60 Effect on agency's or Minister's functions

(1) An agency or Minister may refuse to deal with an access or amendment application, or, if the agency or Minister is considering 2 or more access or amendment applications by the applicant, all the applications, if the agency or Minister considers the work involved in dealing with the application or all the applications would, if carried out—

(a) substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from their use by the agency in the performance of its functions; or

(b) interfere substantially and unreasonably with the performance by the Minister of the Minister’s functions.

(2) Without limiting the matters to which the agency or Minister may have regard in making a decision under subsection (1), the agency or Minister must have regard to the resources that would have to be used—

(a) in identifying, locating or collating any document in the filing system of the agency or the Minister’s office; or

(b) for an access application—in deciding whether to give, refuse or defer access to any documents, or to give access to an edited copy of any documents, including resources that would have to be used—

(i) in examining any document; or

(ii) in consulting in relation to the application with a relevant third party under section 56; or

(c) in making a copy, or edited copy, of any document; or

(d) in notifying any final decision on the application.

(3) In deciding whether to refuse, under subsection (1), to deal with an access or amendment application, an agency or Minister must not have regard to—

(a) any reasons the applicant gives for applying for access or amendment; or

(b) the agency's or Minister's belief about what are the applicant's reasons for applying for access or amendment.