If not delivered return to PO Box 7820 Canberra BC ACT 2610
14 March 2017
Our reference: LEX26567
Mr Justin Warren
Right to Know
By email: [FOI #3024 email]
Dear Mr Warren
Outcome of Consultation under section 24AB
I refer to your request, dated 6 February 2017 and received by the Department of Human
Services (the department
) on the same day for access under the Freedom of Information
(the FOI Act
) to the following documents:
'I request the following information relating to the initiative to match Centrelink data
with data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to detect potential overpayment and
the recovery of those overpayments from citizens.
- Documents listing identified risks, categorisations (Likelihood, Impact, etc.), and
treatments (e.g. Risk Registers) in the period 1 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016.
This initiative has been extensively covered by the media using various
names, including #robodebt and #notmydebt.'
On 22 February 2017, I wrote to you providing a notice of intention to refuse your request
under section 24AB(2) of the FOI Act, giving you an opportunity to consult with the
department to revise your request so as to remove the practical refusal reason.
In order to assist you to revise your request, I wrote to you on 8 March 2017 seeking a 14
day extension of time for the consultation period under section 24AB(5) of the FOI Act. On
the same day you replied stating that you did not agree to an extension of time as requested.
Later, on 8 March 2017 I provided you with a response to your questions.
You did not contact the department to provide a revised scope within the consultation period,
which ended at midnight on 8 March 2017.
Section 24AB(6) of the FOI Act provides:
The applicant must, before the end of the consultation period, do one of the following, by
written notice to the agency or Minister:
(a) withdraw the request;
(b) make a revised request;
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(c) indicate the applicant does not wish to revise the request.
Section 24AB(7) of the FOI Act provides:
The request is taken to be withdrawn under subsection (6) at the end of the
consultation period if:
(a) the applicant does not consult the contact person during the consultation
period in accordance with the notice; or
(b) the applicant does not do one of the things mentioned in subsection (6)
before the end of the consultation period.
You did not do one of the things mentioned in section 24AB(6) prior to midnight on 8 March
2017. Therefore, in accordance with section 24AB(7) of the FOI Act, your request was taken
to be withdrawn.
On 10 March 2017, you wrote to the department to revise the scope of your original request.
This correspondence was not received during the consultation period and by the time the
correspondence was received your request had already been taken as withdrawn in
accordance with the provisions of the FOI Act.
It is not possible to revise a request deemed withdrawn by operation of the FOI Act.
Authorised FOI Decision Maker
Freedom of Information Team
FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services
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Department of Human Services