Slynko and Department of Education
(1997 S0043, 8 October 1997)
The Information Commissioner considered two issues: first, whether the documents sought would, if they existed, fall within the terms of the relevant FOI access application; and, second, whether the Department had failed to locate and deal with all documents falling within the terms of that access application.
In respect of the first issue, the Information Commissioner referred to the discussion of the interpretation of the terms of an FOI access application in Cannon and Australian Quality Egg Farms Ltd (1994) 1 QAR 491 at paragraphs 8-16, and found that many documents requested by the applicant during the review did not, on a fair reading of his FOI access application, fall within its scope.
As to the 'sufficiency of search' issue, in accordance with the principles set out in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464, the Information Commissioner found that, following the location of three further documents (pursuant to an agreed amendment to the access application), there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the Department had possession or control of any further documents falling within the terms of the relevant FOI access application.