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Informal Applications for Information 

The third level of accessing Government information is called Informal Release. Before you get to the formal GIPA application, which is the current equivalent of the previous FOI application, you may be able to apply for the information informally. This means the agency can supply the information to you outside the formal process.

You might ask "Why would they do this?"

Well, there are a number of advantages for the agency:
  • it avoids the formal process, including the need for appeals;
  • if the applicant agrees, the agency can put conditions on what happens to the information; and
  • the agency can negotiate to release the information in a form that suits it, rather than the form you originally requested.
So "Why would I ask for it in that way?"
  • you don't have to pay the cost of making a formal application. Agencies would not usually charge for information released informally; and
  • it avoids the cost of the formal appeal system for you too.
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