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Supreme Court Decisions

Parties to a complaint have a right to appeal to the Supreme Court on any question of law arising out of any decision of the Information Commissioner on a complaint relating to an access application (section 85 of the FOI Act).

Under section 78 of the Act, the Information Commissioner may refer to the Supreme Court any question of law that arises in the course of dealing with a complaint.

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