Application of Schedule 3, section 2 RTI Act

Relevant considerations

1. Do any exceptions in schedule 3, section 2(2) of the RTI Act apply?

If the information was brought into existence before the commencement of the section, or it has been officially published by decision of Cabinet, then the information will not be exempt under schedule 3, section 2(1).1

2. Was the information 'brought into existence' for the consideration of Cabinet?

a) 'Brought into existence'

The information need only be brought into existence for the consideration of Cabinet. Whether or not the information was actually considered by Cabinet is irrelevant.

The information need not have been brought into existence for the sole purpose of Cabinet consideration.2 Provided one of the reasons for the document's creation was consideration by Cabinet, this will be sufficient.

b) 'Cabinet'

Schedule 3, section 2(5) defines 'Cabinet' to include a Cabinet committee or subcommittee.

c) 'Consideration'

Schedule 3, section 2(5) defines 'consideration' in the context of schedule 3, section 2(1) as:

(a) discussion, deliberation, noting (with or without discussion) or decision; and
(b) consideration for any purpose, including, for example, for information or to make a decision.

3. Would disclosing the information reveal a consideration of Cabinet or otherwise prejudice the confidentiality of Cabinet considerations or operations?

If information is already publicly available or known, then its disclosure will not reveal a consideration of Cabinet or otherwise prejudice the confidentiality of Cabinet considerations and operations.

4. Was the information brought into existence in the course of the State's budgetary processes?

This is a question of fact. In considering this question, the circumstances in which the information was created is highly relevant. For example, where information is requested by or from Queensland Treasury for the specific purposes of considering matters of significant budgetary consequence that information can be found to have been brought into existence in the course of the State’s budgetary processes (North Queensland Conservation Council Inc and Queensland Treasury [2016] QICmr 21 (10 June 2016)).

It is also relevant to consider the meaning of the words State’s budgetary processes and in this regard guidance on Queensland Treasury’s website regarding what the State’s budgetary processes include and involve can assist a decision maker in deciding whether information was brought into existence in the course of those processes.

5. Is the document taken to be comprised exclusively of exempt information?

Under schedule 3, section 2(3), the following documents or drafts of documents are taken to be comprised exclusively of exempt information:

  • Cabinet submissions
  • Cabinet briefing notes
  • Cabinet agendas
  • notes of discussions in Cabinet
  • Cabinet minutes
  • Cabinet decisions.

6. Is the document attached to a document mentioned in schedule 3, section 2(3)?

A report of factual or statistical information that is attached to a document listed in schedule 3, section 2(3) will only be exempt if:

  • its disclosure would reveal a consideration of Cabinet; or
  • it was brought into existence for the consideration of cabinet; or
  • it was brought into existence in the course of the State's budgetary processes.

  • 1 For information brought into existence for the consideration of Cabinet before the commencement of the RTI Act on 1 July 2009, see the exemption in schedule 3, section 1 of the RTI Act. [up]
  • 2 Office of the Leader of the Opposition and Treasury Department (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 7 July 2010) at paragraph 45. [up]

Last updated: March 6, 2017