KNWY and Department of Education

Application number:
1997 S0139
Decision date:
Tuesday, Jan 06, 1998

KNWY and Department of Education
(1997 S0139, 6 January 1998) 

A divorced father sought access to documents that would reveal the names used by his children at their school, and their marks achieved in schoolwork and assignments. 

The Family Court had made an order for what used to be called 'guardianship' by the father in respect of the children.  The children's mother pursued a 'reverse FOI' application, objecting to the Department's decision to give the father access to the information he requested.  The Information Commissioner applied the principles stated in Stewart and Department of Transport (1993) 1 QAR 227 in finding that the matter in issue concerned the personal affairs of the children. 

However, taking into account the legal responsibilities of a parent in respect of whom a guardianship order has been made, the Information Commissioner found that the public interest in disclosure to the father of the matter in issue outweighed its prima facie exempt status, and the Information Commissioner affirmed the decision under review.