Application of section 73 RTI Act

Relevant considerations

1. When can irrelevant information be deleted?

Section 73 of the RTI Act only applies where parts of the information in a document fall within the terms of the application and other parts are irrelevant.  The provision does not apply to whole documents that fall outside the terms of the access application.

2. What is ‘irrelevant’ information?

The agency or Minister must reasonably consider the information to be irrelevant to the access application.  Information will not be relevant where it falls outside the scope of the access application.1 

If the information is predominantly administrative in nature and relates to the processing of the application but not to the information for which access is applied for then the information is likely to be considered irrelevant.2

3. Would the applicant accept a copy of the document from which information has been deleted?

This is a subjective test best answered by consulting with the applicant.  The agency is entitled to make the decision based on the access application itself where the information clearly falls outside the scope of the access application.3

4. Is it practicable to give access to a copy of the document from which information has been deleted?

This is a practical consideration and is likely to depend on the form of the document.

5. Is this a reviewable decision?

A decision to delete irrelevant information is a reviewable decision.

  • 1 8U3AMG and Department of Communities (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 15 September 2011) at paragraph 14.
  • 2 8U3AMG and Department of Communities (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 15 September 2011) at paragraph 14.
  • 3 8U3AMG and Department of Communities (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 15 September 2011) at paragraph 15.

Last updated: April 22, 2013