Henderson and Education Queensland

Application number:
1999 S0120
Decision date:
Wednesday, Nov 24, 1999

Henderson and Education Queensland
(1999 S0120, 24 November 1999) 

The matter in issue comprised parts of an internal memorandum which discussed leave arrangements for an employee of the respondent and why that employee required leave. 

The Information Commissioner decided that the matter in issue referred to the employee's personal circumstances and matters of private concern to them, and was therefore prima facie exempt from disclosure under s.44(1) of the FOI Act. 

As regards the public interest balancing test which is incorporated in s.44(1), the Information Commissioner acknowledged that there may be a public interest in scrutinising a government agency's handling of employees' requests for paid leave from the performance of public duties.  However, the Information Commissioner found that any general public interest consideration favouring disclosure was not sufficiently strong, in the particular circumstances of this case, to outweigh the public interest (inherent in the satisfaction of the test for prima facie exemption under s.44(1) of the FOI Act) in protecting the privacy of information concerning the employee's personal affairs.