Read a selection of the Ombudsman’s Freedom of Information external review determinations.

These determinations show the types of external reviews regularly conducted by the Ombudsman, and provide insight into the Ombudsman’s interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act 1991.

City of Adelaide (2015/05831) (PDF, 63.5 KB)The agency refused access to documents related to/or tabled at a special meeting of the Adelaide City Council. The Ombudsman varied the agency’s determination. The Ombudsman considered whether the documents were exempt as documents subject to legal professional privilege and documents containing confidential material.
Minister for Minerals, Resources and Energy (2015/10743) (PDF, 62.2 KB)No summary available.

TAFE SA (2015/02833; 2015/02834; 2015/02835; 2015/02836; 2015/02837) (PDF, 62.5 KB)No summary available.
Department of State Development (2014/06242) (PDF, 616.8 KB)

The agency refused access to Programs for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPRs) relevant to a number of mining exploration licences. The Deputy Ombudsman reversed the agency’s determination. The Deputy Ombudsman considered whether the relevant documents were exempt as documents the subject of secrecy provisions (in conjunction with the Mining Act 1971); containing confidential material; and affecting business affairs.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (2015/06345) (PDF, 95.5 KB)

The applicant sought access to raw data from staff survey at the Cardiology Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.  The Ombudsman found that there was no evidence to establish that the disclosure of the document will result in a loss of trust in management in the agency, or a future reluctance to provide statements in future survey exercises.  The Ombudsman found that disclosure of the document would not found an action for breach of confidence.  The Ombudsman exercised his power to vary the agency's determination.

Minister for Planning (2015/05252) (PDF, 74.2 KB)No summary available.
State Emergency Service (2015/02390) (PDF, 90.9 KB)

The agency refused access to correspondence from the Auditor General to the agency’s Chief Executive. The Ombudsman reversed the agency’s determination. The determination turned on public interest considerations.

Department of State Development (2014/08449; 2015/00462) (PDF, 107.2 KB)

In two separate determinations, the agency refused the applicant access to agenda and minutes of meetings of the Economic Development Board. The Ombudsman considered whether documents numbered 2 to 14 were exempt as Cabinet documents (clause 1(1)(e); documents affecting business affairs (clause 7(1)(c)); internal working documents (clause 9(1)); documents containing confidential material (clause 13(1)(b)); and documents concerning the operations of agencies (clause 16(1)(a)(iv) with clause 16(1)(b)). The Ombudsman was satisfied that document 2 was exempt under clause 1(1)(e), but concluded that it was practicable to release it after redacting one item in accordance with section 20(4) of the FOI Act. The Ombudsman determined that documents 3 to 14 were not exempt and should be released in full. The agency appealed the Ombudsman’s determination with respect to document 5, maintaining that it was exempt under clause 1(1)(e). The District Court held that document 5 was not an exempt document protected by Cabinet confidentiality, and confirmed the Ombudsman’s determination.

Urban Renewal Authority (2015/03435) (PDF, 62.2 KB)

The applicant sought access to a ‘report on CCTV review in the Central Business District’. The agency claimed that the document was specifically prepared for submission to the Capital City Committee, and by reason of section 18(1)(a) of the City of Adelaide Act 1988 was exempt for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1991. The Ombudsman confirmed the agency’s determination. Nevertheless, the Ombudsman commented that reasons existed as to why the agency might give access to the document notwithstanding its exempt status.