By email: [FOI #5334 email]
Our reference: C19/652
Freedom of Information Request
1. I refer to your email dated 28 March 2019 to Australian Public Service Commission (the
Commission), requesting access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to:
…email correspondence, fal ing between the period of 11 December 2017 to 8 August 2018
(inclusive) between Ms Stephanie Foster and Mr John Lloyd (including email documents sent by
Ms Foster to Mr Lloyd and email documents sent by Mr Lloyd to Ms Foster).
Documents fal ing within the scope of my request can be quickly identified and retrieved by
searching al items (including archived items) in Mr Lloyd’s email account profile according to
persons sent to, and received from. Such documents are likely to include further prima facie
evidence to support an al egation that Ms Foster has acted il egal y.
I am wil ing to agree to the APSC redacting, from any relevant document, the personal
information of any person mentioned in that document, except where that person was, at the
relevant time: i) a public servant; or i ) a member of parliament.
(Your FOI request).
Preliminary Assessment of the Charge
2. Section 29 of the FOI Act provides that charges can be imposed for processing requests, unless a
decision is made to waive the processing charge in whole or in part. For reasons set out below, I
have decided a charge should be imposed for the processing of your request.
3. I have therefore decided that you are liable to pay a charge for the processing of your request. My
preliminary assessment of that charge is $1,118.75, calculated under Schedule 1 of the Freedom of
Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (the FOI Regulations) as fol ows:
Search and retrieval
$15.00 per hour
$20.00 per hour
5 hours free
$20.00 per hour
4. Please note that this preliminary assessment is based on a random 10% sample of documents that
fal within scope of your request, given the volume of documents in scope. The ‘decision-making’
component of the preliminary assessment is based on a very short review of each page within
scope, and does not include the task of consultation of third parties required (which wil be
required). I have also incorporated a 25% discount on estimated decision-making time to account
for variations in the random 10% sample.
5. I am not satisfied that grounds exist to exercise discretion to reduce or waive the charge in this
6. I am not satisfied that giving access to the documents you have requested is in the general public
interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the public.
7. You must notify the Commission in writing within 30 days of receiving this notice that you either:
A. Agree to pay the preliminary charge, noting that additional charges may apply for making a
decision in relation to your request; or
B. Wish to contend that the charge has been wrongly assessed and/or should be reduced or not
C. Withdraw your request.
Further information on your options are set out below.
8. If you do not provide a written response in accordance with one of the options listed above, within
30 days of receiving this notice, your request wil be taken to have been withdrawn under
subsection 29(2) of the FOI Act.
Option A - Pay the charge
9. As the preliminary assessment of the charge exceeds $25.00, you are required to pay a deposit of
$279.69 (being 25% of the preliminary charge) within 30 days of receiving this notice. You can pay
the charge in ful if preferred.
10. The deposit can paid by cheque or money order made out to the Col ector of Public Monies. Please
quote the reference number FOI C19/652 with your payment. Details for alternative payment
methods are available on request.
11. If paying the charge please email [email address] once you have posted your cheque or money
order. You wil be notified of the final determination of applicable charges on release of the
Commission’s decision in this matter.
Option B - Seek reduction or non-imposition of the charge
12. You may make submissions that the charge has been wrongly assessed or that the charge should be
reduced or not imposed. Subsection 29(5) of 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.
13. If you believe that the charge has been wrongly assessed or that the charge should be reduced or
not imposed, please provide submissions which identify reasons and evidence in support of your
14. If you believe that payment of the charge would cause you financial hardship, please provide
submissions which contain sufficient information about your financial circumstances.
Option C - withdraw your request
15. If you wish to withdraw your request you may do so in writing.
Time limits for processing your request
16. 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:
a) the day fol owing payment of the charge (in ful or the required deposit); or
b) if applicable, the day fol owing the notification to the applicant of a decision not to impose
17. If you have questions about this letter please contact the Commission’s FOI Officer by email at
[APSC request email].
Authorised FOI decision maker
24 April 2019