FGP and Department of Education, Training and the Arts; LYU (Third Party)
(210221; 24 December 2007)
LYU made an application under the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld) (FOI Act) for access to copies of certain documents relating to the schooling of his child.
Section 11(1)(y) - Matter in issue excluded from the operation of the FOI Act
Assistant Commissioner Henry was satisfied that 2 folios which comprised a Queensland Studies Authority Revised Student Report were excluded from the application of the FOI Act by section 11(1)(y)(ii) of the FOI Act and consequently, decided that this Office had no jurisdiction to conduct an external review in relation to those folios.
Section 50A - Applications on behalf of children
The Department of Education, Training and the Arts (Department) submitted that LYU’s application was made under section 50A of the FOI Act, that is, on behalf of the child.
Assistant Commissioner Henry considered information provided by LYU that he did not apply on behalf of the child because the child could, in his view, access the information independently and that he was applying for the information because it was his right as a father.
Assistant Commissioner Henry decided that LYU was applying for information about the child for his own information and that his freedom of information application was not genuinely made under section 50A of the FOI Act.
Section 44(1) – Personal affairs
The matter in issue was limited to:
· photos of the relevant child and other students
· the child’s last name, names of relevant schools and school emblems and names and signatures of relevant teachers and principals as they appeared in the various school report cards.
Assistant Commissioner Henry found that the matter in issue was properly characterised as information concerning the personal affairs of the child and other students.
The Department submitted that there was a public interest in LYU having access to sufficient information to be properly informed of the educational progress of his child. In considering this submission, Assistant Commissioner Henry noted that LYU had already been provided with the substance of the child’s school report cards providing him with details of the child’s educational progress.
Assistant Commissioner Henry decided that the public interest considerations favouring disclosure of the relevant matter in issue did not outweigh the public interest in the protection of the personal privacy of the child and other students and found that the matter in issue was exempt from disclosure under section 44(1) of the FOI Act.
In relation to the relevance of an order of the Family Court of Australia to the application, Assistant Commissioner Henry found that:
· LYU had a private right to be provided with copies of certain documents which was enforceable in the Family Court of Australia
· the FOI Act was not the appropriate vehicle to enforce these private rights or compel the performance of private obligations.