RSL and Department of Families, Youth and Community Care

Application number:
1995 S0069
Decision date:
Tuesday, Dec 22, 1998

RSL and Department of Families, Youth and Community Care
(1995 S0069, 22 December 1998) 

The applicant sought access to information concerning the daughter she gave up for adoption more than 20 years earlier.  The Department provided the applicant with a large amount of information but refused to grant access to any identifying or personal information concerning her daughter, or the adoptive parents, on the basis that the daughter had objected to contact, or disclosure of such information, under the Adoption of Children Act 1964 Qld.  The Information Commissioner found that the matter in issue concerned the personal affairs of the daughter, or of her adoptive parents, and was exempt matter under s.44(1) of the FOI Act. 

In determining that there were no public interest considerations of sufficient weight to overcome the public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure, the Information Commissioner took into account the fact that s.59(3) of the Adoption of Children Act did not permit the Department to disclose identifying information in cases where an objection had been made.  This provision was one of the handful of secrecy provisions in Queensland legislation whose efficacy, vis-à-vis the application of the FOI Act, has been preserved by the operation of s.48 of the FOI Act.