Mathews and The University of Queensland
(310537, 5 December 2011)
Section 60 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) – refusal to deal; substantial and unreasonable diversion of agency resources
The applicant sought access to various documents held by the University of Queensland (UQ).
UQ identified approximately 96 files relevant to the application and gave the applicant written notice (Notice) of its intention not to deal with the application pursuant to section 60 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act), explaining UQ estimated that dealing with the application would involve processing at least 14,789 documents.
The applicant subsequently amended his application (Narrowed Application). UQ decided to refuse to deal with the Narrowed Application. The applicant applied for internal review of UQ’s initial decision. UQ affirmed the initial decision to refuse to deal with the Narrowed Application, noting doing so would still require dealing with 5,828 documents and would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of UQ’s resources.
The applicant applied to this Office for external review of the UQ’s decision to refuse to deal with her application.
Following consideration of relevant submissions and the requirements of sections 60 and 61 of the IP Act, Right to Information Commissioner Mead found that UQ had satisfied the prerequisites set out in section 61 of the IP Act before refusing to deal with the application, and correctly applied the requirements of section 60.
Right to Information Commissioner Mead affirmed UQ’s decision to refuse to deal with the Narrowed Application under section 60 of the IP Act on the basis that it would substantially and unreasonably divert UQ’s resources from their use by the agency in performing its functions.