Relevant decisions from other jurisdictions
This decision considered the application of the equivalent exemption under NSW legislation. Schedule 1, clause 16(a)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) concerns documents, the disclosing which could reasonably be expected to prejudice the effectiveness of any method or procedure for the conduct of tests, examinations or audits by an agency, subject to a public interest test.
The applicant sought access to a report concerning the 2005 Audit of the Selective Schools Unit (Report). The Department of Education and Training (Department) refused access to the Report under the equivalent exemption to section 40(a).
Is there an identifiable method or procedure for the conduct of tests, examinations or audits conducted by the agency?
Montgomery S referred to Director General, Department of Education and Training v Mullett and Randazzo (No. 2)16 in finding that an audit is a 'systematic, broad ranging examination of specified activities of the organisation the subject of the audit' which can include audits into the financial or non-financial affairs and operations of an agency. 
Is there a reasonable expectation that disclosing the matter could prejudice the effectiveness of the method or procedure for the conduct of the test, examination or audit?
The Tribunal found that the Report concerned an 'audit' and that disclosing the Report could reasonably be expected to prejudice the effectiveness of the method or procedure for conducting the audit because staff would be less frank in their assessment of their systems in the workplace.
Accordingly, the Report was exempt under the equivalent provision in the FOI Act (NSW).
Last updated: March 1, 2012