Carter and Gold Coast City Council

Application number:
2003 F0696
Decision date:
Wednesday, Apr 07, 2004

Carter and Gold Coast City Council
(2003 F0696, 7 April 2004) 

Sufficiency of search 

The applicant sought access to four categories of documents which he contended that an officer of the respondent would have referred to when responding to an inquiry from the Queensland Ombudsman.  In addition, the applicant sought access to a letter from the respondent's Chief Executive Officer to the applicant and/or his wife,  concerning an instruction from the CEO that staff of the respondent not engage in any further discussions with the applicant. 

The officer of the respondent advised that he did not refer to any documents when responding to the inquiry from the Ombudsman's office (which was made by telephone), but had relied on his memory and prior knowledge of the relevant issues, gained through extensive dealings with the applicant.  That officer also advised that, to the best of the recollection, the instruction from the CEO, regarding future dealings with the applicant, was verbal, and was not contained in any letter from the CEO to the applicant and/or his wife.  Furthermore, a search of the respondent's files had failed to locate such a letter.

AC Moss found that there were no reasonable grounds for believing that there existed, in the respondent's possession or under its control, documents that fell within the terms of the applicant's FOI access application.  AC Moss was satisfied that the searches and inquiries which the respondent had conducted in an effort to locate any responsive documents had been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.