Media release: Audit report – Administrative access to information – How the Department of Education manages access to documents held in schools

Queensland’s Office of the Information Commissioner’s audit report into administrative access to information held by the Department of Education was tabled in Parliament today. The report outlines how the Department of Education manages its administrative access arrangement to documents held in schools and makes recommendations for improvement.

Information Commissioner Rachael Rangihaeata said: “Administrative access arrangements facilitate easy, fast access to information. This supports open, transparent and accountable government and helps build trust.”

“People should only be required to use formal access applications under the Right to Information Act 2009 as a last resort. Good administrative access arrangements help agencies push information out to their communities.”

Most of the requests schools receive are for information relating to students. Requests for non-student information are rare.

Key findings:

  • The department’s central office, regional offices and audited schools take students’ safety, wellbeing and privacy seriously and carefully consider all requests for student information.
  • Schools and regional offices work together to respond to unusual requests for information.
  • While the department has policies, procedures and training for its administrative access arrangement, the schools visited were generally unaware of these resources.
  • The procedures are out of date and sometimes inconsistent.

“Implementation of our recommendations will ensure regional offices can better support schools about access to information including increased community awareness on how to seek access to student and non-student information.”

Read the full report

Media contact: Steve Haigh, Manager Training and Stakeholder Relations
Phone: (07) 3234 7373