FOI 247/19/20 - STATEMENT OF REASONS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF
I refer to the application by Mr Luca Baird (Right-to-Know), under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982
(FOI Act), for access to:
“I am seeking to make a Freedom Of Information request for documents related to a tender
awarded to Qantas Airways in late September.
The tender in question was awarded to Qantas Airways and published on September 26,
2019. It was worth $60,203.60 and for "Overseas Travel Services".
I am requesting the tender application as well as correspondence between Qantas Airways
and the department regarding the tender.
FOI decision maker
I am the authorised officer pursuant to section 23 of the FOI Act to make a decision on
this FOI request.
I have identified four documents that match the description of the request.
I have decided to:
a. Partially release four documents in accordance with section 22 [access to
edited copies with exempt or irrelevant matter deleted] of the FOI Act, on the
grounds that the deleted material is considered exempt under section 47F
[public interest conditional exemption – personal privacy].
b. Remove irrelevant material as referred to in the scope of the request in
accordance with section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act.
Material taken into account
In making my decision, I had regard to:
a. the terms of the request;
b. relevant provisions in the FOI Act;
c. the Guidelines published by the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act (the Guidelines), and
d. information provided by offices of the COMDT ADFA and the Australian
Defence Force Academy.
Reasons for decision
Section 47F - Personal privacy
Section 47F exempts documents if disclosure would involve the unreasonable
disclosure of personal information. Section 47F(1) states:
A document is conditionally exempt if its disclosure under this Act would involve the
unreasonable disclosure of personal information about any person (including a
Upon examination of the document, I identified personal information, specifically
personnel names, contact details and employment identification details.
When assessing whether the disclosure of personal information is unreasonable, I
considered the following factors:
a. the extent to which the information is well known;
b. whether the person to whom the information relates is known to be (or to have
been) associated with the matters dealt with in the document;
c. the availability of the information from publicly accessible sources; and
d. the effect the release of the personal information could reasonably have on the
I found that the:
a. specific personal information listed is not well known;
b. individuals whose personal information is contained in the documents are not
widely known to be associated with the matters dealt with in the documents;
c. information is not readily available from publicly accessible sources.
10. Taking into account the above factors, I consider that the release of this material would
be an unreasonable disclosure of personal information and find it conditionally exempt under
section 47F(1) of the FOI Act.
11. Section 11A(5) of the FOI Act requires an agency to allow access to an exempt
document unless, in the circumstances, access to the document would, on balance, be contrary
to the public interest. My public interest considerations are set out below.
Public interest considerations – Sections 47F
12. I have found that some of the material identified in the document is conditionally
exempt under sections 47F(1) of the FOI Act. Section 11A(5) provides that, if a document is
conditionally exempt, it must be disclosed ‘unless (in the circumstances) access to the
document at that time would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest’.
13. I considered the factors favouring disclosure set out in section 11B(3) of the FOI Act.
The relevant factors being that disclosure may promote some of the objects of the FOI Act, as
information held by the Government is a national resource and it would allow the applicant
access to their own personal information.
14. However, disclosure of this information would not increase public participation in the
Defence process (section 3(2)(a) of the FOI Act), nor would it increase scrutiny or discussion
of Defence activities (section 3(2)(b) of the FOI Act).
15. Paragraph 6.22 of the Guidelines specifies a non-exhaustive list of public interest
factors against disclosure. The factors I find particularly relevant to this request are that
release of this information could reasonably be expected to prejudice:
a. the protection of an individual’s right to privacy;
b. the interests of an individual or a group of individuals;
c. an agency’s ability to obtain confidential information; and
d. an agency’s ability to obtain similar information in the future.
16. It is for those reasons that I find that the public interest factors against disclosure
outweigh the factors for disclosure and I deem the information exempt under sections and
47F(1) of the FOI Act.
17. None of the factors listed in section 11B(4) [Irrelevant Factors] were taken into account
when making my decision.
Additional Contextual Information
18. The procurement was for international airfares associated with the participation of the
Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) men’s and women’s rugby teams in the
International Cadet Rugby Cup in Japan in October 2019. The invitation for ADFA to
participate in the tournament was accepted by the Chief of Defence Force in December 2018.
The bookings were made through Qantas Business Travel in accordance with Standing Offer
Panel SON289574 – Whole of Australian Government Travel Management Services, and not
through a limited tender directly with Qantas.
maria.brick Digitally signed by maria.brick
Date: 2019.12.04 13:55:58
WGCDR Maria Brick
Accredited Decision Maker
Joint Capabilities Group