Overview of Section 22(a) FOI Act
An agency or Minister may refuse access to a document that can be reasonably accessed:
- under another enactment; or
- under arrangements made by an agency.
An agency or Minister may refuse access under this provision even if the applicant will incur a charge to access the document from the alternative source.
Section 22 of the FOI Act was amended by the Freedom of Information and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Qld). The explanatory notes to the Bill1 reveal parliament's view that an agency or Minister may refuse access where documents sought under an FOI application are reasonably available to the applicant (whether or not they are available to the community at large) under a statutory or administrative access scheme. The former section 22 of the FOI Act provided that access could be refused to a document that is 'reasonably open to public access' or 'reasonably available for purchase by members of the community under arrangements by an agency'.
Other relevant FOI Act sections
Section 7 FOI Act
This section defines 'enactment' as an 'Act or statutory instrument' for the purpose of the FOI Act.
Section 21 FOI Act
Subject to the FOI Act, a person has a legally enforceable right to access documents of an agency and official documents of a Minister.
Section 23 FOI Act
A document placed in the custody of Queensland State Archives or a public library by a person and that document was not a document of an agency or an official document of a minister is available for access under the FOI Act.
Section 24 FOI Act
A document placed in the custody of Queensland State Archives by an agency and not reasonably available by inspection is a document in the possession of the agency.
Last updated: March 5, 2012