42 Prerequisites before refusal because of effect on functions

(1) An agency or Minister may refuse to deal with an access application under section 41 only if—

(a) the agency or Minister has given the applicant a written notice—

(i) stating an intention to refuse to deal with the application; and

(ii) advising that, for the prescribed consultation period for the notice, the applicant may consult with the agency or Minister with a view to making an application in a form that would remove the ground for refusal; and

(iii) stating the effect of subsections (2) to (6); and

(b) the agency or Minister has given the applicant a reasonable opportunity to consult with the agency or Minister; and

(c) the agency or Minister has, as far as is reasonably practicable, given the applicant any information that would help the making of an application in a form that would remove the ground for refusal.

(2) Following any consultation, the applicant may give the agency or Minister written notice either confirming or narrowing the application.

(3) If the application is narrowed, section 41 applies in relation to the changed application but this section does not apply to it.

(4) If the applicant fails to consult after being given notice under subsection (1), the applicant is taken to have withdrawn the application at the end of the prescribed consultation period.

(5) Without limiting subsection (4), the applicant is taken to have failed to consult if, by the end of the prescribed consultation period, the applicant has not given the named officer or member written notice under subsection (2).

(6) In this section—

prescribed consultation period, for a written notice under subsection (1)(a), means—

(a) the period of 10 business days after the date of the notice; or

(b) the longer period agreed by the agency or Minister and the applicant whether before or after the end of the 10 business days mentioned in paragraph (a).