McMahon and Office of the Public Service Commissioner

Application number:
2002 F0068
Decision date:
Thursday, Dec 01, 2005

McMahon and Department of Premier and Cabinet

(2002 F0067, 1 December 2005)

McMahon and Office of the Public Service Commissioner

(2002 F0068, 1 December 2005)

Cabinet matter – application of s.36(1)

AC Barker found that excerpts from Cabinet submissions which appeared in several of the documents in issue qualified for exemption from disclosure under s.36(1)(g) of the FOI Act (a copy of, or extract from, matter which has been submitted to Cabinet).

Legal professional privilege – improper purpose exception

The applicant contended that the documents and parts of documents in respect of which the respondents had claimed s.43(1) did not qualify for exemption, as they comprised legal advice obtained for an improper purpose (to deny the applicant employment or a hearing of his grievances).  AC Barker found that there was no evidence to support the applicant's claim and that the matter in issue, having been prepare for the dominant purpose of seeking or obtaining legal advice, qualified for exemption from disclosure under s.43(1) of the FOI Act.

Identities of unsuccessful job applicants – application of s.44(1)

The applicant had been given access to documentation relating to the filling of several positions to which he had failed to obtain appointment, subject to the deletion of information which would identify other unsuccessful applicants.  Applying the principles established in Re Baldwin and Department of Education; Others (1996) 3 QAR 251, AC Barker found that the identifying matter qualified for exemption under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.

Sufficiency of search

AC Barker was satisfied that no additional responsive documents existed in the possession or under the control of the respondents, and that the searches and inquiries for any such documents had been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.  AC Barker was also satisfied that there was no reason to believe that coded files concerning the applicant were held by either respondent.