Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Legal Advice on Date Change for General Election

Informal Resolution | 09 December 2022
Portfolio of Legal Affairs

An applicant requested access to legal advice from the Portfolio of Legal Affairs (POLA) concerning changes to the date of the general elections in 2021. POLA informed the applicant that it did not hold any responsive records. Our investigation evaluated POLA’s search efforts and concluded that the search appeared to have been carried out rigorously, exhausting all reasonable search avenues. POLA demonstrated a good understanding of the request, and the quality of their analysis was satisfactory.

The applicant expressed concerns that more should be done to ensure that public authorities maintain full and accurate records, as required under the National Archive and Public Records Act (NAPRA), which specifies that every public authority must “make and maintain full and accurate … records of its business and affairs…”. Generally, a record is not produced if a communication is verbal in nature. However, we encourage public authorities to give consideration to produce a written record of verbal information where appropriate.

The applicant accepted our position and the case was closed.