Ref: FOI 2016/17‐58
Mr Adam Presnell
Right to Know
via email: foi+request‐3219‐[email address]
Dear Mr Presnell Your request – charges notice
I am writing about your initial request, received by the department on 10 March 2017, for access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act) to documents as follows:
The costs of preparing the Cost Benefit Analysis by an external consultant is part of the cost
of proposing to moving the agency to a rural area. It is in the public interest to understand
the true cost of this move. The invoice by Ernst and Young is sought and the budget for
external consulting on this move is sought.
Preliminary assessment of the charges
Section 29 of the FOI Act authorise an agency to impose a charge in respect of a request for
access to a document.
The department has now completed a search for documents and identified documents as falling
relevant to your request. Our preliminary assessment of the department’s charge to process
your request is $101.30,
calculated as follows:
Search and retrieval time, at $15 per hour
Document preparation and decision making time*, at $20 per hour
(*there is no charge for the first five hours of decision making time)
Please be aware that the department’s charges relate to the processing of your request,
including search, retrieval and decision making, and are no guarantee that a decision will be
made to grant access to the documents. Seeking reduction or non‐imposition of the charge
You may contend that the charge has been wrongly assessed, or should be reduced or not
imposed. The FOI Act provides that, in deciding whether to reduce or not to impose a charge, the
decision maker must take into account any relevant reasons, including whether payment of the
charge, or part of it, would cause you financial hardship, and whether the giving of access to the
documents is in the general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public.
You may find fact sheets and guidelines on charges available on the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) webpage helpful.
+61 2 6272 3933
18 Marcus Clarke Street
GPO Box 858
+61 2 6272 5161
Canberra City ACT 2601
Canberra ACT 2601
ABN 24 113 085 695
The time you have to respond and what you need to do
If you would like the department to continue processing your request, you must notify the
department in writing within 30 calendar days after the day you receive this notice that you:
agree to pay the charge
wish to contend that the charge
(i) should be reduced or not imposed; or
(ii) both; or
withdraw the request for access.
If you do not provide a written response in accordance with one of options a, b or c above within
30 calendar days of receiving this notice, your request will be taken to have been withdrawn
under subsection 29(2) of the FOI Act.
Paying the charge
If you agree to pay the charge, you are required to pay the whole charge, or a deposit of $25.00
within 30 calendar days of receiving this notice. If you elect to pay a deposit, please note
documents will not be released until the assessed charge is received in full.
Payment can be made by:
credit card by completing the attached form and sending a scanned copy to
[Department of Agriculture and Water Resources request email] or posting it to the address below
cheque or money order made payable to the ‘Collector of Public Monies’, and forwarded
to the following address:
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
direct deposit to:
DAWR Departmental Account
London Circuit, Canberra
24 113 085 695.
If payment is made by direct deposit, please include the FOI reference number
(FOI 2016/17‐58) in the subject field, and send an email with notification of payment to
[Department of Agriculture and Water Resources request email] as soon it has been made.
Time limits for processing your request
Section 31 of the FOI Act provides that where a notice is sent to an applicant regarding the
payment of a charge in respect of a request, the time limit for processing the request is
suspended from the date the notice is received until either:
the day following payment of the charge (in full or the required deposit); or
if applicable, the day following the notification to the applicant of a decision not to
impose the charge.
Third party consultation
The relevant documents contain information about the business affairs of an organisation or
information about the business or professional affairs of one or more third parties.
To inform the decision on release of documents, the FOI Act requires that the above third parties
are consulted, and provides a further time period for the consultation process. Subsection 15(6)
of the FOI Act extends the standard statutory 30‐day time limit for processing requests by
another 30 calendar days. Accordingly, this will give the department 60 calendar days within
which to notify you of its decision on access to the documents.
Should you wish to discuss any issues arising from this letter, please email
[Department of Agriculture and Water Resources request email].
Principal Government Lawyer
Office of the General Counsel
24 March 2017