Overview of Section 29(4) FOI Act
If an access application is expressed to relate to:
- all documents or all documents of a stated class; and
- contain information of a stated kind or relate to a stated subject matter; and
- the agency or Minister considered all relevant documents would be exempt;
an agency or Minister may refuse to deal with the application without identifying any of the documents.
When refusing to deal with an application under section 29(4) of the FOI Act, the agency or Minister must identify, in its decision, the provision under which the documents are considered to be exempt.1
The current section 29 was inserted into the FOI Act by the Freedom of Information and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Qld). The explanatory notes2 to the bill describe parliament's intention that an agency or Minister may refuse to deal with an application where it relates to 'entire classes of exempt documents'. Further, it notes that this provision should be used in 'situations where resources would be unreasonably diverted in the processing of applications'.
The new section 29(4) and (5) implements finding 77 of the Legal Constitutional and Administrative Review Committee Report 32 and requires an agency or Minister to identify the provision under which the documents are exempt before refusing to deal with the access application.
Last updated: March 5, 2012