Shaw and Medical Board of Queensland
(210307, 3 July 2008)
Sections 53 and 54E Amendment of information
The applicant sought to have the Medical Board of Queensland make six amendments to an investigation report concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of the applicant’s wife. During the course of the external review the parties to the review agreed on appropriate notations in respect of a number of the amendment requests with the result that only three amendment requests remained in issue at the time of issuing a decision.
First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata found that the applicant was entitled to apply for amendment of the investigation report.
The applicant requested amendments to two clauses in the investigation report submitting that the clauses were incomplete because specific and pertinent information available to the investigator was not but should have been included in the investigation report. First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata decided that the relevant clauses of the investigation report should not be amended and in doing so noted that:
Investigation reports of this type generally record the author’s investigation and a synthesis of the information obtained in the investigation. As in this matter, an investigation report is a historical document that records a particular investigation undertaken at a point in time, conducted by a particular investigator. Though questions may, and often do, arise as to the thoroughness of the investigation, the information obtained, the direction taken in the investigation or conclusions (opinions) expressed in an investigation report, I would anticipate that it would be an unusual case in which an investigation report would require amendment on the basis that it is incomplete. If this were not the case, Part 4 of the FOI Act could be used as a vehicle for re-writing an investigation report, which… is contrary to the purpose of the relevant provisions.
In relation to the final amendment request, First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata decided that the relevant clause:
· attributed knowledge to the applicant which was contrary to the evidence that he provided to, and which was accepted by, the Coronial Inquest into his wife’s death
· was inaccurate and misleading.
Accordingly, First Assistant Commissioner Rangihaeata decided that a notation should be added to this clause of the investigation report to correct the inaccuracy of the clause and the misleading impression it conveyed.