Springborg, MP and Department of Public Works, Housing and Racing
(2004 F0559, 31 March 2005)
Personal affairs – Cabinet matter
The applicant sought access to documents created by the Department in the course of processing an earlier FOI access application lodged with the Department.
The only documents in issue were schedules of information prepared in the processing of the earlier FOI access application. The Department claimed that these documents were exempt under s.36(1)(e) and s.44(1) of the FOI Act.
AC Barker found that s.44(1) had no application to any of the matter in issue. While some of the matter comprised car registration numbers, these numbers related to vehicles controlled by QFleet, the Government's fleet manager. The relevant registration numbers only related to Departments or agencies, not individuals. Accordingly there was no information which concerned the personal affairs of any individual.
Apart from supplying copies of the documents in issue, the Department had put forward no evidence or submissions in support of its claim that s.36(1)(e) applied to the matter in issue, and had not identified any association between the matter in issue and related Cabinet submissions or proceedings. AC Barker was satisfied that the Department had not discharged the onus imposed on it by s.81 of the FOI Act, and found that the matter in issue did not qualify for exemption under s.36(1)(e) of the FOI Act.