ALE and Central Queensland University; W (Third Party)

Application number:
1995 S0009
Decision date:
Monday, Jan 20, 1997

ALE and Central Queensland University; W (Third Party)
(1995 S0009, 20 January 1997)


RBA and Central Queensland University; W (Third Party)
(1995 S0010, 20 January 1997)


These 'reverse FOI' cases concerned two memoranda, each written by a staff member of the respondent to their Dean, criticising the supervision of students by the third party.

Applying the principles set out in B and Brisbane North Regional Health Authority(1994) 1 QAR 279, the Information Commissioner decided that the memoranda were not exempt under s.46(1).  Parts of the memoranda were deliberative process matter and, because the memoranda were provided by the authors in their capacity as officers of the respondent, ineligible for exemption under s.46(1), by virtue of s.46(2).

As to the balance of the memoranda, the Information Commissioner found that s.46(1)(a) did not apply as the respondent was not under an equitable obligation to refrain from supplying that matter to the third party. As to s.46(1)(b), the Information Commissioner decided that there was no mutual understanding between the authors, and management of the respondent, that the memoranda would be kept confidential, that disclosure would not prejudice the future supply of like information to the respondent, and that disclosure to the respondent would be in the public interest.

In addition, the Information Commissioner determined that s.40(c) and s.41(1) were not applicable, as disclosure to the respondent would be in the public interest.  The Information Commissioner also rejected claims that the texts of the memoranda concerned the personal affairs of the authors, but decided that their signatures and a number of references to students contained in the memoranda were exempt matter under s.44(1).