22 August 2019
Mr Michael Green
BY EMAIL: [FOI #5326 email]
In reply please quote:
Dear Mr Green,
I refer to your email dated 22 March 2019 in which you request access to documents held
by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) under the Freedom of Information Act
(the FOI Act).
I am writing to tell you that I intend to refuse your request on the basis that a practical refusal
reason exists. However, before I make a final decision to do this, you have an opportunity
to revise your request to remove the practical refusal reason. This is called a ‘request
’. You have 14 days to respond to this notice in one of the ways set out
Scope of Request
You have requested access to the following:
Documents in relation to the eligibility of persons applying for the Community
Support Program, according to nationality, ethnicity, religion or place of residence.
Please limit this to briefing papers, reports, guidance notes, policy documents and
advice the senior officials and the Minister.
Please limit this request to only documents since 2013.
Power to refuse request
Section 24 of the FOI Act provides that if the Department is satisfied that a practical refusal
reason exists in relation to a request, the Department must undertake a consultation
process with you, and if, after that consultation process, the Department remains satisfied
that the practical refusal reason stil exists, the Department may refuse to give you access
to the documents subject to the request.
6 Chan Street Belconnen ACT 2617
PO Box 25 Belconnen ACT 2616 • Telephone: 02 6264 1111 • Fax: 02 6225 6970 • www.homeaffairs.gov.au
A practical refusal reason
exists if either (or both) of the following applies:
the work involved in the processing of the request would substantially and
unreasonably divert the resources of the Department from its other
the request does not satisfy the requirement in section 15(2)(b) of the FOI
Act, which requires you to provide such information concerning the document
you are seeking access to, to enable the Department to be able to identify it.
Reasons for practical refusal
It is my view that the scope of your request, as it is currently, would meet the second
practical refusal reason because it is unclear within your scope as to the nature and content
of the documents that you are seeking access to.
Concerning the eligibility of a person for the Community Support Program (CSP), you
appear to request access to documents that may contain high-level policy detail of how the
eligibility criteria is determined, with a particular emphasis on any information which
concerns an applicant’s nationality, ethnicity, religion or place of residence.
The Department publishes the eligibility criteria for the CSP on its website. That information
may be sourced at the following URL:
While it appears clear in your scope that you are seeking documents about the underlying,
high-level policy settings, including any Ministerial briefings, which have contributed to the
formation of the eligibility criteria as distinct from the criteria themselves, we would
appreciate your further clarification as to the nature and content of the documents you are
seeking, which wil assist us in conducting searches, and liaising with any relevant business
For your reference, the Guidelines for Approved Proposing Organisations (APOs)
provides guidance on the selection of applicants in line with the Australian government’s
priorities for resettlement under the Humanitarian program and the Community Support
Program in particular. This document has previously been released under a Freedom of
Information request; see case number FA 18/08/00011 at the below URL:
If this document meets your information requirements in part or in full, you may consider
withdrawing your request, or revising your scope after considering the above document.
To assist the FOI Section in processing requests in a timely manner, we ask that you
consider how you have worded the scope of your request. If you are seeking a specific
document that supports a specific practice, process or procedure it is very helpful for the
purpose of assessment if you state that in the terms of your request or provide descriptive
content in your scope.
Request Consultation Process
You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to proceed.
Under section 24AB of the FOI Act, you have 14 days to respond to this notice in writing
and advise me whether:
• you wish to make a revised request;
• indicate that you do not wish to revise your request; or
• withdraw your request.
If you do not do one of the three things listed above during the consultation period (14 days)
or you do not consult the contact person listed below during this period, your request wil be
taken to have been withdrawn in accordance with section 24AB(7) of the FOI Act.
Should you wish to revise your request or have any questions in relation to this process,
please do not hesitate to contact the decision maker at [DIBP request email].
Position number 60081621
Authorised Decision Maker | Freedom of Information Section
FOI and Records Management Branch
Productivity and Compliance Division | Corporate and Enabling Group
Department of Home Affairs