Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1917 17 I
J. Smith - M. Falcone (PT) - K. Hoskin
  • Freedom of Information
  • Investigation by Tribunal (consent)
  • Procedure (medical report) (Tribunal assessor) (consent)

The Panel accepted the recommendation of the Tribunal's Medical Liaison Office to obtain the opinion of a Tribunal medical assessor in this case. The Tribunal wrote the worker three times to obtain his consent for the referral to the assessor but the worker did not respond.

Under s. 134 of the WSIA, the Tribunal has discretion to initiate medical investigations and may obtain assistance from a Tribunal medical assessor. Under s. 132, the Tribunal has broad powers to compel oral and written evidence and production of documents.
Under s. 42(1)(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Tribunal can disclose information in its custody and control for the purpose for which it was obtained or compiled, or for a consistent purpose. In this case, sending the case materials to a medical assessor is a consistent purpose for which the material was obtained, namely to adjudicate the current appeal and obtain relevant information regarding the issues on appeal.
The Panel noted that the worker did not consent to release of his information to the assessor but that he also did not object to the release.
In the circumstances, the Panel directed that the case materials be sent to the medical assessor.