McKinnon and Department of Communities
(310223, 7 June 2011)
Section 47(3)(b) Right to Information Act 2009 – Grounds on which access may be refused
Section 49 Right to Information Act 2009 – Contrary to public interest
The applicant is a former employee of the Department of Communities (Department) who seeks access to a broad range of information under the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) (RTI Act), including:
· information concerning a complaint made by the applicant about a co-worker, complaints made by others about the same co-worker and others
· the applicant’s personnel file
· emails, notes and memos between the investigator of the applicant’s complaint and others
· all emails between various co-workers of the applicant between certain dates
· information regarding the secondment of a third party; and
· a copy of a particular expression of interest and various information about the processing of applications received.
The applicant applied for external review of the Department’s decision:
· refusing access to certain information on the basis that its release would, on balance, be contrary to public interest; and
· omitting pages on the basis that they are copies, contain irrelevant information or fall outside the scope of the access application.
During the course of the external review, the applicant confirmed that he no longer sought access to certain information and the Department agreed to release further certain information to the applicant.
After carefully reviewing all of the relevant information, Right to Information Commissioner Mead was satisfied that:
· the information identified by the Department as copies of relevant documents and information falling outside or irrelevant to the scope of the application is properly characterised; and
· access to the remaining information to which the Department refused access, can be refused under sections 47(3)(b) and 49 of the RTI Act as its disclosure would, on balance, be contrary to public interest.