McMahon and Department of Primary Industries
(1997 S0171, 16 February 1999)
The Information Commissioner found that a draft Cabinet submission on whistleblowers, an extract from a Cabinet decision, and a briefing note on the Cabinet submission (which included references to the applicant) were respectively exempt under s.36(1)(a), s.36(1)(g) and s.36(1)(c)(i) of the FOI Act.
The case also involved a 'sufficiency of search' issue. Applying the principles set out in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464, the Information Commissioner found that, while it was likely that additional documents did at one time exist in the possession of the DPI, those documents no longer existed, and that the searches by the DPI for additional documents had been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.