Application of section 52(2) RTI Act

Relevant considerations

1. Does the agency or Minister intend to refuse access to a prescribed document under section 52(1)(a)?

Section 52(2) of the RTI Act requires a backup system to be searched only with respect to documents that may not exist under section 52(1)(a), not documents that exist but cannot be found.1

2. Is the relevant document a 'prescribed document'?

Section 52(4) defines 'prescribed document' for the purpose of section 52; a 'prescribed document' is a document that: 

  • is required to be kept under the Public Records Act 2002; and 
  • is not a document that the agency or Minister could lawfully have disposed of under the Public Records Act 2002.

3. Does the agency or Minister consider the document has been kept in and is retrievable from a backup system?

Searches of the back up system are only necessary under section 52(2) if the agency or Minister considers the prescribed document can be retrieved from the backup system.

  • 1 Cullen and Department of Public Works (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 21 January 2011) at paragraph 30. [up]

Last updated: March 16, 2012