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2018 FOI review decisions summary

Below is the table showing the decisions that have been made in 2018, 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 2017, decisions made in 2016decisions 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.

2018 FOI review decisions
DecisionLegislative provision/sCatchword summaryDecision under reviewIC review decision
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 4) (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 68 (15 November 2018) ss 22 and 45 Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether material obtained in confidence Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PL’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 67 (13 November 2018) ss 47E(d), 47G and 55D 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 would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Department of Communications and the Arts (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 66 (11 October 2018) ss 22 and 47G Freedom of Information — Whether material in document irrelevant to the request — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PK’ and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 65 (5 October 2018) ss 11A(5), 24A and 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PJ’ and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 64 (10 September 2018) ss 11A(5), 22 and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Chris Lewis and Australian National University (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 63 (3 September 2018) ss 22 and 42 Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PI’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 62 (30 August 2018) ss 22, 24A and 38 Freedom of Information — Whether material irrelevant to the request — Documents to which secrecy provisions of enactments apply — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed

Victims of Financial Fraud and Department of the Treasury (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 61 (29 August 2018)

ss 11A(5) and 47C

Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents

Access refusal

Set aside and substituted

‘PG’ and Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 60 (29 August 2018)

ss 11A(5), 47E(d), 47F and 47G(1)(a)

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 of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents

Access refusal

Set aside and substituted

‘PF’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 59 (11 July 2018) ss 22, 24A, 47F(1), 47F(5) and 55D(1) Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable— Whether access is to be given to a qualified person Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PE’ and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 58 (6 July 2018) ss 24, 24AA and 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
‘PD’ and Australian Skills Quality Authority (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 57 (25 June 2018) ss 11A(5), 37(1)(b), 47C and 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Richard Rudd and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 56 (19 June 2018) ss 11A(5), 47E(c) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial 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 Set aside and substituted
Rex Bashford and Department of Jobs and Small Business (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 55 (31 May 2018) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Set aside and substituted
The Australian and National Native Title Tribunal (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 54 (30 May 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘PC’ and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 53 (30 May 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Elstone Pty Limited and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 52 (28 May 2018) ss 11A and 47E(d) 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
‘OZ’ and Department of Defence (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 49 (22 March 2018) s 33(a)(i) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the security of the Commonwealth Access refusal Affirmed
‘OV’ and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 48 (22 March 2018) ss 4(1), 11A(5) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether documents are the documents of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Vary
‘OT’ and Comcare (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 47 (22 March 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OS’ and Department of Health (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 46 (22 March 2018) s 47(1)(b) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information Access refusal Affirmed
Chris Vedelago and Airservices Australia (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 45 (21 March 2018) ss 37(1)(c), 47(1)(b), 47G(1)(a) and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would endanger the life or safety of a person — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Friends of the Earth Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 44 (21 March 2018) ss 22 and 45 Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether material obtained in confidence Access refusal Affirmed
‘OP’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 43 (21 March 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
Josh Taylor and Prime Minister of Australia (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 42 (21 March 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OM’ and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 41 (21 March 2018) 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
Mark Diamond and Australian Federal Police (No 2) (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 40 (21 March 2018) ss 25 and 37 Freedom of Information — Information as to the existence of certain documents — Documents affecting enforcement of law Access refusal Affirmed
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 3) (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 39 (20 March 2018) ss 47E(d), 47G 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 would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Simon Golding and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 38 (20 March 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 2) (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 37 (20 March 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OL’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 36 (20 March 2018) ss 11A(5), 33(a)(i), 37(1)(b), 42 and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the security of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information — Whether documents 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 contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OI’ and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 34 (19 March 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
Mark Diamond and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 33 (19 March 2018) ss 25 and 37 Freedom of Information — Information as to the existence of certain documents — documents affecting enforcement of law Access refusal Affirmed
‘OH’ and Merit Protection Commissioner (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 32 (15 March 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OG’ and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 31 (13 March 2018) ss 11A(5), 37(1)(b), 37(2)(b), 42, 47C and 47G Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful investigative methods or procedures — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘OF’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 30 (12 March 2018) ss 11A(5), 37(2)(b), 47E(d) and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency Access refusal Set aside and substituted

‘OE’ and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 29 (8 March 2018)

ss 11A(5), 20, 24A and 47F

Freedom of Information — Form of access — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents

Access refusal

Affirmed

Jon Patty and Attorney-General’s Department (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 28 (2 March 2018) ss 29, 55D Freedom of Information — Charges — Request for waiver of charge – Whether giving access to documents is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public Access refusal Set aside and substituted 
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 27 (28 February 2018) ss 25, 37(1) and 55D Freedom of Information — Information as to the existence of certain documents — Documents affecting enforcement of law Access refusal Set aside and substituted 
‘OC’ and Australian Building and Construction Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 26 (28 February 2018) ss 11A(5), 42, 47E(c) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Vary
‘OB’ and Australian Building and Construction Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 25 (28 February 2018) ss 11A(5), 42 and 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted 
Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 24 (20 February 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 23 (14 February 2018) ss 33(a)(iii), 55D Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth Access refusal Set aside and substituted 
‘OA’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 22 (14 February 2018) ss 11A(5), 22, 24A, 42, 47E(d) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether material irrelevant to the request — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether documents 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 Set aside and substituted 
‘NZ’ and Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (Freedom of Information) [2018] AICmr 21 (9 February 2018) ss 22, 24A, 47G and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs Access refusal Set aside and substituted  
Nick Xenophon and Department of Health (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 20 (7 February 2018) ss 33(a)(iii), 55D Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘NY’ and Australian Building and Construction Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 19 (2 February 2018) 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
‘NX’ and Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 18 (2 February 2018) 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 Vary
Justin Warren and Department of Human Services (No 2) (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 17 (1 February 2018) ss 29, 55D Freedom of Information — Charges — Whether charge should be imposed Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Justin Warren and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 16 (1 February 2018) ss 29, 55D Charges — Requests for waiver of charge — Whether charge should be imposed Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘NW’ and Screen Australia (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 15 (1 February 2018) ss 11A(5), 22, 42 and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether documents 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 contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘NV’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 14 (19 January 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure 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 Vary
Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 13 (19 January 2018) ss 29, 55D Freedom of Information — Charges — Request for waiver of charge — Whether giving access to documents is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘NJ’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 12 (18 January 2018) 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
‘NT’ and Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 11 (17 January 2018) ss 11A(5), 42 and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether documents 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 contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘NS’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 10 (17 January 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information —  Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
William Summers and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 9 (16 January 2018) ss 11A(5), 33(a)(iii) and 47C Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘NR’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 8 (16 January 2018) ss 37(2)(b) and 47(1)(b) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would prejudice lawful methods or procedures — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information Access refusal Affirmed
Andrew Leigh and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 7 (11 January 2018) ss 11A(5) and 47F Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
The Australian and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 6 (9 January 2018) ss 24A, 55D Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Virginia Plowman and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 5 (8 January 2018) ss 11A(5), 24A and 47E(c) Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘NQ’ and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 4 (8 January 2018) s 24A Freedom of Information —  Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘NP’ and Bureau of Meteorology (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 3 (8 January 2018) s 25 Freedom of Information — Information as to the existence of certain documents Access refusal Affirmed
‘NO’ and National Library of Australia (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 2 (8 January 2018) ss 11A(5), 42, 47(1)(b), 47F and 47G(1)(a) Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would disclose commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation or undertaking in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘NN’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2018] AICmr 1 (8 January 2018) ss 11A(5), 47E(c) Freedom of Information —Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Vary