This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request '"Monthly Ready For Service" Rollout Plan - Data after 14 August 2013'.


  
 
21 October 2013 
 
 
 
 
Mr. B. Fairless 
Sent via email: [FOI #443 email] 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Ref:  FOI1314/24.06 
Dear Mr Fairless, 
 
FOI Application – Ready for Service Document and Delays in Darwin 
 
I am writing in relation to your request made under the Freedom of Information Act, 1982 (the FOI Act or the Act). In particular, 
you were seeking access to: 
 
1.  A copy of the most recent draft publication of the "Monthly Ready for service" Rollout Plan, specifically of the most recent draft 
version AFTER the 14th of August 2013 release on the NBN website; and 
2.  A copy of any documents within the last 3 months that relate to completion times and potential delays in for the FTTP rollout in the 
Darwin area (specifically FSAM 8CSU-04). 
 
Scope of FOI Application 
Your FOI application indicates that you are seeking “any documents” that relate to completion times and potential delays for the 
fibre rollout in Darwin. As you have not framed your request in terms of specific documents, it follows that you are seeking 
access to all manner of documents, including emails to and from NBN Co staff. For your reference, the required search and 
review process would involve a very significant amount of time and effort from NBN Co’s FOI Officer and staff from across the 
company. 
 
The terms of your request would require NBN Co to undertake a review of the email accounts of a significant number of 
employees, so as to determine whether they fall within the scope of this FOI request. Among other sources of documents, NBN 
Co’s IT Group would be required to create a set of data cubes which would need to be searched, culled for relevance and 
organised. That process alone would involve very significant effort and cost. Relevant executives and senior managers of NBN 
Co would also need to be involved in consideration of the documentation, which would be a significant interference with the 
performance of their usual responsibilities. Moreover, these search-related tasks would not include the more difficult and time-
consuming task of making a formal FOI decision and applying exemptions to the various documents and factual scenarios. In 
addition, NBN Co could be required to consult with numerous construction partners in relation to any documents concerning 
their business or personal affairs. Given that NBN Co has taken over the build of the network in the Northern Territories, the 
number of these construction partners would be significant. 
 
Please also be aware that processing charges may be imposed in relation to your FOI application. In that regard, I would refer 
you to NBN Co’s FOI processing charges policy, which is outlined at the following hyperlink: Submission to the Office of the 
Australian Information Commissioner Charges Review. In p
articular, NBN Co supports – and will generally apply – 
Recommendation 24 in the Hawke Review into FOI Legislation, (the Hawke Review), which suggests a 40-hour ceiling for all 
FOI processing charges. 
 
In light of the volume of documents and the need to consult with multiple third parties, I am of the opinion that it would be an 
unreasonable diversion of NBN Co’s resources to commence the processing of this FOI application in its current form. In that 
regard, I am relying upon sections 24 and 24AA of the FOI Act. 
 
 
PHONE 
(02) 9926 1900 
FAX 
(02) 9926 1901 
EMAIL 
[email address] 
WEB 
www.nbnco.com.au 
LEVEL 11, 100 ARTHUR STREET, NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2060 
NBN Co Limited   ACN 136 533 741   © NBN Co 2013  
  

  
Request Consultation Process 
Section 24 of the FOI Act requires NBN Co to undertake a request consultation process before issuing a notice to refuse 
access. Before issuing a refusal notice, section 24AB of the FOI Act requires Government authorities to provide applicants with 
written notice stating their intention to refuse access and to initiate a request consultation process. In that context, I request that 
you review the scope of your FOI request and notify the writer by 4 November 2013 as to whether you wish to:  
 
  withdraw the request; or 
  make revised request; or  
  not revise the request. 
 
If you have not notified the writer by the above-mentioned date, NBN Co will consider that this application has been withdrawn 
as per section 24AB(6) of the FOI Act. In accordance with section 24AB(8) of the FOI Act, the time taken to consult with you 
regarding the scope of a request is not taken into account when calculating the 30-day statutory time limit for processing FOI 
applications. In addition, I would invite you to telephone the writer on the number below to discuss or clarify the terms of this 
FOI application. 
 
 
NBN Co’s Commercial Activities 
In addition to the section 24 issues, there is a strong possibility that many of the documents within the scope of this request 
would relate to NBN Co’s commercial activities and would not be subject to the operation of the Act. In that regard, I refer you to 
section 7(3A) and Part II of Schedule 2 of the FOI Act, which outline the scope of NBN Co’s commercial activities exemption 
(the CAE). For your reference, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) completed a review decision 
in January 2012 (the Internode Decision), which provides background and guidance as to the application of the CAE to NBN 
Co. The Internode Decision may be found by clicking on the following link. The OAIC completed an additional review at the end 
of July 2013 – the Battersby Decision, which further clarified the scope of NBN Co’s CAE. While I am not making a formal 
decision nor have I begun a review of relevant documents, there is a possibility that documents falling within the terms of this 
FOI request may be subject to the CAE and other exemptions from release under the FOI Act. 
 
 
Disclosure Log Notification 
In accordance with the FOI Act, NBN Co is required to publish documents provided to FOI applicants within 10 working days 
after release. The information you seek may be published in full (as released to you) or with some additional redactions as per 
section 11C of the FOI Act. For further information, visit our Disclosure Log on NBN Co’s website at www.nbnco.com.au/about-
us/media/freedom-of-information/disclosure-log.html.
 
 
If you have any questions or need to discuss your FOI application, please feel free to contact the writer on Tel. (02) 8918 8596 
or via email on [email address]. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
 
 
David J Mesman 
GM Legal - FOI and Knowledge Management 
 
 
 
PHONE 
(02) 9926 1900 
FAX 
(02) 9926 1901 
PAGE 
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EMAIL 
[email address] 
WEB 
www.nbnco.com.au 
LEVEL 11, 100 ARTHUR STREET, NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2060 
NBN Co Limited   ACN 136 533 741   © NBN Co 2013