Kinder and Department of Housing

Application number:
2001 S0091
Decision date:
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2002

Kinder and Department of Housing
(2001 S0091, 12 March 2002) 

The matter in issue in this review comprised complaints about the applicant, who was a tenant of the Department of Housing, and the identities of the complainants.  The Department did not investigate the complaints, which the applicant alleged were false, and did not take any action against the applicant, but the applicant argued that he should be given access to the complaints so that he could apply for amendment of false, misleading and inaccurate information.  The Department contended that the matter in issue was exempt under s.44(1) and s.46(1)(b) of the FOI Act.

Assistant Commissioner Moss found the matter in issue qualified for exemption from disclosure under s.46(1)(a) of the FOI Act.  AC Moss decided that, as it had not been necessary to disclose the matter in issue to the applicant for the purpose of an investigation, it retained the necessary quality of confidence, and that disclosure to the applicant would be an unauthorised use of that information.  AC Moss also decided that the matter in issue which concerned the personal affairs of both the applicant and the complainants, qualified for exemption under s.44(1) of the FOI Act, because the public interest in the privacy of the complainants and in maintaining the flow of similar information to the Department, outweighed any public interest in disclosure to the applicant, who had not suffered any detriment as a result of the complaints.