Richardson and Queensland Corrective Services Commission
(1994 S0135, 16 August 1996)
The Information Commissioner applied the principles for the application of s.41(1) discussed in Eccleston and Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs (1993) 1 QAR 60 and Trustees of the De La Salle Brothers and Qld Corrective Services Commission (1996) 3 QAR 206, to documents relating to the termination of the applicant's contract of employment as a senior executive of the respondent.
The Information Commissioner found that considerable parts of the matter in issue merely consisted of factual matter, and so were excluded from exemption under s.41(1) by s.41(2)(b). As to the balance of the matter in issue (which I accepted was 'deliberative process' matter falling within the terms of s.41(1)(a)), the Information Commissioner rejected a 'frankness and candour' argument that disclosure would impede the proper flow of information between public servants and the Minister.
The Information Commissioner also considered that there was a public interest in members of the community having access to documents which related to the negotiation, and application, of special terms in the applicant's contract. The Information Commissioner found that the respondent had not satisfied the onus on it (under s.81 of the FOI Act) to establish that its decision was justified.