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2019 FOI review decisions summary

Below is the table showing the decisions that have been made in 2019, with summary details for each one. The links in the first column take you to the decision on the AustLII AICmr database.

To view summaries for other years go to: IC review decisions.

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

 

2019 FOI review decisions
DecisionLegislative provision/sCatchword summaryDecision under reviewIC review decision
Mark Di Stefano and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 42 (14 June 2019) ss 22 and 33(a)(iii) Request for access to a cable recording information relating to meeting held by former Australian High Commissioner — Whether material in documents is irrelevant to request — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth Access refusal Affirmed
'QM' and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 41 (13 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 22 and 47E(c) Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — 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 Set aside and substituted
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No 4) (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 40 (13 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 45, 47E(c), 47E(d), 47F and 47G Request for access to correspondence regarding staff misconduct investigation reports — Whether material obtained in confidence — Whether disclosure would or could have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel or on agency operations — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would or could reasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business and disclose commercially valuable information — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside
Macquarie Group Limited and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 39 (12 June 2019) ss 11A(5) and 47G 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 grant Affirmed
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No.3) (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 38 (12 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E(d) and 47G Request for audit reports relating to fraud allegations about delivery of health services to immigration detention centres — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on proper and efficient conduct of agency operations — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (No.2) (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 37 (12 June 2019) s 45 Request for access to records and audio recordings of interviews regarding detention of two Australian citizens — Whether documents contain material obtained in confidence Access refusal Affirmed
‘QL’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 36 (12 June 2019) ss 17 and 24A Request for access to document comprising specified MBS and PBS data — Whether reasonable steps taken to find documents — Whether request involves use of computer ordinarily available — Legislative restrictions on collation of information Access refusal Affirmed
Caleb Cluff and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 35 (6 June 2019) ss 11A(5) and 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for deliberative purpose — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘QK’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 34 (7 June 2019) 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
Outside the Square Solutions and Australian Skills Quality Authority (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 33 (7 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 22 and 47B Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause damage to Commonwealth-State relations — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether material in documents irrelevant to request Access refusal Vary
Seven Network (Operations) Limited and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 32 (6 June 2019) s 46(c) Freedom of Information — CCTV footage of incident on grounds of Parliament House – Whether disclosure would infringe privileges of the Parliament of the Commonwealth —Use of CCTV footage subject to  ‘Parliamentary Closed-Circuit Television Code of Practice Public Version’ — Disclosure of the CCTV footage would be contrary to the Code and improperly interfere with free exercise of House of Parliament of its authority or function Access refusal Affirmed
Australian Society for Kangaroos and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation trading as AgriFutures Australia (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 31 (6 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 24A, 47E(d), 47G and 55D(1) Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to find documents — Whether disclosure would disclose information concerning an organisation’s business, commercial or financial affairs which would unreasonably affect that organisation — Whether disclosure would have substantial adverse effect on proper and efficient conduct of agency operations —Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether agency has discharged its onus Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Justin Warren and Department of Human Services (No 2) (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 30 (6 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E(d) and 55D Freedom of Information — Risk assessments relating to data matching Centrelink data with ATO data — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of DHS’s operations — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — Whether agency has discharged its onus Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Seven Network (Operations) Limited and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 29 (6 June 2019) ss 11A(5), 47C and 47E(d) Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for deliberative purpose — 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 Set aside and substituted
‘QJ’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 28 (5 June 2019) ss24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether request satisfies identification of documents requirement — Request revised during IC review — Decision under review set aside Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘QI’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 27 (5 June 2019) ss24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether request satisfies the identification of documents requirement — Request revised during the IC review — Decision under review set aside. Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘QH’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 26 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether reasonable steps taken to assist applicant revise request — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert agency resources from its other operations — Estimated processing time 534.5 hours Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Paul Farrell and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) (No 2) [2019] AICmr 25 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether work involved in processing request would substantially and unreasonably agency resources from its other operations — Estimated processing time 120 hours Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Chris Drake and Australian Electoral Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 24 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether reasonable steps taken to assist applicant revise request — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert agency resources from its other operations — No estimate of processing time — Whether request satisfies the identification of documents requirement Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘QG’ and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 23 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether reasonable steps taken to assist applicant revise request — Whether request satisfies the identification of documents requirement Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Justin Warren and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 22 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether request consultation notice satisfied s 24AB(2) requirements — Whether reasonable steps taken to assist applicant revise request — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert agency resources from its other operations — Estimated processing time 130 hours — Whether request satisfies the identification of documents requirement Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Jack Waterford and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 21 (5 June 2019) ss 24, 24AA, 24AB and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether practical refusal reason exists — Whether request consultation notice satisfied s 24AB(2) requirements — Whether reasonable steps taken to assist applicant revise request — Whether work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert agency resources from its other operations — Estimated processing time 238 hours — Whether request satisfies the identification of documents requirement Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Rex Patrick and Department of Defence (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 19 (15 May 2019) ss 34(2) and 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain a copy or part of, or contains an extract from a Cabinet document — Whether document contains deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Daniel Flitton and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 18 (15 May 2019) s 34(1)(c) Freedom of Information — Whether documents brought into existence for the dominant purpose of briefing a Minister on a Cabinet document Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Emmanuel Freudenthal and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 15 (29 April 2019) ss 29 and 55D Freedom of Information — Charges — Request for waiver of charges — 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
Rex Patrick and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 13 (25 March 2019) ss 4(1) and 55D Freedom of Information — Interpretation of scope Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘QA’ and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 12 (11 March 2019) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed
‘PZ’ and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 11 (11 March 2019) ss 11A, 22 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 — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request Access refusal Affirmed
‘PY’ and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 10 (11 March 2019) 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 public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Vary
Reece Walters and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 9 (1 March 2019) ss 11A(5), 33(a)(iii), 33(b), 47E(d), 47F and 55D(1) Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure could cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would divulge any information or matter communicated in confidence by a foreign government or an international organisation to the Commonwealth — 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 the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PX’ and Australian Federal Police (Freedom of Information) [2019] AICmr 8 (27 February 2019) ss 11A(5), 22, 24A, 47B, 47E, 47F and 47G Freedom of Information — Access to edited copy of document — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether disclosure would or could reasonably be expected to cause damage to Commonwealth-State relations — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the 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 the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Amanda Hay and Australian Bureau of Statistics (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 7 (25 February 2019) ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E(c) and 55D Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to the request — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the management or assessment of personnel — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether the ABS has discharged its onus — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
Paul Farrell and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 5 (7 February 2019) ss 11A(5), 42, 47E(c), 47E(d), 47F and 47G 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 disclosure of personal information is 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
‘PU’ and Merit Protection Commissioner (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 4 (18 January 2019) ss 11A(5) and 47C Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents Access refusal Set aside and substituted
‘PT’ and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 3 (18 January 2019) s 47F(5) Freedom of Information — Whether access is to be given to a qualified person Access refusal Set aside and substituted
'PR' and Comcare (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 2 (18 January 2019) 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
'PQ' and Australian Taxation Office (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 1 (16 January 2019) s 42 Freedom of Information — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege Access refusal Affirmed