(310357, 21 October 2011)
The applicant applied to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Department) under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act) for access to various documents.
The Department disclosed more than 1900 folios to the applicant; refusing access to 153 folios in full and 64 in part access decision.
The applicant sought internal review of the access decision, contending the Department had failed to locate all relevant documents.
On internal review the Department affirmed its access decision and the applicant subsequently sought external review. In her external review application, the applicant restated her contention that the Department had not located all relevant documents, providing extensive submissions in support of her claims.
During the external review, the Department conducted further searches for relevant documents sought by the applicant and provided extensive submissions explaining its searches, and responding to each of the applicant’s 56 submissions as contained in her external review application.
Assistant Information Commissioner Jefferies affirmed the Department’s decision to refuse access to the requested documents under the RTI Act as:
· some of the documents sought by the applicant were not within the scope of the access application
· the Department had taken all reasonable steps to locate all documents responding to the access application; and
· no further documents either existed or could be located which responded to the access application.
Accordingly, AIC Jefferies found that the Department was entitled to refuse the applicant access to the documents sought under section 47(3)(e) and sections 52(1)(a) and (b) of the RTI Act.