Somerset and Queensland Police Service
(1995 S0016, 11 April 1996)
The Information Commissioner first dealt with 'sufficiency of search' issues, which the Information Commissioner approached according to the principles set out in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464. The Information Commissioner found that it was reasonable to believe that some warrant documentation had been in the possession or control of the respondent at least at one time, but that it had either been destroyed, or passed into the possession or control of a Magistrates Court. The Information Commissioner found that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that further documents falling within the terms of the initial FOI access application had ever existed.
The Information Commissioner then decided that matter in an interim investigation report, recording a police officer's opinion as to the possible criminal liability of certain persons who were the subject of an unfinished investigation, was exempt under s.41(1) - the deliberative process exemption. The Information Commissioner found that it would be contrary to the public interest to disclose this matter, as it came into existence at an early stage of the investigation and did not reflect the final outcome of the investigation, which resulted in no action being taken against the persons named.