(02) 6215 1783
[Finance request email]
Mr Jason Radcliffe
Right to Know via email:
[FOI #1025 email];
Dear Mr Radcliffe, Freedom of Information Request – FOI15/33
Thank you for your email to the Department of Finance (Finance) in which you sought
access to the following documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
I write to request, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act ("the FOI Act") any
and all documents held by the Department of Finance ("the Department")
concerning the recent relocation of the electorate office of Adam Bandt MP ("the
Member"). Such documentation could include, but may not be limited to:
- Correspondence held by the Department between the Member, the Department and
the Special Minister of State and any other department concerning the justification
or reasoning for the relocation;
- Quotations, invoices or other like financial documents relating to work performed
in the process of the relocation (eg. moving expenses, installation of new
infrastructure, advertising the relocation to the Member's constituents etc); and
- Copies of the leases held by the Department in relation to the properties of 280
King Street and 296 Brunswick Street.
In an email, dated 25 March 2015, you provided the following clarification:
The request relates to any documents held by the Department in relation to the
relocation of the office of Adam Bandt MP from 280 King Street to 296 Brunswick
Street, irrespective of the date of the document.
The statutory period for processing your request commences from the day after Finance
received your request. Your request was received by Finance on 22 March 2015.
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with a notice, under subsection 24AB(2) of the
FOI Act, which outlines Finance’s intention to refuse your request. This is due to the work
involved in processing the request having been estimated to substantially and unreasonably
divert the resources of the agency from its other operations.
Assessment of the volume of material that may be relevant to your request
In considering your request, Finance acknowledges that the processing of requests for access
to documents is a legitimate part of each agency’s functions and FOI requests may require
reallocation of resources within an agency.
The decision-maker, Ms Cheryl-anne Moy, First Assistant Secretary, Ministerial and
Parliamentary Services Division, notes that Finance has identified a large amount of material
relating to the subject-matter of your request. In considering your request, Ms Moy has also
given careful consideration to the public interest in access to information held by the
department and the resources which would need to be employed to provide access in
accordance with your request.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Guidelines (OAIC Guidelines)
When assessing whether a practical refusal reason exists, the agency or minister can
have regard to any relevant matter, but must have regard to the resources required to
perform the following activities:
• the identification, location or collation of the documents within the filing system
of the agency or minister;
• the decision making process, including such activities as:
-examination of the document;
• the preparation of the decision and documents including:
-editing of exempt material to grant access to the remainder of a document;
• notifying the applicant of any interim or final decision on the request.
Taking into account the factors listed above, it has been estimated that processing this
request would take in excess of 230 hours. As such, Ms Moy has concluded that identifying,
consulting on and assessing the documents sought would involve a very considerable
amount of work. This work would unreasonably interfere with the performance of the
functions of the department, a practical refusal reason in terms of subparagraph
24AA(1)(a)(i) of the Act.
Clarifying the terms of your request
When a request involves a practical refusal reason, an unreasonable diversion of resources,
the department, in line with subsection 24(1)(a) of the FOI Act, undertakes a request
consultation process. This provides you with an opportunity to clarify the terms and, where
appropriate, to refine the scope of your request.
It may be that there are specific elements within the request subject-matter that you are
particularly interested in that could be isolated with a view to narrowing the terms of the
You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to proceed.