Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New FOI blog from Australia

I was interested to hear from Peter Timmins from NSW in Australia who has set a new blog based on FOI-Privacy issues in Australia called Open and Shut. The blog is well worth visiting and some interesting cases are highlighted that UK practitioners might be interested in.

For example Peter highlights a recent Administrative tribunal ruling relating to whether a search conducted for documents at a University was sufficient under the 1989 NSW Freedom of Information Act. The Decision under review was affirmed. The case was essetentially about:"Whether the conclusion [the agency] reached, that the agency did not hold any documents relating to the applicant other than the ones released … was sound". The decision covers some interesting ground in terms of the searches that took place at the University concerned and that a personal laptop that had been ponteailly used for University business was off-limits.

It is also interesting to note that in a difference to the UK Tribunal "The NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) in Miriani v Commissioner for Fair Trading decided in favour of a award of costs against another FOI applicant where it was clear that the application for review had no merit."

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