Hudson, as agent for Fencray Pty Ltd, and the Department of the Premier, Economic and Trade Development
(1993 S0053, 13 August 1993)
Amendments to s.36 of the FOI Act (the Cabinet matter exemption) which took effect from 20 November 1993 (and which were apparently made in response to the Information Commissioner's decision in this case) have diminished the continuing value of the Commissioner's reasons for decision. Nevertheless, the reasons for decision -
· contain a detailed analysis of the orthodox rationale for Cabinet secrecy, in terms of the convention of collective ministerial responsibility.
· analyse the meaning of the phrase 'deliberation of Cabinet' which was retained in s.36(1)(g) and s.36(2)(a) and (b) of the FOI Act, following the 1993 amendments.
· analyse the wording of the proviso to the s.36(2) exception, which remained unchanged following the 1993 amendments.
· analyse and illustrate the meaning of the phrase 'merely factual matter', which no longer appears in s.36(2) following the 1993 amendments, but which still appears in s.41(2)(b) of the FOI Act.