STA and Queensland Police Service
(1995 S0139; 19 October 1998)
The applicant was the mother of a police officer who had committed suicide subsequent to an investigation into allegations that he had committed rape. During the course of the review, the QPS exercised its discretion to release to the applicant matter in issue which solely concerned the personal affairs of her deceased son (notwithstanding that it may have qualified for exemption under s.44(1) of the FOI Act).
The Information Commissioner found that the matter remaining in issue concerned the personal affairs of a number of persons other than the applicant (including the complainant in the investigation of the allegations of rape) and that a strong privacy interest attached to it. The Information Commissioner considered that the large amount of matter already disclosed to the applicant in the course of the review satisfied any public interest consideration based on enhancing the accountability of the agency for its investigations. The Information Commissioner found that disclosure of the matter remaining in issue would not, on balance, be in the public interest, and that it was exempt matter under s.44(1) of the FOI Act.