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9.2.4 Importance of Notice of Decision
There are three main reasons why it is important for a notice of a decision, that is subject to possible review, to contain a clear, precise and complete statement of reasons for that decision. These are:
- such statements impose on the decision maker the requirement of ensuring that all relevant matters - in terms of legislation, policy and evidence - are considered properly and that in all the circumstances of the case the decision is the right one;
- the affected person will rely on the reasons for an understanding of the decision and to help form a judgement as to whether the matter in question has been given proper and adequate consideration and decided correctly - this judgement is critical to the affected person's decision as to whether to exercise the right of appeal; and
- should the affected person appeal against the decision, the reasons will be equally as critical to the appeal authority's assessment of the decision - deficiencies in those reasons may lead to an adverse assessment.
In advising the affected person of his/her rights to a review, it is thought to be advantageous to both parties for the decision maker to invite the affected person to personally contact him/her to discuss the decision. This approach could well see the number of matters being appealed against significantly reduced.
The Act requires that this notice must be given as soon as practicable after the decision is made, but it should be given in any case within 28 days of the decision.