6 May 2019
BY EMAIL: [FOI #5369 email]
In reply please quote:
I refer to your email dated 10 April 2019 in which you request access to documents held by the
Department of Home Affairs (the Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act).
I am writing to tel 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 cal ed a ‘request consultation
process’. You have 14 days to respond to this notice in one of the ways set out below.
Scope of Request
You have requested access to the fol owing:
Electronic copies of al the printed advertising material (for example posters and
pamphlets) created for the campaigns designed to dissuade offshore people
smuggling (or asylum seekers) 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.
A practical refusal reason exists if either (or both) of the fol owing applies:
the work involved in the processing of the request would substantial y and
unreasonably divert the resources of the Department from its other operations
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.
6 Chan Street Belconnen ACT 2617
PO Box 25 Belconnen ACT 2616 Telephone: 02 6264 1111 Fax: 02 6225 6970 www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Reasons for practical refusal
You have requested access to documents created across a period of in excess of 6 years. Your
request captures al electronic copies of printed advertising material, including flyers, brochures,
posters, fact sheets, bil boards and storyboards.
The business that is responsible for the documents you have requested has advised that it holds
in excess of 108 unique products that would be captured by your request. This does not include
translated versions of the same product in up to 16 languages. Each product is also held in both
low and high resolution versions.
As such, it is estimated that up to 1,720 documents would be captured by your request.
In the event that it would take a bare minimum of one minute to identify, locate, retrieve each of
these documents, it would take the Department an estimated minimum of 29 hours simply to
obtain copies of each of these documents for assessment by a delegated decision maker. This
time does not take into account that some of the materials that would be captured by your
request are held by the Department’s Contracted Service Providers, some of whom are located
overseas. As such, the time required to retrieve documents would be in excess of one minute
per document, and I consider the estimate of 40 hours to search and retrieve documents
relevant to your request to be a more accurate estimate.
Once each document has been retrieved it would require assessment by a delegated decision
maker, who would be required to review each document and make a decision on access under
the provisions of the FOI Act. Again, on the basis that it would take the decision maker an
average of one minute per document to assess the entirety of that document, and make a
decision on access to that document, it would take at least 29 hours to also make a decision on
access to those documents.
As such, my conservative estimate is that it would take the Department in excess of 69 hours
to process your request, including the search and retrieval of and the making of a decision on
access to, the documents that are captured by your request. This equates to 9.2 working days,
which is in excess of two working weeks.
The Department would be required to divert significant resources from its current operations in
order to undertake those tasks. This diversion would result in a significant drain on the resources
of the business areas within the agency that would be required to process this request, and
would have an adverse effect on the ability of the Department to carry out its normal functions
and operational activities.
Request Consultation Process
You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to proceed.
You may with, for example, to reduce the scope of your request to one version (in a single
language in either high of low resolution) of each product that would be captured by your request.
You may also wish to consider reducing the time frame of your request – noting that across a
six year period, in excess of 108 unique products have been created.
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 Alison Smith at [DIBP request email].
Assistant Director | Freedom of Information Section
FOI and Records Management Branch
Productivity and Compliance Division | Corporate and Enabling Group
Department of Home Affairs