TO TRANSFER, OR NOT TO TRANSFER, THAT IS THE QUESTION

November 9, 2015 - 9:15am

Given the significant number of government agencies in Queensland, it is inevitable that your agency will eventually receive an application for documents that you don’t hold. If another agency holds some or all of those documents, section 38 of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) lets you transfer all or part of the application to the other agency.  There are, however, a few simple rules that you must follow.

The application must be valid

Before you can start calling other agencies to see if they’ll accept a transfer, you first have to make sure the application is valid. This means it must satisfy all the requirements of section 24. If it is not valid when you receive you will have to take the steps to make the application valid before you can transfer it.

The agency you’re transferring it to must consent

You can’t just forward the application to the other agency. You must first contact that agency and get their consent.  This is also an important step, as you need to make sure the agency actually holds the documents applied for.  If you’re not sure who to call, you can contact the Enquiries Service and we’ll help put you in touch with the correct person.

For more information on transferring applications, please refer to Transferring access applications

Applications sent to the wrong agency

If your agency receives an application that has clearly been sent to you in error, for example the application was made to the Department of Barking Dogs but posted to the Department of Meowing Cats, the best course of action is generally to return the application to the applicant and advise them of their error.