IPC Case Notes - Information Access
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) publishes case notes to highlight significant and interesting cases from the IPC's jurisdictions.
See below for case notes relating to Information Access.
IPC case notes are intended to serve public sector agencies and practitioners from the private, government and university sectors. The case notes are current at the date published. IPC case notes are not intended to replace legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate.
DKB v Commissioner of Police NSW Police Force  NSWCATAP 39
This is an Appeal Panel decision concerning the exemption under section 27 of the PPIP Act for the NSW Police Force and other agencies to comply with the IPPs and the exemption for public sector agencies under section 25 where non-compliance with IPPs is lawfully authorised or required.
Broadribb v Medical Council of New South Wales  NSWCATAD 213
There is a conclusive presumption of an overriding public interest against disclosure of information relating to the exercise of functions by the Health Care Complaints Commission
Whitaker v Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District  NSWCATAD 183
Some public interest considerations favouring disclosure may be significant and merit additional weight in matters where there is an apparent conflict between the conclusions reached in different types of investigations; and claims of confidentiality may depend on the type of investigation undertaken.
Seven Network Limited v South Eastern Sydney Local Health District  NSWCATAD 210
Elements of a person’s gait or body shape in CCTV footage may not be sufficiently distinctive alone to prevent the release of CCTV footage where the face, head, neck and any identifying marks such as tattoos are concealed by pixelation.
Zonnevylle v Department of Education  NSWCATAD 101
In establishing that searches for information are reasonable, an agency may demonstrate: the use of identifiers provided by an applicant; that officers conducting searches turned their minds to where that information may be held in the agency; and that search officer declarations have been completed.
Turner v NSW Health Pathology, Forensic & Analytical Science Service  NSWCATAD 114
When an applicant has provided identifiers or search terms in an access application or in later discussions with the agency, those search terms or identifiers inform and assist the agency in conducting searches. The Tribunal observed inconsistencies in the Respondent’s reasons for the decision.
Pallier v NSW State Emergency Service  NSWCATAD 293
The Tribunal considered the breadth of the public interest considerations for and against disclosure applied to workplace investigation reports, and in doing so found that the balance in favour of disclosing certain aspects of workplace investigation reports may outweigh considerations against disclosure.
Commissioner of Police v Danis  NSWCATAP 7
The Appeal Panel distinguished between preliminary decisions and final decisions under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), and provided guidance in relation to a decision to refuse to deal with an access application under section 60 of the GIPA Act.
Bayne v Department of Premier and Cabinet  NSWCATAD 233
Applicant conducted proceedings in a way that unnecessarily disadvantaged the Respondent. Tribunal found special circumstances warranted an award of costs, and ordered the Applicant to pay the Respondent’s costs of $4,575.35 Bayne v Department of Premier and Cabinet  NSWCATAD 233
Page v Southern Cross University  NSWCATAD 199
Discounting processing charges and refusal to deal further with an access application when an advance deposit has not been paid Page v Southern Cross University  NSWCATAD 199
Zonnevylle v Department of Education and Communities  NSWCATAD 49 and Zonnevylle v NSW Department of Finance and Services  NSWCATAD 47
The Tribunal dealt with the application of section 112 of the GIPA Act, which enables the Tribunal to refer to the relevant Minister any circumstances where an officer of an agency may be thought to have acted inappropriately with respect to his or her functions under the GIPA Act.
Shoebridge v Forestry Corporation  NSWCATAD 93
The Tribunal identified the steps for a decision maker in considering whether the information applied for is of special benefit to the public generally Shoebridge v Forestry Corporation  NSWCATAD 93
Abdelaziz v StateCover Mutual Ltd  NSWCATAD 1
The Tribunal considered the language of the GIPA Act to be clear in assisting with a decision that a body is not an agency for the purposes of the GIPA Act Abdelaziz v StateCover Mutual Ltd  NSWCATAD 1
Mino v Legal Aid NSW  NSWCATAD 24
The Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to require an agency to create a new record or to review an agency’s decision not to include information on its disclosure log Mino v Legal Aid NSW  NSWCATAD 245.
Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force v Barrett  NSWCATAP 68
Whether an agency can substitute a new decision after a review application has been filed, whether in decisions to refuse to confirm or deny an agency is obliged to give detailed reasons and the weighing of considerations when an agency is seeking to refuse to confirm or deny information is held Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force v Barrett  NSWCATAP 68.
Section 110 restraint orders Pittwater Council v Walker  NSWCATAD 34 and Palerang Council, Queanbeyan City Council & Goulburn Mulwaree Council v Powell  NSWCATAD 44
In certain circumstances, public interest considerations favour orders restraining persistent and unmeritorious applications requiring an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources by an agency.
CCB v Department of Education and Communities  NSWCATAD 145
Who is an aggrieved person, what is required to establish legal professional privilege, and can a work health and safety incident form be released to an applicant.
National Tertiary Education Union v Southern Cross University  NSWCATAD 151
Whether reviewable decision about imposing processing charge may be made prior to the application being decided.
D’Adam v New South Wales Treasury and the Premier of New South Wales  NSWCATAP 61
Distinguishing between 'information' and 'document’and the assessment of the dominant purpose in relation to Cabinet information.