Key published decisions applying section 73 RTI Act

8U3AMG and Department of Communities (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 15 September 2011)

The applicant applied to the Department of Communities (Department) for access to any documents relating to his birth, adoption and biological parents.  The Department refused access to numerous pages because they were either outside the scope of the application or because access to the information was contrary to public interest.  The Department released 18 pages of a document with parts omitted on the basis that these parts contained irrelevant information.  The applicant sought external review.

The RTI Commissioner was satisfied that the Department could give access to a copy of the document with parts of the information deleted where that information was not relevant to the access application.  The RTI Commissioner indicated that the Department could only do this when it considered, from the terms of the application or after consulting the applicant, that it was reasonably practicable to give access to the copy with the information deleted and that the applicant would accept the copy. [14]

The RTI Commissioner evaluated the omitted parts and found that the information deleted was irrelevant because it was predominantly administrative information in nature and related only to the Department’s processing of the application.  Further, the RTI Commissioner was satisfied that the Department was entitled to consider that the applicant would accept a copy of the documents because the information deleted clearly fell outside the scope of the access application in that it did not relate to the applicant’s ‘birth and adoption’. [15]

The RTI Commissioner refused access to the adoption form under section 47(3)(e) and section 52(1)(b) of the RTI Act and refused access to other adoption and child protection information on the basis that its disclosure was prohibited by an Act pursuant to section 47(3)(a) of the RTI Act.


Last updated: April 22, 2013