Moon and Gold Coast City Council
(2006 F0005, 13 February 2007)
Sufficiency of search – s.22(a) documents to which access may be refused
The applicant claims that there are further documents that should be released to him which are responsive to his FOI application relating to how the Council made the decision that a particular development application should be assessed under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) as ‘code assessable’.
In considering whether it is reasonable to believe that the Council should be in the possession or control of further documents (whether or not in the possession of third party contractors), Assistant Commissioner Corby looked at the Council’s decision making process within the legislative context (including IPA and the relevant planning scheme) and the history of the particular development application. She was satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that there exists, in the possession or under the control of the Council any further documents responsive to the FOI application and the Council’s searches have been reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.
The applicant requested certain documents that he claims fall within the scope of his application to which the Council refused access under s.22(a). AC Corby was satisfied that the Council correctly exercised its discretion under s.22(a) of the FOI Act to refuse access to the relevant documents because the applicant is able to access the relevant documents through the Planning and Environment Court Registry and the Council’s administrative access regime.