Ivan Dean MLC and Department of Health (June 2020)
The Department proposed, in a regulatory impact statement (RIS), new laws regarding e-cigarettes, tobacco licensing and smoking. It published most submissions on the RIS, but not six marked confidential. Ivan Dean MLC applied for those six submissions. The Department refused to release them. On internal review, Mr Dean sought to narrow the scope of his application to submissions by tobacco companies. The Department contested his ability to do so, reviewed all six submissions and again refused to release any. The Ombudsman determined that: an applicant is entitled to limit the scope of information sought on internal review; and the one submission by a tobacco company should be released in full. Although marked 'Private and Confidential', the submission was not, in law, ‘communicated in confidence’. Nor would its release impair the Department's ability to obtain similar information in the future. Furthermore, non-disclosure would be antithetical to Australia’s international treaty obligations and to the public interest.
Cassy O’Connor and Minister for Parks, Environment, and Heritage (April 2016)
The issue for determination was whether a decision made by the delegate of a Minister is subject to internal review under the Right to Information Act 2009 and whether the Ombudsman has jurisdiction under the Act to conduct an external review of such a decision. The review considered Sections 43, 44 and 45 of the Act and found that there was no right to internal review of such a decision and therefore no jurisdiction to accept an application for external review.