Monks and Logan City Council
(1996 L0009, 16 November 1999)
The Information Commissioner decided that, in the context in which they appeared, the names of persons who had contributed comments to a consultant engaged by the respondent to make preliminary investigations prior to the production of a draft Development Control Plan would disclose information that concerned those persons' personal affairs.
The informal and preliminary nature of the consultation was an important factor in my finding. The Information Commissioner commented that the position might well be different where people choose to become involved in a more formal and public, statutory-based submission process. The Information Commissioner found that disclosure of the names (the text of the comments had already been disclosed) would not, on balance, be in the public interest, and that they therefore were exempt from disclosure under s.44(l). However, given that their identities would not be disclosed, the Information Commissioner found that the suburbs of residence of two persons were not exempt from disclosure under s.44(1).