(1) If a person—
(a) wishes to make an application under this Act to an agency or Minister for access to a document (relevant application); or
(b) has made a relevant application but it does not comply with section 25; or
(c) has made a relevant application, or part of a relevant application, to the wrong agency or Minister;
it is the duty of the agency or Minister to inform the person how to make the application in a way that complies with section 25 or to inform the person of the appropriate agency or Minister to whom application should be made.
(2) An agency or Minister must not refuse to deal with an application because it does not comply with section 25 without first giving the applicant a reasonable opportunity of consultation with a view to making an application in a form complying with section 25.
(3) If, after consulting under subsection (2), an agency or Minister decides—
(a) the application does not contain sufficient information to enable a responsible officer of the agency or the Minister to identify the document; or
(b) an application fee is payable, because a document sought by the applicant does not concern the applicant's personal affairs, but is unpaid;
the agency or Minister must give the applicant written notice of the decision.
(4) The time between the date of the notice and when the applicant gives the information or pays the application fee does not count as part of the appropriate period under section 27.
(5) However, the applicant is taken to have withdrawn the application if—
(a) the applicant fails to give the information within 30 days after the day the notice of a decision under subsection (3)(a) is sent to the applicant; or
(b) after the applicant is sent the notice of a decision under subsection (3)(b), the applicant fails to pay the application fee—
(i) if an application for review is made within the period within which an application for review under this Act may be made—within 30 days after the review has been finally disposed of (unless on the review it is decided the application fee is not payable); or
(ii) otherwise—by the end of the period within which an application for review under this Act may be made.