Mathews and The University of Queensland
(2006 F0003, 30 May 2007)
Section 8(2) Meaning of agency – Whether St John’s College a body comprised within an ‘agency’ for the purposes of section 8(2)
The applicant sought documents in the possession of St John’s College (the College) andargued that the College was an ‘agency’ for the purposes of the FOI Act. The applicant submitted that when the College was established at the University of Queensland St Lucia campus, it was established by the University and consequently could be said to have been established by government.
First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata found that the College was a ‘council’ within the meaning of section 8(2)(a), but decided that the College was not established by or under an enactment or by government. First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata acknowledged that it was clear that the University played an important role in enabling the College to relocate from the Kangaroo Point campus to its current site at the St Lucia campus and that it retained an interest in the land on which the College is situated. However, First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata found that neither the legal constitution of the College, nor its functions or purposes, was affected by the physical relocation of the College in a way that could be said to have re-established it. Accordingly, the College could not be said to have been established by government. The College was not an ‘agency’ within the meaning of section 8(2) and was not subject to the operation of the FOI Act.