16 October 2018
Via email: [FOI #4860 email]
Our Ref: 1819/31.02
Request for Information
I am writing in relation to your email to nbn
’s FOI Officer via RightToKnow (RTK) on 4 October 2018 seeking:
“documents that show nbnCo's previously published 'ready-for-service' dates, 'cease-sale' dates and
'planned delivery technology' roll-outs for brownfield premises covering … Turrella (postcode 2205).”
The Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act
) provides that members of the public have a general right of
access to specific documents, subject to certain exemptions. Under section 15(2)
of the FOI Act, a valid FOI
request must provide such information concerning the requested documents as is reasonably necessary to enable nbn
to identify them, among other things. Scope of Request and Notice
Your request seeks the documents described above, within various date ranges, for the whole suburb of Turella.
You have asked, in the event it is difficult to find the documents for the whole suburb, that your request be
limited to Walker Street. However, this geographical area could still encompass a very broad range of documents.
As currently drafted, the terms of your request are not sufficiently clear and the particular documents that fall
within the parameters of the request are not reasonably identifiable. Accordingly, your FOI request in its current
form is invalid.
Until you clarify the terms of your request, nbn
will not formally acknowledge your request, and the statutory
period for completing this request will not commence. In that regard, please let me know if there is a specific
document, or set of documents, which you are seeking. It may be useful to consider whether you might be willing
to limit your request to one particular address.
In light of the time likely to be required to process this request in its current form, I am also of the opinion that it
may be an unreasonable diversion of nbn
’s resources, under sections 24
and 24AA of the FOI Act. nbn’s Commercial Activities Carve-out
I also refer you to nbn’s
commercial activities carve-out (CAC
) from the application of the FOI Act, and section
and Part II of Schedule 2
of the FOI Act. Please be aware that documents that are in relation to nbn’s
“commercial activities” are not subject to the operation of the FOI Act and would be exempt from release. The
following link summarises and provides general background information c
’s CAC. That background
document references two reviews by the Australian Information Commissioner that considered nbn
’s CAC: the Internode Decision
(in January 2012) and the Battersby Decision
(in July 2013). While I am not making a formal
decision and have not reviewed any documents, I note that there is a possibility that documents falling within the
terms of your request may be subject to the CAC, among other exemptions from release. FOI Processing Period and Charges
The statutory period for processing an FOI application is 30 days, subject to any suspension of the processing
period or extension of the time for deciding the application. Please also note that nbn
may impose processing
charges in relation to FOI requests. You will be advised of any charges in relation to your request.
For your reference, processing charges for FOI applications are set by regulation and may be found at nbn
website, in particular, its FOI page.
The following hyperlink outlines nbn’s
approach to processing charges:
Submission to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Charges Review.
In particular, nbn
and will generally apply Recommendation 24 in the Hawke Review into FOI Legislation, (the Hawke Review
) as a
benchmark in reviewing FOI applications. For your reference, Recommendation 24 suggests a 40-hour ceiling for
all FOI processing charges. More information about charges under the FOI Act is available in Fact Sheet 7
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC
) website and in part 4 of the OAIC FOI Guidelines.
In accordance with the FOI Act, nbn
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 and other details, please visit our Disclosure Log o
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss your request.
Yours sincerely Kate Friedrich
Senior Legal Counsel
FOI Privacy & Knowledge Management