AFT and Department of Natural Resources and Mines
(2004 F0731, 6 July 2005)
Assessment of Charges - personal affairs
The applicant sought access to documents relating to deliberations of the respondent regarding the proposed transfer of the title of her property to the estate of the deceased previous owner, including arrangements with a banking institution for release of the applicant's mortgage. The respondent had assessed that charges were payable in relation to all documents that were relevant to her request as they were not considered to concern her personal affairs.
The matter in issue comprised 311 folios from a file of the respondent, including copies of title searches, correspondence between the respondent and a banking institution, internal departmental briefings and memoranda regarding the transfers, and correspondence and file note records of conversations with people associated with the applicant, the deceased and the management of the property.
Applying the principles in Stewart and Department of Transport (1993) 1 QAR 227, Commissioner Taylor found that the matter in issue included information relating to the applicant's signature, residential address, mortgage and financial obligations, alleged wrongdoing and personal relationships. Commissioner Taylor was satisfied that 198 of the 311 documents contained matter that concerned the applicant's personal affairs. Commissioner Taylor found that, as some of the documents did not contain matter concerning the applicant's personal affairs, the applicant was required to pay the application fee for the FOI access application.
Applying the principles in Price and Surveyors Board of Queensland (1997) 4 QAR 181, Commissioner Taylor found that the applicant was required to pay processing and photocopying charges in relation to the 113 documents that did not concern the applicant's personal affairs. Applying the apportionment approach to reassessing the processing charges (JSD and Medical Board of Queensland (2003) 6 QAR 189), Commissioner Taylor found that the applicant was liable to pay $71.65 in processing and photocopying charges for the 113 documents.