Mr X and Defence Forces

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date04 April 2022
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the decision of the Defence Forces.
RespondentDefence Forces
Record NumberOIC-119543-T1S5R7
Whether the Defence Forces has complied with the requirements of section 10 in respect of the application for a statement of reasons as to why the applicant was not recommended for a named course and whether it was justified in refusing under section 15(1)(a) of the Act, his request for a copy of a submission file regarding that course application

4 April 2022

Background

On 23 December 2021, the applicant submitted a request to the Defence Forces for the reasons and decisions why he was not recommended for a named course, and for “A copy of [his] sub file put together for the course”. On 13 January 2022, the Defence Forces issued a decision wherein it part granted the request. It provided the applicant with a statement relating to its engagements with the applicant concerning an application for the course. Among other things, it said that by the time the applicant asked if he could apply for the course over the phone, it was past the point where the required processing steps could be completed within the relevant deadline. It refused the second part of the request under section 15(1)(a) of the Act on the ground that no such records exist.

On 18 January 2022 the applicant sought an internal review of the Defence Forces’ decision. He said that a Redress of Wrongs investigation in 2014 concluded that he be recommended for all Standards Courses and that this be placed on his file. He said he was previously able to make the application for such courses via phone and was subsequently recommended for those courses. On 4 February 2022, the Defence Forces affirmed its decision on the request. On 14 February 2022 the applicant applied to this Office for a review of the Defence Force’s decision.

I have now completed my review in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the parties as outlined above and to the correspondence between this Office and both parties on the matter. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision.

Scope of Review

This review is concerned solely with whether the Defence Forces has complied with the requirements of section 10 in respect of the application for a statement of reasons as to why the applicant was not recommended for a named course and whether it was justified in refusing, under section 15(1)(a) of the Act, the applicant’s request for a copy of a submission file regarding that course application.

Preliminary Matter

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