Edwards and Department of Health

Application number:
2001 S0055
Decision date:
Thursday, May 24, 2001

Edwards and Fraser Coast Health Service District (Department of Health)
(2001 S0055, 24 May 2001) 

This was an application under s.73(1)(d) of the FOI Act for the grant of an extension of time in which to lodge an application for external review.  The delay was in excess of 20 weeks beyond the statutory 60 day time limit.  The applicant sought access to blood group details of her deceased father in order to try to extrapolate (from his blood group and the blood groups of herself and her brother) the likely blood group of her deceased mother.  She intended to use that information to try to establish whether her mother and her aunt (also deceased) were sisters of full or half blood for the purpose of the administration of the aunt's estate. 

The applicant argued that there was a public interest in ensuring that a deceased person's estate is distributed appropriately.  However, Assistant Information Commissioner Shoyer decided that he was not satisfied that the information sought was capable of assisting in that process.  In view of the extent of the delay, which was largely unexplained, and the fact that the Assistant Information Commissioner was not satisfied that the applicant had a reasonably arguable case with reasonable prospects of success, the Assistant Information Commissioner declined to exercise the discretion contained in s.73(1)(d) of the FOI Act in favour of the applicant.