Robin Smith and Launceston City Council (April 2021)
Mr Smith applied to Council for assessed disclosure of a wide variety of information regarding its City Heart redevelopment project. Council released some information and claimed some exemptions. This review concerned Mr Smith's request for '(3) Total expenditure on community engagement for City Heart planning.'
Council had decided this sought information not in its possession, but which would require analysis to produce. Council submitted that analysis was needed to extract and cost the time of its in-house staff and other Council resources spent on the community engagement / consultation.
Before the Ombudsman's decision, Council (consistently with s12) undertook analysis to produce answers to questions 3 and 4 of Mr Smith's request, annexed to the decision.
At Council's request, the Ombudsman made a determination. He ultimately concluded that, in undertaking its analysis to produce accurate answers to Mr Smith’s questions 3 and 4, Council (consistently with s12) went above and beyond its duty under s18(3). It was commended for doing so.
Patrick Billings and Department of Health and Human Services (December 2016)
Mr Billings (a journalist on ‘The Mercury’ newspaper) requested CCTV footage of an event at Ashley Youth Detention Centre in July 2016. The Ombudsman determined that the footage should not be released, as various exemption grounds under s30(1) of the Right to Information Act 2009 were satisfied. Under the Act, s30 exemptions are not subject to the public interest test at s33.