Application of Schedule 3, section 10(1)(c) RTI Act

Relevant considerations

1. Does the information consist of the type of information listed in schedule 3, section 10(2)?

Information is not exempt information under schedule 3, section 10(1), if it consists of: 

  • matter revealing that the scope of a law enforcement investigation has exceeded the limits imposed by law; or
  • matter containing a general outline of the structure of a program adopted by an agency for dealing with a contravention or possible contravention of the law; or
  • a report on the degree of success achieved in a program adopted by an agency for dealing with a contravention or possible contravention of the law; or
  • a report prepared in the course of a routine law enforcement inspection or investigation by an agency whose functions include that of enforcing the law (other than the criminal law or the law relating to corruption under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001); or
  • a report on a law enforcement investigation that has already been disclosed to the entity the subject of the investigation..

2. Is there an expectation of endangerment to a person's life or physical safety?

Importantly, the expectation need only be of a person's life or physical safety being endangered, rather than actually harmed.1

A source of endangerment must be in contemplation; that source, however, does not need to be the access applicant. There must also be 'evidence of a risk that disclosure of information in issue would endanger a person's life or physical safety.'2

3. Is the expectation of endangerment reasonably based?

See 'Could reasonably be expected to' Annotation.

In Sheridan the Information Commissioner identified a number of factors that may me be relevant in determining whether an expectation is reasonable in the context of section 42(1)(ca) of the repealed FOI Act. These factors are particularly relevant when considering whether an expectation of endangerment is reasonably based and include:3

  • past conduct or a pattern of previous conduct
  • the nature of the relevant matter in issue
  • the nature of the relationship between the parties and/or relevant third parties
  • relevant contextual and/or cultural factors.
  • 1 IJG and Department of Health (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 25 August 2010) at paragraph 19 quoting from Murphy and Queensland Treasury (1995) QAR 744 where the Information Commissioner approved extracts of the Justices' reasoning in Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs v Binnie [1989] VR 836. [up]
  • 2 IJG and Department of Health (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 25 August 2010). [up]
  • 3 Sheridan and South Burnett Regional Council (and Others) (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 9 April 2009) at paragraph 193. [up]

Last updated: March 16, 2012