Geoffrey Swan and Huon Valley Council (June 2022)

On 18 October 2021, Mr Geoffrey Swan made an application for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009 to the Huon Valley Council (Council). He sought information relating to the investigation into the recruitment process of Council’s new General Manager, commissioned following controversy regarding the way Council managed a conflict of interest that arose during that process. Council issued a decision on 13 October 2021 to refuse the application in full, on the basis that it considered the information exempt due to it relating to:

  • legal professional privilege (s31); and
  • information related to closed meetings of council (s32).

Mr Swan then sought external review of Council’s decision.

The Ombudsman determined that:

  • Council’s use of s31 was varied;
  • Council’s use of s32 was varied; and
  • Information was found to be exempt pursuant to s35 (internal deliberative information).

Geoffrey Swan and Huon Valley Council (June 2022) (PDF, 193.9 KB)

Robert Vellacott and Devonport City Council (April 2022)

In October 2018, Mr Robert Vellacott made an application for assessed disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009 (the Act) to the Devonport City Council seeking information about the Providore Place development (now re-named Market Square Pavillion). Council released a decision which provided some explanation of details regarding Council expenditure and contributions to the project, but refused under ss32 and 37 of the Act to provide the majority of information sought, including the signed lease agreement between it and Providore Place Devonport Pty Ltd, any amendments to that lease, and individual figures for fit-out of tenancies. This decision was affirmed on internal review on 24 December 2018. Mr Vellacott sought external review of the exemptions applied to the information and whether a sufficient search for information responsive to his request had been made by Council.

The Ombudsman determined that:

  • Exemptions claimed by Council pursuant to s32 of the Act  were varied, as the signed lease agreement was not exempt;
  • Exemptions claimed by Council pursuant to s37 of the Act were upheld; and
  • There had been a sufficient search for relevant information by Council.

Robert Vellacott and Devonport City Council