This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Review and Cancellation of Cyber Hubs Project'.

FOI 23-24/041  
FOI Team 
V Dog 
via Right to Know 
By email only: 
Dear Sir/Madam, 
Freedom of Information Request – FOI 23-24/041 
On 9 October 2023, the Department of Finance (Finance) received your email requesting 
access under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to the 
following documents: 
This request relates to the now-cancelled, Government-wide 'Cyber Hubs' project. I seek 
access to the following: 
a) Documents relating to any kind of review that the Department of Finance led, 
conducted or requested into the 'Cyber Hubs' project. 
b) Documents discussing, recommending or approving the cancellation or de-
funding of the 'Cyber Hubs' project. 
I am seeking documents created only in the period from 1st January 2022 to 1st October 
Although the Cyber Hubs project was led from the Finance portfolio, the lead agency was 
the Digital Transformation Agency, not the Department of Finance. Following a machinery 
of government change, responsibility for this policy area, including the records associated 
with the former Cyber Hubs project, now resides with the Department of Home Affairs 
(Home Affairs). Finance’s only involvement in the Cyber Hubs project related to our role in 
reviewing expenditure proposals and providing advice to the Cabinet as part of the Budget 
process. Records of such advice are exempt from release under section 34 of the FOI Act 
(the Cabinet exemption).  
There are no documents responsive to paragraph a) of your request as Finance has not led, 
conducted or requested any review into the Cyber Hubs project. However, noting the current 
role of Home Affairs in the Cyber Hubs policy, and ensure full consideration of this FOI 
request, Finance transferred paragraph a) of your request to Home Affairs on  
9 October 2023.  
One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603 • Internet 

The part of your request that Finance has processed is below:  
b) Documents discussing, recommending or approving the cancellation or de-funding of the 
'Cyber Hubs' project. 
On 31 October 2023, Finance wrote to you notifying that your request was too broad and 
requested that you narrow the scope of your FOI request and you agreed to amend the scope 
of your request as provided at Attachment A.  
Initial searches of departmental systems have identified more than 300 documents which 
may fall within the scope of your FOI request. An initial review of these documents 
indicates that all of these relate to the Budget process and are connected with the purpose of 
providing advice to Cabinet. While further detailed review of the documents would be 
required to confirm that the documents identified would be exempt from release under the 
FOI Act, the nature of Finance’s role in relation to this matter leads me to the conclusion 
that all documents in scope of your current request are likely to be exempt under the Cabinet 
exemption provided in the FOI Act.  
Further detailed work involved in processing your request in its current form would 
substantially and unreasonably divert Finance’s resources from its other operations, are 
unlikely to result in any documents being released to you, and accordingly are within the 
purview of ‘practical refusal reason’ in the FOI Act. The availability of the practical refusal 
reason is to ensure that capacity of Finance to discharge its normal functions are not 
undermined by processing requests that are unreasonably burdensome. 
On the basis of the above practical refusal reason, I intend to refuse access to the documents 
requested. However, before I make a final decision to do this, you have an opportunity to 
revise your request. This is called a ‘request consultation process’. 
Authorised decision-maker 
I am authorised by the Secretary of Finance to grant or refuse access to documents. 
Why I intend to refuse the request. 
Under subsection 24AA(2) I must have regard to the resources that would have to be used 
by Finance for:  
•  identifying, locating or collating the documents within Finance’s filing system 
•  deciding whether to grant, refuse or defer access to a document to which the request 
relates, or to grant access to an edited copy of such a document (including resources 
that would have to be used for examining the document or consulting with any 
person or body in relation to the request) 
•  making a copy or an edited copy, of the document 
•  notifying any interim or final decision on the request. 
I decided that a practical refusal reason exists because your request requires Finance to: 
•  review over 300 documents which potentially are within the scope of your 
request; and  
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•  your request may relate to documents that contain third party information, which 
requires Finance to undertake third party consultation, and to consider any 
objections to release submitted by those third parties.  
Request consultation process: clarifying the terms of your request  
You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to proceed. 
Revising your request can mean narrowing the scope of the request to make it more 
manageable or explaining in more detail the documents you wish to access. For example, by 
providing more specific information about exactly what documents you are interested in, so 
that Finance will be able to pinpoint the documents quickly and avoid using excessive 
resources to process documents you are not interested in.  
You could narrow the scope of your request by one or more of the following:  
•  excluding further documents such as emails; 
•  narrowing the periods of your request to shorter timeframes.  
You may also wish to consider making this request of the agency with primary 
responsibility for this policy, which as noted above is Home Affairs.  
You are required to take further action 
Before the end of the consultation period, you must do one of the following, in writing: 
•  withdraw your request 
•  revise your request  
•  tell Finance that you seek to proceed with your original request. 
The consultation period runs for 14 days starting on the day after you receive this notice. 
This means you must respond to this notice in one of the ways set out above on or before 
Wednesday, 22 November 2023
During this period, you are welcome to seek assistance from the contact officer listed below 
to revise your request. If you revise your request in a way that adequately addresses the 
practical refusal grounds outlined above, Finance will recommence processing your request, 
noting relevant exemptions under the FOI Act would continue to apply.  
Please note, the time taken to consult with you regarding your request is not taken into 
account for the purposes of the 30 calendar day statutory processing period in which Finance 
is required to finalise your request. 
If you do not respond electing to do one of the three options listed above during the 
consultation period or you do not consult the contact person during this period, the FOI Act 
deems your request to have been withdrawn. If your request is deemed withdrawn, you are 
not prevented from making a new request in the future.  

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Contact officer 
If you would like to revise your request or have any questions, the contact officer for your 
request is: 
FOI Officer  
Yours sincerely, 
Sebastian Mathew 
Assistant Secretary 
Home and Foreign Affairs | Government and Defence Division 
Department of Finance 
08 November 2023 
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