Borcherdt and Department of Police

Application number:
2000 S0183
Decision date:
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2001

Borcherdt and Queensland Police Service
(2000 S0183, 17 January 2001) 

The applicant had been both a complainant to the QPS and the subject of a QPS investigation.  He sought access to 'all documents held and relating to myself' and applied for external review on the grounds of both 'sufficiency of search' issues and the QPS's claim for exemption under s.44(1) of the FOI Act. 

During the course of the external review, further documents were located by the QPS to the applicant's satisfaction.  The Assistant Information Commissioner found that all of the matter remaining in issue concerned the shared personal affairs of the applicant and other persons. Applying the principles stated in B and Brisbane North Regional Health Authority (1994) 1 QAR 279 regarding shared personal affairs, the Assistant Information Commissioner decided that the matter in issue was prima facie exempt from disclosure to the applicant, subject to the application of the public interest balancing test. 

The Assistant Information Commissioner decided that, given the amount of matter already disclosed to the applicant, the disclosure of the matter in issue would not significantly further the applicant's understanding of how the QPS handled his complaint.  He decided that the public interest considerations favouring disclosure did not outweigh the public interest in protecting the privacy of the other persons referred to in the matter in issue, and that the matter in issue was therefore exempt under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.