Section 35 exemption – misunderstood and underutilised

A lunchtime webinar session

OVIC Annual Reports regularly identify s 35 of the Victorian FOI Act as one of the exemptions most frequently applied by agencies.

But parts of s 35(1) are often misunderstood and wrongly applied.  Due to some potentially misleading information circulating about the  communications to which the exemption can apply, the exemption is misapplied and underutilised.  To rectify these issues, FOI Solutions offers this seminar for the first time.

This session will take a detailed look at both s 35(1) exemptions, namely s 35(1)(a) and s 35(1)(b).  There will be a detailed examination of all the key components or elements which need to be satisfied for exemption to apply, including:

  • when is information or matter “communicated in confidence” and how do you work that out?
  • does the information have to be communicated to your agency?
  • who can it be communicated by?
  • does s 35(1)(a) apply to communications between government agencies?  When does it apply?
  • what is the meaning of “public interest” in s 35(1)(b)?
  • when would disclosure be “reasonably likely” to have a particular effect?
  • does “impair” mean to stop the agency’s ability to obtain information in future in s 35(1)(b) or can it be something different?
  • when does consultation have to apply (or not)?

This seminar will also have a look at recent examples of how s 35(1)(a) and s 35(1)(b) are applied.

This session is crucial for a clear understanding of how s 35 works and an essential tool in the FOI decision-maker’s toolkit.  Don’t miss out.

The webinar will be conducted using WebEx (end to end encryption).  For information about how this will work, click here for FAQs.

The Model Litigant Guidelines and FOI ticket sales has ended!


15 Mar 2024


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 14 Mar 2024
  • Time: 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm




FOI Solutions videoconference
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