s 55G FOI substitutions while decision under IC Review

Verity Pane made this Freedom of Information request to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

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Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

Can you explain to me why the OAIC will contact an individual who has made an IC Review on an FOI decision, to ask them if they want to withdraw their IC Review application, because the OAIC have received from that FOI agency a s 55G substitution decision two or three years after IC Review was requested and yet not provide copy of that s 55G substitution that the OAIC hold with that notification?

Section 55G states that the substitution is to be given to the Information Commissioner, not the applicant, and that 'the Information Commissioner must deal with the IC review application for review of the original decision as if it were an IC review application for the review of the varied or substituted decision'.

It does not state that the Information Commissioner must consult with the FOI agency before giving copy of the s 55G substituted decision to the IC Review applicant, especially as there 'must be as little formality and technicality as possible' (s 55(4)(a)) in how the OAIC carry out such reviews.

The FOI agency, once a decision has gone to IC Review, is not the controller of access to the FOI decision.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane