Access to Information Act and NEPA
The Access to Information (ATI) Act was passed in June, 2002. It gives citizens, non citizens, institutions, and all forms of organization a general legal right of access to official government documents which would otherwise be inaccessible. THIS MEANS THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE A REASON FOR YOUR REQUEST. It is a general legal right.
You can request documents by any of the following methods:
- Written request
- Complete an application form
If you do visit NEPA’s offices you will be requested to fill out the application form. If for any reason, you are unable to do this, tell the Officer and she/he will assist you.
- Be specific when completing the Application
- You can make changes to the personal information submitted
- Your request is to be dealt with within 30 days of receipt of the Application
- The Act also allows for the extension of this time period by another 30 days which may only be done where there is reasonable cause to do so
- There is a fee charged for making copies of documents
- You can request a waiver, remission or reduction of the fees
- You are entitled to view, listen to, inspect or have a copy or transcript made of the document requested
- Your application may be transferred to another government agency if the information requested is not held by NEPA
- Some documents are exempt – so they may not be released
- You have a right to appeal the agency’s decision not to release information or any part of that information that was requested
In order to save time and resources, the public is encouraged to take advantage of information already accessible within the public’s realm, for example on the Agency’s website or at the Documentation Centre, prior to making a request under the ATI Act (2002). Applicants will be directed to information already available at any of these locations that are requested under the ATI Act (2002).