Spencer and Education Queensland
(2000 S0005, 3 November 2000)
This was a 'reverse FOI' application in which the applicant, a teacher, objected to the disclosure to a student's mother of a document which contained the applicant's version of an incident in which the student was involved.
The applicant contended that the document was given in confidence to another officer of Education Queensland, who was preparing a response from the Minister to a complaint by the student's mother about the applicant, and was exempt on that basis.
The Information Commissioner found that nothing more than a conditional understanding of confidentiality could have existed between the applicant and the officer responding to the complaint against the applicant, and that the applicant should have anticipated, at the time of preparing the document in issue, that it would be necessary to disclose at least part of the document in issue to the student's mother, in order to explain to her the reasons for Education Queensland's findings on her complaint.
The Information Commissioner therefore found that the document in issue did not qualify for exemption under s.46(1) of the FOI Act.