Stewart and Department of Transport
(1993 S0214, 15 May 1995)
This case involved the application of the principles relating to ‘sufficiency of search’ cases set out in Shepherd and Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning (1994) 1 QAR 464 in a situation where there was a claim that the Department should have a copy of an unsuccessful job application made by the applicant in 1984. The Information Commissioner found that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that a document falling within the terms of the FOI access application had ever been in the possession or control of the Department.
The Information Commissioner also considered the Commissioner's jurisdiction to conduct a review in circumstances where the Department had contended that no formal application for internal review of the Department’s initial decision had been made, or alternatively that, an application fee remaining unpaid, the Department was not obliged to progress the matter. The Information Commissioner found that no application fee was payable (the documents in issue, if they had existed, would contain information concerning the applicant’s personal affairs) and that the Information Commissioner had jurisdiction to conduct the review.