Lindeberg and Department of Families, Youth and Community Care
(1994 S0190, 30 May 1997)
The Information Commissioner found that various documents and segments of matter in issue were exempt under one of s.36(1)(c), s.36(1)(e), s.36(1)(g), s.37(1)(a) or s.37(1)(g), all of which concern Cabinet or Executive Council matter.
The Information Commissioner also indicated that the case provided another clear example of an absurd anomaly caused by the present wording of s.36(2) and s.37(2). Those provisions set out the only exceptions to s.36(1) and s.37(1) and have the effect that matter will not be exempt if it has been officially published by decision of Cabinet (s.36(2)) or Executive Council (s.37(2)).
The Information Commissioner pointed out that this leads to a situation where matter which has been otherwise published through official sources, e.g. by a Minister, may nevertheless be exempt matter because no decision of Cabinet or Executive Council authorised its publication. The Information Commissioner recommended that Parliament consider amendments to s.36(2) and s.37(2) so that any matter which has been published by an official government source is not exempt matter under s.36(1) or s.37(1).