Overview of section 37 RTI Act

Section summary

If an agency or Minister intends to grant access to information and it is reasonable to expect that disclosure of some information may be of concern to a relevant third party, the Minister or agency may only give access to the document if reasonably practicable steps are taken to: 

  • obtain the views of the relevant third party regarding whether the document is within the scope of the Act, whether it contains exempt information or whether disclosure of the information is contrary to the public interest 
  • inform the third party that disclosure may result in publication of the document through the agency or Minister's disclosure log.


Section 37(1) recognises the interests of relevant third parties in disclosure of information under the RTI Act.

Other relevant RTI/IP Act sections

Section 18 RTI Act
The processing period in which an agency must deal with an application is 25 business days from the day an application is received. If the access application involves consultation with a third party under section 37 of the RTI Act, 10 business days for consultation will not count as part of the processing period.

Section 56 IP Act
Section 56 of the IP Act concerns consultation with relevant third parties under that Act. The section differs slightly to that of the RTI equivalent, notably because disclosure logs are not relevant under the IP Act.

Last updated: February 3, 2012