Application of schedule 3, section 10(1)(g) 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 (Qld)); 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 identifiable lawful method or procedure for protecting public safety?

a)  Method or procedure

In Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd and Department of Justice and Attorney-General,1 the RTI Commissioner found a voluntary process between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, the amusement device operators and other stakeholders in the industry was a lawful ‘method or procedure’ for the purposes of schedule 3, section 10(1)(g) of the RTI Act.  In reaching this conclusion, the RTI Commissioner considered the Department’s submissions which explained how the process operated and provided examples of the process’ use.2

b)  Protecting public safety

In Nine Network Australia the RTI Commissioner was satisfied a voluntary process aimed at improving the safety of amusement devices and achieving industry best practice above the minimum standards in workplace health and safety was a method or procedure for protecting public safety.3

3. Is there a reasonable expectation that disclosing the relevant information could prejudice the maintenance or enforcement of the method or procedure?

a)  Prejudice

In applying this provision, ‘prejudice’ is given its ordinary and natural meaning; that is ‘to detrimentally impact’.4

b)  Is the expectation of prejudice reasonably based?

See could reasonably be expected to Annotation.

The existence of a mandatory legislative scheme is relevant in determining whether disclosing information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the maintenance or enforcement of a method or procedure.5

  • 1 Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd and Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Nine Network Australia) (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 14 February 2012) at paragraph 21.
  • 2 Nine Network Australia at paragraphs 22 and 23.
  • 3 Nine Network Australia at paragraph 25.
  • 4 Nine Network Australia at paragraph 32.
  • 5 Nine Network Australia at paragraph 37.

Last updated: May 8, 2013