The decision by the Attorney General not to provide the requested information was reasonable and therefore appropriate.
Parts (1) to (2) of the question asked for information about legal advice the Government received in relation to an ex gratia payment to Mr Gene Gibson. Part (3) asked for information about the State’s intention to recover funds from Mr Gibson’s legal representatives. The Attorney General, through the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, informed Parliament that he was unable to provide the information in parts (1) to (3) as it was subject to legal professional privilege.
The Attorney General declined our request to examine the legal advice. In his and the SSO’s view releasing the information to the Auditor General could waive the State’s claim of legal professional privilege.
However, we received other evidence from the Attorney General and the SSO confirming that the information in parts (1) and (2) formed part of legal advice, and that part (3) has been referred to the SSO for consideration. We are satisfied that the requested information is subject to legal professional privilege.