New guide – Frivolous, vexatious and trivial
Office of the Ombudsman | June 18, 2018
As part of his push to clarify the OIA’s ‘ground rules’, the Chief Ombudsman has published a new guide on frivolous or vexatious requests.
The OIA provides that ‘frivolous or vexatious’ requests can be refused. However, there is a lot of confusion about what ‘frivolous or vexatious’ means.
The threshold for declaring a request ‘frivolous or vexatious’ is high. Requesters should not be unfairly denied the opportunity to make genuine requests.
At the same time, agencies need to be able to refuse requests that amount to an abuse of the right to access official information.
Our new guide sets out the factors that agencies should consider in deciding whether a request is ‘frivolous or vexatious’, and has advice on how to deal with challenging requesters.
It includes a step-by-step work sheet for dealing with potentially frivolous or vexatious requests, template letters and case studies.
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