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2016 FOI review decisions summary

Below is the table showing the decisions that have been made in 2016, with summary details for each one. The links in the first column take you to the decision on the AustLII AICmr database.

Also available are table summaries for decisions made in 2015decisions made in 2014, decisions made in 2013, decisions made in 2012 and decisions made in 2011.

The table below refers to provisions of the FOI Act unless otherwise specified.

2016 FOI review decisions
DecisionLegislative provision/sCatchword summaryDecision under reviewIC review decision
John Quinn and Australian Taxation Office [2016] AICmr 94 (15 December 2016) ss 47C, 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirm
Anthony Mearrick and Australian Skills Quality Authority [2016] AICmr 93 (14 December 2016) s 37(1)(b) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information Access refusal Affirm
Australian Marine Conservation Society and Australian Fisheries Management Authority [2016] AICmr 92 (14 December 2016) ss 47(1), 47G Freedom of Information —Whether disclosure would disclose trade secrets or commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘KH’ and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 91 (14 December 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable Access grant Affirmed
‘KG’ and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 90 (14 December 2016) ss 33(a)(i), 47F Whether disclosure would cause damage to the security of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘KF’ and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 89 (14 December 2016) ss 11A(5), 45, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether material obtained in confidence — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
‘KE’ and Cancer Australia [2016] AICmr 87 (7 December 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirm
Nick Xenophon and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 86 (7 December 2016) ss 33(a)(ii), 33(a)(iii) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the defence of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth Access refusal Vary
Joel Fitzgibbon and Prime Minister of Australia [2016] AICmr 85 (7 December 2016) s 4(1) Freedom of Information — Whether a Coalition Agreement is an official document of a Minister Access refusal Affirmed
The Australian and Prime Minister of Australia [2016] AICmr 84 (7 December 2016) ss 4(1), 33, 47B, 47C, 47F Freedom of Information – Whether the Prime Minister’s diary is an official document of a Minister – Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause damage to international relations of the Commonwealth – Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause damage to Commonwealth-State relations – Whether the document contains deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process – Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘KD’ and Cancer Australia [2016] AICmr 83 (7 December 2016) S 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
‘KC’ and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [2016] AICmr 82 (7 December 2016) ss 11A(5), 22, 24A, 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to request – Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents –Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel – Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable Access refusal Affirmed
Ben Butler and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] AICmr 79 (25 November 2016) ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E, 47G Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business, commercial or financial affairs —Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘JZ’ and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet [2016] AICmr 78 (25 November 2016) ss 11A, 22, 34, 47C, 47F Freedom of Information – Whether material in documents irrelevant to request – Whether documents brought into existence for the dominant purpose of submission for consideration by Cabinet – Whether documents brought into existence for the dominant purpose of briefing a Minister on a Cabinet document – Whether disclosure of a document would reveal a Cabinet deliberation or decision – Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process – Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable – Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
Wilfred Mentink and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 77 (23 November 2016) s 33(a)(iii) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth Access refusal Affirmed
‘JX’ and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2016] AICmr 76 (23 November 2016) ss 11A(5), s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JW’ and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 75 (9 November 2016) ss 11A, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Adrian Bradford and the Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 74 (9 November 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
TFS Manufacturing Pty Limited and Department of Health [2016] AICmr 73 (31 October 2016) ss 11A, 22, 26, 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether inclusion of certain matter would cause reasons for decision to be an exempt document — Whether disclosure of documents would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JV’ and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 72 (27 October 2016) ss 42, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Fortitude East Pty Ltd and Australian Trade Commission [2016] AICmr 71 (24 October 2016) ss 11A(5), 47E(a), 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice the effectiveness of procedures or methods for conducting tests or audits — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘JU’ and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 70 (20 October 2016) ss 11A, 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JT’ and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 69 (19 October 2016) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
‘JS’ and Administrative Appeals Tribunal [2016] AICmr 68 (29 September 2016) ss 24A, 37(1)(b) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JR’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 67 (27 September 2016) ss 11A(5), 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JQ’ and Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations [2016] AICmr 66 (21 September 2016) ss 22, 45, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to request — Whether material obtained in confidence — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘JP’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 65 (21 September 2016) ss 48 and 50 Freedom of Information – Amendment of personal records — Whether the record of a date of birth is incorrect — Whether it should be amended Access refusal Set aside and substituted
John Singer and Comcare [2016] AICmr 63 (20 September 2016) ss 17, 24A Freedom of Information —Request involving the use of a computer— Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JN’ and the Commonwealth Ombudsman [2016] AICmr 62 (19 September 2016) ss 24A, 37(1)(b), 37(2)(b), 47C and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents — Whether release of documents would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information in relation to the enforcement or administration of the law — Whether disclosure of documents would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
Ramesh Prasad and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2016] AICmr 61 (19 September 2016) ss 11A(5), 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JM’ and Australian Taxation Office [2016] AICmr 60 (19 September 2016) (19 September 2016) ss 11A(5), 47E(c) and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JJ’ and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 59 (2 September 2016) ss 37(1)(b), 37(2)(b), 47C Freedom of Information — Whether release of documents would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information in relation to the enforcement or administration of the law — Whether disclosure of documents would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
‘JL’ and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet [2016] AICmr 58 (2 September 2016) ss 37(2)(b), 22 Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether reasonably practicable to prepare edited copy of a document not disclosing exempt or irrelevant material Access refusal Varied
Humane Society International Inc. and Department of the Environment [2016] AICmr 57 (1 September 2016) ss 11A, 47B Freedom of Information — Commonwealth-State relations — Whether disclosure would be contrary to the public interest Access refusal Affirm
‘JH’ and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] AICmr 55 (31 August 2016) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB Freedom of information — Access refusal — Whether the FOI request meets the identification of documents requirements — Whether work involved in processing the FOI request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 54 (31 August 2016) s 29 Freedom of Information — Charges — Request for waiver of charge — Whether charge should be reduced or waived Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘JG’ and Department of Human Services [2016] AICmr 53 (30 August 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
George Kweifio-Okai and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2016] AICmr 52 (26 August 2016) ss 11A, 22, 47E(c), 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel —Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
John Mullen and Australian Aged Care Quality Agency [2016] AICmr 51 (26 August 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JF’ and Family Court of Australia [2016] AICmr 50 (26 August 2016) ss 5(1)(b), 24A Freedom of Information — Documents of judicial officers — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JE’ and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation [2016] AICmr 49  (25 July 2016) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
‘JD’ and Australian Taxation Office [2016] AICmr 48 (13 July 2016) ss 11A(5), 47E(c), 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the operations of an agency —Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘JC’ and Department of Health [2016] AICmr 47 (12 July 2016) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB Freedom of Information —  Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations Access refusal Affirmed
‘JB’ and Therapeutic Goods Administration [2016] AICmr 46 (6 July 2016) ss 11A(5), 47G Freedom of Information — Access grant — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business, commercial or financial affairs — Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access grant Affirmed

‘JA’ and Office of the Gene Technology Regulator [2016] AICmr 45 (1 July 2016)

ss 11A(5), 24A, 37(2)(b), 47(1), 47E(a)

Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure of document would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would prejudice the effectiveness of procedures or methods for conducting agency tests etc — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents

Access refusal

Set aside and substituted

Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Australian Fisheries Management Authority [2016] AICmr 43 (29 June 2016)

ss 47(1), 47G

Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose trade secrets or commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs

Access refusal

Set aside and substituted

‘IU’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 40 (22 June 2016) ss 38, 45 Freedom of Information — Documents to which secrecy provisions of enactments apply — Whether material obtained in confidence Access refusal Affirmed
Friends of the Earth Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand [2016] AICmr 39 (20 June 2016) ss 11A(5), 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IT’ and Department of the Environment [2016] AICmr 38 (20 June 2016) ss 11A, 11B, 47 and 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect business, commercial or financial affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access grant Affirmed
‘IP’ and Department of the Environment [2016] AICmr 35 (8 June 2016) ss 11A, 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have adverse effect on management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IN’ and Australian Taxation Office [2016] AICmr 33 (27 May 2016) ss 11A, 47E(c), 47E(d), 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure  of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IM’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 32 (25 May 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IL’ and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 31 (20 May 2016) ss 11A(5), 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Seafish Tasmania Pty Ltd and Australian Fisheries Management Authority [2016] AICmr 30 (27 May 2016) s 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access grant Affirmed
Peter Whish-Wilson and Australian Fisheries Management Authority [2016] AICmr 29 (27 May 2016) s 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the conduct of the operations of an agency Access refusal Affirmed
‘IK’ and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2016] AICmr 28 (3 May 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents   Access refusal Affirmed
Penny Wong and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet [2016] AICmr 27 (3 May 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether information is personal information Access refusal Set aside and substituted
David Watts and Department of Veterans’ Affairs [2016] AICmr 26 (22 April 2016) ss 11A(5), 47G, 55D Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation’s business affairs — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect a person’s professional affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether the agency has discharged its onus of establishing that its decision is justified Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 25 (22 April 2016) ss 11A, 42, 47E(d), 47F, 55G Freedom of Information — Whether document subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied
‘IJ’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 24 (21 April 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
Patrick Healy and Australia Post [2016] AICmr 23 (20 April 2016) ss 11A, 22, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether reasonably practicable to prepare edited copy of video Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Karl-Heinz Seelig and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2016] AICmr 22 (12 April 2016) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
‘IH’ and Fair Work Ombudsman [2016] AICmr 21 (11 April 2016) ss 47(1), 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect a person in respect of their lawful business or professional affairs — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access grant Affirmed
Alex Cuthbertson and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 20 (18 March 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether information is personal information Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Alex Cuthbertson and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 19 (18 March 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether information is personal information Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Alex Cuthbertson and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 18 (18 March 2016) s 47F Freedom of Information — Whether information is personal information Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Joel Fitzgibbon and Department of Agriculture [2016] AICmr 17 (17 March 2016) s 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process Access refusal Set aside and substituted
The Herald and Weekly Times and Department of Agriculture [2016] AICmr 16 (17 March 2016) s 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘IG’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 15 (17 March 2016)  s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
Nick Xenophon and Department of Defence [2016] AICmr 14 (16 March 2016) s 34 Freedom of Information — Cabinet documents — Whether document submitted to Cabinet for its consideration — Whether document brought into existence for the dominant purpose of submission for consideration by Cabinet Access refusal Affirmed
‘IF’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 13 (14 March 2016) ss 11A, 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure is contrary to the public interest Access refusal Varied
‘IE’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 12 (1 March 2016) ss 48, 50 Freedom of Information — Amendment of personal records — Whether the information about the applicant’s date of birth is incorrect — Whether it should be amended Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘ID’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2016] AICmr 11 (1 March 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IC’ and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2015] AICmr 10 (25 February 2016) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps were taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘IB’ and Department of the Environment [2016] AICmr 9 (24 February 2016) ss 11A, 11B, 47 and 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect business, commercial or financial affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Access grant Affirmed
‘IA’ and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] AICmr 8 (18 February 2016) ss 47F, 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect a person in respect of lawful business or professional affairs  —Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth Access grant Affirmed
‘HZ’ and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] AICmr 7 (18 February 2016) ss 47F, 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect a person in respect of lawful business or professional affairs  —Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth Access grant Affirmed
Penny Wong and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet [2016] AICmr 6 (29 January 2016) ss 33(a)(iii), 47C, 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the conduct of the operations of an agency Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Rita Lahoud and Department of Education and Training [2016] AICmr 5  (22 January 2016) s 29 Charges — Request for waiver of charge — Whether charge should be reduced or waived Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘HY’ and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2016] AICmr 3 (21 January 2016) ss 11A, 47E Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure is contrary to the public interest Access refusal Affirmed
Paul Cleary and Special Broadcasting Service [2016] AICmr 2  (21 January 2016) ss 11A, 47E(c), 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have adverse effect on management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘HX’ and Australian Federal Police [2016] AICmr 1 (11 January 2016) ss 11A(5), 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have adverse effect on management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Varied