Key published decisions applying Schedule 3, section 2 RTI Act

Office of the Leader of the Opposition and Treasury Department (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 7 July 2010)

The applicant applied to the Treasury Department (Department) for all draft versions of a Queensland government flyer concerning asset sales, including material that was used to produce the flyer. The Department refused to deal with the application under section 40 of the RTI Act on the basis that the request was for all documents of a stated class, and it appeared all documents comprised exempt information under schedule 3, section 2(1)(a).

On external review, the Information Commissioner considered the Department's submission that the flyer 'was a part of a State-wide advertising campaign which, due to its cost, was required to be endorsed by the Cabinet Budget Review Committee' (CBRC). [32] Upon reviewing the relevant Queensland Government Advertising Guidelines, the Information Commissioner confirmed that the flyer, as a part of an advertising campaign over $100 000, was required to be lodged with the CBRC and was therefore information brought into existence for the consideration of Cabinet.

The applicant submitted that the flyer and related information was brought into existence 'to inform the public on the purpose and justification of the government’s asset program'. [36] The Information Commissioner acknowledged that a document may be brought into existence for a number of reasons. If consideration by Cabinet is just one of the reasons that the information was created, then it will comprise exempt information. [45]

Further, the Information Commissioner found that:

  • since the estimated cost of the advertising campaign was released before the creation of the flyer, from that point onwards the draft documents would have been created for eventual consideration by Cabinet; and
  • no schedule 3, section 2(2) exceptions to the exemption applied.

Accordingly, the Information Commissioner found that access could be refused to the information under schedule 3, section 2(1)(a) of the RTI Act.

Last updated: March 16, 2012