Queensland Police Service and Department of Education
(1997 S0114, 30 January 1998)
The matter in issue comprised the name of a teacher appearing in a report by police of their investigation into a complaint lodged by the access applicant. The report exonerated the teacher of any wrongdoing.
The QPS took it upon itself to pursue a 'reverse FOI' application against the Department's decision to disclose the report, arguing that the teacher's name was exempt matter under s.41(1) and s.40(c) of the FOI Act. The access applicant was aware of the name of the teacher, which in any event was clearly stated in another document that had been provided to him by the CJC.
The Information Commissioner found that the teacher's name could not properly be characterised as 'deliberative process matter' within the terms of s.41(1)(a) of the FOI Act. The Information Commissioner also found that disclosure of the teacher's name could not reasonably be expected to have a substantial adverse effect on the management by the Department of Education of its personnel, and hence that it was not exempt under s.40(c) of the FOI Act. (The Information Commissioner expressed surprise that the QPS felt able to second guess the Department's judgment on that issue.)