Some timely reminders

September 1, 2014 - 12:31pm

When asking for an extension of time it is important to request it in business days and not as an extension to a date. This will make calculating the decision’s due date much simpler for the applicant and the agency and means your decision is much less likely to inadvertently go deemed.

Remember, you and the applicant can agree to extend a number of timeframes in the Acts, such as the longer processing period, charges estimate notice revision period and the consultation period when considering refusing to deal with an application under section 41.

When working out when you need to send your decision to the applicant it’s important to remember that a business day ends at midnight. If you are communicating by email you have a window to send it at any time before midnight on the day the decision is due; email is not always instantaneous, though, so don’t leave it to the very last minute. 

Internal review timeframes never change. The 20 business day period can’t be extended by the applicant’s agreement or because you need to consult with a third party.

If an applicant seeks an external review of a deemed decision OIC may give an agency further time to make the decision in some circumstances, and subject to conditions. The timeframe you’re given to make the decision is firm and no other timeframes or extensions in the legislation apply. If you do not give notice of your decision to the applicant within the further time given by OIC, your agency is taken to have made a decision affirming the deemed decision. The external review applicant will then be able to apply for a new external review of that decision.