KLL and Department of Health

Application number:
2000 S0103
Decision date:
Monday, Sep 16, 2002

KLL and Queensland Health (Department of Health)
(2000 S0103, 16 September 2002) 

The applicant, a former employee of the respondent, had been the subject of disciplinary action.  The applicant had obtained access to a large number of documents relating to the disciplinary action, but contended that additional relevant documents ought to exist in the respondent's possession or under its control. 

Applying the principles established in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government & Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464, the Assistant Commissioner decided that there were no reasonable grounds for believing that additional responsive documents existed in the possession or under the control of the respondent, and that the searches and inquiries conducted by the respondent in an effort to locate any such documents had been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case. 

The applicant had also sought access to all records of disciplinary penalties imposed on officers of the respondent in the past 10 years.  The respondent submitted evidence such as to satisfy the Assistant Commissioner that the searches that would have to be undertaken to locate all documents containing such information would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the respondent from their use by the respondent in the performance of its functions, and that the respondent's reliance upon s.28(2) of the FOI Act in refusing to process that part of the FOI access application was therefore justified. 

The Assistant Commissioner also affirmed the respondent's decision that segments of information which recorded the opinions of senior staff about what penalty should be imposed on the applicant, including discussion of the likely effect on the operations of the respondent, were exempt from disclosure under s.41(1) of the FOI Act.