Shute and Department of Police

Application number:
1996 S0181
Decision date:
Friday, Feb 13, 1998

Shute and Queensland Police Service
(1996 S0181, 13 February 1998) 

In this case, the Information Commissioner found that the applicant was not obliged to pay a $30 application fee, or access charges, in order to obtain access to documents which the QPS was prepared to release to him. 

The QPS submitted that the word 'concern' in s.6 and s.7 of the FOI Regulation should be interpreted as connoting exclusivity, such that requested documents must 'solely' or 'exclusively' concern the personal affairs of the applicant for access, before the applicant is entitled to obtain access to the documents free of charge. 

The Information Commissioner rejected that submission and affirmed the principles which the Information Commissioner stated in Price and Surveyors Board of Queensland (1997) 4 QAR 181 and Bolton and Department of Transport (1995) 3 QAR 143, to the effect that, provided each document to which an applicant requests access contains some information that can be properly characterised as information concerning the applicant's personal affairs, a $30 application fee is not payable.  Nor are access charges (e.g., photocopying fees) payable in respect of a document which contains some information that concerns the personal affairs of the applicant for access.