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What information may be exempt from disclosure?

The Right to Information Act recognises that some information held by a public authority should not be disclosed. The types of information that may be exempted from disclosure include:

  • Executive Council information
  • Cabinet information
  • internal briefing information of a Minister in connection with the official business of a public authority and in connection with the Minister's parliamentary duty
  • information not relating to official business
  • information affecting national or state security, defence or international relations
  • information relating to the enforcement of the law
  • information that is protected by legal professional privilege
  • information related to a closed meeting of a council
  • information communicated by other government jurisdictions *
  • internal deliberative (working) information *
  • personal information of a third party *
  • information relating to business affairs of a third party *
  • information relating to the business affairs of a public authority *
  • information obtained in confidence *
  • information about procedures and criteria used in financial, commercial and labour negotiations, the execution of contracts, the defence prosecution and settlement of cases and similar activities *
  • information that is likely to affect the State’s economy *
  • information that is likely to affect the cultural heritage and natural resources of the State. *

* These exemptions are subject to a ‘public interest test’.

When applying the public interest test, we consider only matters that are relevant. The Act provides a non-exhaustive list of matters that are relevant and a list of matters that are not relevant:

  • schedule 1 of the Act sets out the matters that are to be considered
  • schedule 2 of the Act sets out the matters that are irrelevant.