Overview of section 43 RTI Act

Section summary

This provision applies where an applicant makes an access application under the RTI Act or IP Act (first application) and subsequently makes another application under the RTI Act (later application) to the same agency or same Minister for one or more of the same documents and does not disclose any reasonable basis for again seeking the documents.1 

An agency or Minister may refuse to deal with the later application to the extent that it seeks access to the same documents sought under the first application if:2

  • the agency or minister has not decided the first application at the time the later application is made;3
  • the applicant has been given notice that access is to be given to the document sought or some or all of the documents sought;4
  • the agency or Minister decided that the application was for a document to which the RTI Act or IP Act does not apply;5
  • the agency or Minister refused access to the document or documents sought;6
  • the agency or Minister refused to deal with the first application;7
  • the agency or Minister’s decision on the first application is under review and the review is not complete;8  or
  • the agency or Minister’s decision on the first application has been the subject of a completed review (other than internal review).9

However, if the document sought under the later application is merely a record of the first application having been made, access to a record document is taken to have been sought under the first application.10 The first application does not include an access application taken to have been withdrawn under the RTI Act or the IP Act.11   If an access application has been narrowed under the RTI or IP Act, the first application means only the access application as changed.12


Section 29B of the repealed FOI Act dealt with previous applications for the same documents.

Other relevant RTI/IP Act sections

Section 62 IP Act

Section 62 of the IP Act replicates section 43 of the RTI Act with no substantive alterations.

Sections 36(3) and 42(4) RTI Act

An access application may be withdrawn under sections 36(3) and 42(4) of the RTI Act.  When an application is withdrawn under one of these provisions, a later application for the same information cannot be refused under section 43 of the RTI Act.

  • 1 Section 43(1)(a) and (b) of the RTI Act. 
  • 2 Section 43(3) of the RTI Act. 
  • 3 Section 43(3)(a) of the RTI Act. 
  • 4 Section 43(b)(i) and section 43(c)(i) of the RTI Act. 
  • 5 Section 43(b)(ii) and section 43(c)(ii) of the RTI Act. 
  • 6 Section 43(b)(iii) and section 43(c)(iii) of the RTI Act. 
  • 7 Section 43(b)(iv) and section 43(c)(iv) of the RTI Act. 
  • 8 Section 43(d)(i) of the RTI Act. 
  • 9 Section 43(d)(ii) of the RTI Act. 
  • 10 Section 43(4) of the RTI Act. 
  • 11 Section 43(2)(a)(i) and section 43(2)(b)(i) of the RTI Act. 
  • 12 Section 43(2)(a)(ii) and section 43(2)(b)(ii) of the RTI Act.

Last updated: April 23, 2013