Leach and Department of Police
(210683, 31 March 2009)
Section 28A(1) FOI Act – refusal of access – agency to be satisfied document does not exist
The applicant applied to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for access to security camera footage of a specific interview room at Cairns Police Station for the period 3 to 4pm on 16 March 2007 (Recording). QPS denied the applicant access to the Recording under section 28A(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (Qld) (FOI Act) on the basis that the Recording the applicant was seeking did not exist.
The applicant asserted that he was not satisfied that QPS had searched for the Recording.
QPS provided a Statutory Declaration indicating that there were no video surveillance cameras attached to the relevant interview room.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Jefferies applied the principles in PDE and University of Queensland (Unreported, Queensland Information Commissioner, 9 February 2009) and found that there were reasonable grounds for QPS to be satisfied that the Recording did not exist because there was no facility to create the document sought. Accordingly, Acting Assistant Commissioner Jefferies affirmed QPS’ decision to refuse access to the Recording under section 28A(1) of the FOI Act.