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Deciding if you are a Third Party

 

You are a third party if-

  • Personal information about you is contained in documents of an agency and an application for access to those documents has been made to the agency by someone else.

OR

  • Commercial, business or financial information about you, your company or your business is contained in documents of an agency and an application for access to those documents has been made to the agency by someone else.


What to do if you are consulted as a third party by an agency

  • Before deciding whether to give access to documents which contain personal, commercial, business or financial information about a third party, the agency must consult the third party and take the views of the third party into account.

  • An agency does not have to consult a third party if it decides to refuse access, but it may do so.

  • If you are a third party and you have been consulted by an agency, you should tell the agency if you consent to the disclosure of the documents to the applicant. Normally, the agency will not disclose the identity of the applicant to you.

  • If you do not consent, you must tell the agency why and give your reasons. Discuss your objections with the agency and fully explain your views.

  • If you do not respond to the agency when it contacts you, the agency will proceed to make its decision without the benefit of information from you.


Your rights as a third Party

 

  • If the agency decides to give access against your wishes, you will be informed of this and of your rights of review.

  • The agency must not give access until the time for you to exercise your rights of review has expired.

 


How to “appeal” against an agency’s decision

 

  • In this first instance you apply to the agency for an internal review.
  • After internal review, if you are still dissatisfied with the agency’s decision, you can lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner and ask for an external review.

See separate brochure on 'Third parties and Their Rights'.


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