Part 2 Factors favouring disclosure in the public interest

OIC note: The public interest balancing test is explained in the Annotation to section 47(3)(b) of the RTI Act. Specifically, for more detailed information about how the public interest test has been applied in particular contexts or in relation to particular documents, please see the ‘Public interest test applied - contexts’ part of that Annotation. In addition, the ‘Public interest test applied - factors’ part of that Annotation provides links to decisions which have considered particular public interest factors listed in schedule 4, as well as links to FOI Act Annotations where FOI Act provisions operated in a similar way to the current RTI Act public interest factors.

1 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to promote open discussion of public affairs and enhance the Government's accountability.

2 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to positive and informed debate on important issues or matters of serious interest.

3 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to inform the community of the Government's operations, including, in particular, the policies, guidelines and codes of conduct followed by the Government in its dealings with members of the community.

4 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to ensure effective oversight of expenditure of public funds.

5 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to allow or assist inquiry into possible deficiencies in the conduct or administration of an agency or official.

6 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to reveal or substantiate that an agency or official has engaged in misconduct or negligent, improper or unlawful conduct.

7 The information is the applicant's personal information.

8 The information is the personal information of a child within the meaning of section 25, the agent acting for the applicant is the child's parent within the meaning of section 25 and disclosure of the information is reasonably considered to be in the child's best interests.

9 The information relates to a person who has died and both of the following apply —

(a) the information would, if the person were alive, be personal information of the person;

(b) the applicant is an eligible family member of the person.

10 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to advance the fair treatment of individuals and other entities in accordance with the law in their dealings with agencies.

11 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to reveal the reason for a government decision and any background or contextual information that informed the decision.

12 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to reveal that the information was—

(a) incorrect; or

(b) out of date; or

(c) misleading; or

(d) gratuitous; or

(e) unfairly subjective; or

(f) irrelevant.

13 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to the protection of the environment.

14 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to reveal environmental or health risks or measures relating to public health and safety.

15 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to the maintenance of peace and order.

16 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to the administration of justice generally, including procedural fairness.

17 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to the administration of justice for a person.

18 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to the enforcement of the criminal law.

19 Disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to contribute to innovation and the facilitation of research.