Mewburn and Kolan Shire Council
(2006 F0167, 7 September 2006)
s.77 – Decision not to further review; no jurisdiction
The applicant made three FOI access applications and a further request for information to the Council. The applicant contends that she did not receive the Council’s correspondence in respect of the second and third access applications, so that there may have been a deemed refusal of access to the requested documents.
Assistant Commissioner Barker found that the information to which the applicant sought access is reasonably available to her under administrative arrangements made by the Council, and that the Council would therefore be entitled to refuse access to that matter under s.22(a) of the FOI Act. On that basis, AC Barker considered that the applicant’s request for external review was lacking in substance and decided to exercise the discretion conferred by s.77 of the FOI Act not to further review the matter.
AC Barker found that the Information Commissioner did not have jurisdiction to review the Council’s decision that a fee was payable in respect of the first access application, as the applicant had not applied for external review within the relevant period. She also found that, even if the Council had treated the applicant’s request for information as an FOI access application, the applicant had applied for review well before the date on which the Council would be required to inform her of its decision, so that the Information Commissioner would not have had jurisdiction in respect of that matter.