WA FOI Refusing Information on Company Name?

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SimonWheeler

Active Member
24 October 2016
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0
31
Hi,

We are trying to find out the company name of a certified building surveyor who provided a certificate of design compliance for a building permit relating to an opt-in JDAP development approval on a development adjacent to us.

We asked the permit authority (City of Stirling), who refused to tell us. We put in an FOI request for this information which was also denied on the grounds that the request would provide personal details.

As it happens, we have a good idea who the surveyor was and yes if their company name came up, we would then know the identity of the surveyor, though we really only want the company name so as to put in a complaint to the building commission.

I understand we can go to the information commissioner which we will do, however, that's probably a 6 to 12 month wait.

Is not the point of being a certified `anything` that you are accountable in some way? Is there any legislation that covers such a case that may be of use in putting pressure on the Council or the Building Commission to put forward this information?

Any input appreciated.
 

Lance

Well-Known Member
31 October 2015
852
123
2,394
The building surveyor may be a registered business under their own name and home address, so you will find in most cases agencies wont make that information available.

You could always make a complaint to the Building Commissioner under the (WA) BUILDING SERVICES (COMPLAINT RESOLUTION AND ADMINISTRATION) ACT 2011

You might be able to make the complaint against the Building Surveyor based on the property address.
 

SimonWheeler

Active Member
24 October 2016
10
0
31
Apparently the Building Commission have no way of matching the Surveyor against an address since there is no central database for Certified Approvals... This information is held with the Permit Authority itself who ain't talking.

The FOI act notes that Public Interest overrides privacy concerns and when nonfeasance of a Certified Surveyor working for a Public Body (in this case the Council) carries potential safety issues for the general public I would have thought that this would be in the public interest?

Anyway, will have to wait and see what the information commissioner thinks ;(
 

Emlybee

Member
16 November 2016
1
0
1
It might be worth letting the City of Stirling know that personal information is not exempt if it relates to a prescribed officer in the course of their duties - which apparently includes subcontractors.
  • disclosure would merely reveal prescribed details about officers or former officers of agencies, or persons who perform or have performed services for agencies under a contract for services (clauses 3(3) and 3(4)). Prescribed details include certain work-related information such as an officer’s name, title, work-related qualifications, functions and duties, and things done in the course of the officer’s functions or duties (regulation 9 of the FOI Regulations);
Short of that, you could ask for information to be removed except the ABN/building surveyor number to be removed of the contractor on the certificate as that's all you really seem to want?