JTN and Department of Police
JTN and Queensland Police Service
(2002 S0085, 26 May 2003)
The applicant sought access to documents of the respondent concerning certain allegations made against him. The allegations had either been found by the respondent to be unsubstantiated, or had been withdrawn by the informant.
Assistant Commissioner Moss was satisfied that to disclose the substance of the allegations, in this instance, would disclose the identity of the complainant. She found that the matter in issue concerned the personal affairs of the complainant, and that it was inextricably interwoven with information concerning the personal affairs of the applicant, such that it was prima facie exempt from disclosure under s.44(1) of the FOI Act, subject to the application of the public interest balancing test.
AC Moss recognised the public interest in people having access to information concerning them that is held by government agencies, particularly where it relates to sensitive matters of personal concern. However, balanced against that is the strong public interest in protecting the privacy of other persons, and in ensuring the continued supply of information to law enforcement agencies. After balancing the competing public interest considerations, AC Moss concluded that disclosure of the matter in issue would not, on balance, be in the public interest, and that it therefore was exempt matter under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.