10 March 2020
Mr Asher Hirsch BY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
In reply please quote:
Dear Mr Hirsch
Freedom of Information Act 1982: internal review decision
I refer to your correspondence received by the Department of Home Affairs (the
Department) on 11 December 2019, in which you requested an internal review of an
access refusal decision under section 54 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982
You have requested the Department review its decision of 28 November 2019 to grant
access to documents to which you requested access on 23 October 2019.
This letter is to advise you of the Department’s decision on the internal review.
Scope of original request
The Department received your original request for access to document under the FOI
Act on 23 October 2019. The scope of your original request was as follows:
A breakdown of expenditure for Regional Cooperation as per Program 1.5 of
the DHA Portfolio Budget Statement for the financial years 2016-17 to 2018-19.
Original decision on access
On 28 November 2019, the Department made its original decision on the request.
2.1 Production of documents within scope
In accordance with section 17 of the FOI Act, the Department used its computer
system to produce one document that contained information within the scope of the
request. The data produced in this document existed in the possession of the
Department on 23 October 2019, when the Department received your FOI request.
2.2 Original decision on access to documents within scope
The Department’s original decision on the document within the scope of the request
was to grant access to the document in full.
6 Chan Street Belconnen ACT 2617 PO Box 25 Belconnen ACT 2616 • Telephone: 02 6264 1111 • Fax: 02 6225 6970 •
Request for internal review
On 11 December 2019, you requested the Department review its access decision of
28 November 2019. The terms of your review request were as follows:
I requested a breakdown of expenditure for Regional Cooperation as per
program 1.5 of the DHA Portfolio Budget Statement for the financial years 2016-
17 to 2018/19.
However, the documents provided are an overview of the spending, rather than
a detailed breakdown of the expenditure under this item. I am after specific
details of what was spent under this item, not just the total amounts.
For example, how much money was given to IOM, and what were the specific
projects that were contracted for? Was money spent on other items, projects,
staffing costs, travel? None of this is provided.
The document you have provided provides no insight into the expenditure under
this budget, as requested. As such, I am requesting an internal review of this
Authority to make decision
I am an officer authorised under section 23 of the FOI Act to make decisions on
requests for access to documents, including internal reviews.
I have considered:
the terms of your original request
the submission made by you in support of your request for internal review
records of the searches conducted by the Department in the original decision
the documents relevant to the request
the FOI Act; and
Guidelines published by the Office of the Information Commissioner under
section 93A of the FOI Act (the FOI Guidelines).
Internal review decision
I have decided to set aside the original decision of the Department of 28 November
2019 and replace it with a decision:
that the Department is able to produce a document pursuant to section 17 of
the FOI Act that contains additional information within the scope of your request
to release this document in full.
Reasons for internal review decision: production of document under section
17 of FOI Act
The Department conducted further reasonable searches for documents. As a result
of these searches, the Department determined that it holds further information
relevant to the terms of your request and was able to produce an additional document
from departmental systems containing this information pursuant to section 17 of the
The document produced contains a summary and detailed breakdown of
administered program expenditure for the Regional Cooperation Arrangement and
Regional Cooperation and Capacity Building items for the financial years 2016-2017
to 2018-2019. The document provides a breakdown of expenditure at program level
– of which funding for irregular migration services to Indonesia provided by the IOM
is a single program – for the financial years specified.
A copy of the FOI Act is available at
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00251. If you are unable to access
the legislation through this website, please contact our office for a copy.
Your review rights
Review by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
You may apply directly to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
(OAIC) for a review of this decision. You must apply in writing within 60 days of this
notice. For further information about review rights and how to submit a request for a
review to the OAIC, please see Fact Sheet 12 "Freedom of information – Your review
rights", available online at https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-review-
Making a complaint
You may complain to the Australian Information Commissioner about action taken by
the Department in relation to your request.
Your enquiries to the Australian Information Commissioner can be directed to:
Phone 1300 363 992 (local call charge)
There is no particular form required to make a complaint to the Australian Information
Commissioner. The request should be in writing and should set out the grounds on
which it is considered that the action taken in relation to the request should be
investigated and identify the Department as the relevant agency.
Should you wish to discuss my decision, please do not hesitate to contact via email
Authorised Decision Maker
Department of Home Affairs