Qualtime Association Inc and Department of Communities
(310219, 29 June 2011)
The access applicant made an application to the Department of Communities (Department) under the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) for access to information held by Disability Services Queensland about:
· the accreditation of Qualtime Association Inc (Qualtime)
· Qualtime’s compliance with any special conditions of certification; and
· the investigation of a complaint made to DSQ about Qualtime’s management.
The Department notified Qualtime about the possible release of information relevant to the access application and invited Qualtime to provide its view about whether the information should be disclosed. Qualtime objected to disclosure of all of the information and provided reasons in support of its case.
The Department decided to disclose the information to the access applicant contrary to Qualtime’s view and Qualtime applied to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) for external review of the Department’s decision. On external review, Qualtime strongly objected to disclosure of all of the information and raised a number of procedural issues about the conduct of the review.
After addressing the procedural issues in detail, the Right to Information Commissioner (RTI Commissioner) noted that, in accordance with section 87(2) of the RTI Act, Qualtime had the onus of establishing that a decision not to disclose the information was justified.
Qualtime based its objection to disclosure of the information on issue on the following provisions of the RTI Act:
· schedule 3 section 7 of the RTI Act – information subject to legal professional privilege
· schedule 3 section 10(1)(c) of the RTI Act – disclosure could reasonably be expected to endanger a person’s life or physical safety
· schedule 3 section 10(1)(d) of the RTI Act - disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in a person being subjected to a serious act of harassment or intimidation; and
· section 49 of the RTI Act – disclosure would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest.
The RTI Commissioner considered Qualtime’s submissions together with the requirements of each of these provisions and decided that:
· Qualtime had not discharged the onus under section 87(2) of the RTI Act; and
· the information in issue did not comprise:
o exempt information; or
o information the disclosure of the which would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest.