Claes and Queensland Rail
(1998 S0010, 4 September 1998)
The applicant sought access to statements by a fellow Queensland Rail engine driver, in relation to an altercation between the applicant and the other driver.
The Information Commissioner determined that the matter in issue was exempt from disclosure under s.40(c) of the FOI Act, as its release could reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on Queensland Rail's ability to investigate and deal with future cases involving alleged violence or harassment in the workplace.
The Information Commissioner stated that the reporting and proper investigation of incidents of physical altercations between staff raises particularly difficult management issues for most agencies, and the Information Commissioner accepted that the apparent breach of trust involved in the release of information given in confidence, would make it difficult to obtain the co-operation of staff in similar investigations in the future.
The Information Commissioner noted that Queensland Rail is not subject to the Public Service Act 1996 Qld and the Public Service Regulation 1997 Qld, so that the effect of provisions like s.15 and s.16 of the Public Service Regulation had no relevance to the decision.