FOI 020/17/18 STATEMENT OF REASONS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF
I refer to the application by Mr Alan Cole under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act), for access to:
“…the schedule and flight manifests including crews of all special purpose flights
outside of Australia i.e international flights between January and July of 2017.”
excluding personal email addresses, signatures, PMKeys numbers and mobile telephone
numbers, contained in documents that fall within the scope of the FOI request. In
addition, excluding duplicates of document.
FOI decision maker
I am the accredited officer pursuant to section 23 of the FOI Act to make a decision on
this FOI request.
A number of documents will be prepared for tabling in Parliament. I identified no
documents as currently matching the description of the request.
I have decided to defer access to the documents in accordance with section 21(1)(c)
[Deferment of access] of the FOI Act.
Material taken into account
In making my decision, I had regard to:
a. the terms of the request;
b. relevant provisions in the FOI Act;
c. the Guidelines published by the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act (the Guidelines); and
d. advice received from the Ministerial and Parliamentary Committee (in the
Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication Division).
Reasons for decision
Section 21 – Deferment of access
I have decided to defer access to the documents related to the scope of the request in
accordance with paragraph 21(1)(c) [Deferment of access] of the FOI Act until early 2018.
The Department of Defence (Defence) is responsible to the Minister for Defence for
compiling the Schedule of Special Purpose Flights. The schedule is planned to be tabled in
parliament biannually and includes details on all legs flown, passengers carried, hours and
The schedule of special purpose flights between January and July 2017 will be prepared
by Defence for tabling in parliament. The practice is to table the schedule six months after
the relevant reporting period, during the corresponding winter or summer parliamentary
sitting breaks. The documents can be expected to be tabled out of session in early 2018.
My reason for deferring access to the documents is that premature release would be
contrary to the public interest. While I acknowledge that there is a public interest in disclosure
of official information to inform legitimate public debate, there is, in my view a greater public
interest in following established procedures for accessing this information.
10. The applicant asked why there has been no publication of any 2016 flights given the
schedules of special purpose flights are published twice yearly.
11. The schedule for Jan-Jun 2016 was tabled in Parliament in July 2017. The schedule for
July – December 2016 is being prepared and is expected to be publicly available by the end of
nicola.viney Digitally signed by nicola.viney
DN: c=AU, o=GOV, ou=DoD, ou=PKI,
Date: 2017.08.10 12:37:26 +10'00'
Accredited Decision Maker
Associate Secretary Group