Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Access to information


             (1)  For the purpose of conducting an inspection and audit, or an investigation, of a representative body under section 203DF, the person appointed under subsection 203DF(1):

                     (a)  is entitled at all reasonable times to full and free access to documents relating to the representative body; and

                     (b)  may make copies, or take extracts from, any such document; and

                     (c)  may require a representative body:

                              (i)  to answer such questions; and

                             (ii)  to produce such documents in the representative body's possession or to which the representative body has access;

                            as the person so appointed considers necessary for that purpose.

Use of legally professionally privileged documents

             (2)  A representative body must produce a document or record or disclose information as required under paragraph (1)(c), whether or not the document, record or information is the subject of legal professional privilege.

Production does not affect legal professional privilege

             (3)  A document, record or information does not cease to be the subject of legal professional privilege merely because it is produced under paragraph (1)(c).

Failure to comply with paragraph (1)(c)

             (4)  A representative body who refuses or fails to comply with the requirement under paragraph (1)(c) commits an offence punishable upon conviction by a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.

Reasonable excuse for non-compliance

          (4A)  Subsection (4) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (4A) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).


             (5)  For the purposes of subsection (4A), it is not a reasonable excuse for a representative body to refuse or fail:

                     (a)  to give information; or

                     (b)  to produce a record or document;

in accordance with a requirement under paragraph (1)(c), on the ground that the information or the production of the document or record, as the case may be, might tend to incriminate the representative body or make the representative body liable to a penalty.

Admissibility in criminal proceedings

             (6)  Despite subsection (5):

                     (a)  giving the information or producing the document or record; or

                     (b)  any information, document, record or thing obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the giving of the information or production of the document or record;

is not admissible in evidence against the person in any criminal proceedings, other than proceedings against, or arising out of, subsection (4) or (7).

Making a statement that is false or misleading

             (7)  A representative body who, in purported compliance with the requirement under paragraph (1)(c), makes a statement that it knows to be false or misleading in a material particular, commits an offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units.

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