Overview of Section 42(1)(b) FOI Act

Section summary

Matter is exempt if there is a reasonably based expectation that its disclosure could enable the existence or identify of a confidential source of information relating to the enforcement or administration of the law to be ascertained. This exemption is subject to section 42(2) of the FOI Act.


Section 42(1)(b) of the FOI Act ensures individuals are not discouraged from providing information to law enforcement and regulatory agencies, as such information assists agencies to more effectively perform their functions.1

Other relevant FOI Act sections

Section 42 FOI Act
Section 42(1) of the FOI Act contains other exemptions for matter relating to law enforcement or public safety.

Section 42(2) of the FOI Act excludes certain matter from being exempt under section 42(1) of the FOI Act. Matter is not exempt if:

  • it consists of any of the specific types of matter listed in section 42(2)(a) of the FOI Act; and
  • its disclosure would, on balance, be in the public interest.

Section 42(5) of the FOI Act defines the term 'law' for the purposes of section 42 of the FOI Act.

1Bayliss and Queensland Health (Department of Health); Another (Third Party) (1997) 4 QAR 1 at paragraph 35.

Last updated: March 5, 2012