If not delivered return to PO Box 7820 Canberra BC ACT 2610
9 March 2017
Our reference: LEX 27725
By email: email@example.com
Your Freedom of Information Request
I refer to your correspondence received by the Department of Human Services (the department
23 February 2017. In your email, you made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act
) for the following:
'In an interview with Tom Tilley from Triple J Hack on 21 February 2017, Minister Alan Tudge
said, "Now, if a person that we know is vulnerable and they've got a vulnerability indicator on
their file, they wil not be sent any sort of notice. They simply are not covered…"
Well, as I said, if they've got any sort of vulnerability index written on his file, then they don't
get sent these notices.
The Freedom of Information request is for clarification and information on:
1. What constitutes "vulnerability"?
2. What is the description and definition of the Vulnerability index and descriptions of
individual index items?
3. How many people on the Centrelink system have this marker on their file currently? How
many people on the Centrelink system had this marker on their file at any time in 2016
4. Please provide workflow information on the process that this marker gets added to a file,
what can trigger it and by whom?
5. When and how can the vulnerability marker be updated, change or expire? Which
markers expire and how is does this occur? Manual or automatic? How are reviews
conducted before expiration?
6. Which agencies and individual roles have access to this information? Including external
agencies such as debt collectors?'
Your request is invalid
In its current form, your request does not meet the requirements of the FOI Act.
The FOI Act provides a right of access to documents which are in the possession of the department.
is defined in section 4(1) of the FOI Act to include any or any part of the following:
any paper or other material on which there is writing
a map, plan, drawing or photograph
any paper or other material on which there are marks, figures, symbols or perforations
having a meaning for persons qualified to interpret them
any article or material from which sounds, images or writing are capable of being
reproduced with or without the aid of any other article or device
any article on which information has been stored or recorded, either mechanically or
any other record of information
any copy, including any part of any copy, of a reproduction or duplicate of a thing listed
You have asked a number of questions in your correspondence. The FOI Act does not provide for a
right to request that the department answers questions, rather it provides a right to access
documents. For this reason, your request is not currently valid.
However, there are publically available documents which may assist you in answering your
questions. For dot points 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 of your correspondence you may wish to view the following
links on the department’s website:
For dot point three, you may wish to view the following link on the Department of Employment
website which has data within the quarterly reports that may be relevant to your question:
The right to access documents under the FOI Act does not apply to all documents that are in the
possession of agencies that are subject to the FOI Act. The FOI Act does not apply to documents
where the document is already publicly available. This is found in section 12(b) of the FOI Act.
For this reason, this FOI request has now been closed. Please note you may make a fresh FOI
request at any time.
Authorised FOI Decision Maker
Freedom of Information Team
FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services