FOI ref: 2020/0016
19 March 2020
Mr John Smith
By email: [FOI #6163 email]
Dear Mr Smith,
Notice that you are liable to pay a charge for your Freedom of Information request no.
I refer to your request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
I am an officer authorised under section 23(1) of the FOI Act to make decisions in relation to
FOI requests. I am writing to advise you of my decision that you are liable to pay a charge in
respect of the processing of your request.
In accordance with section 29 of the FOI Act and the Freedom of Information Charges
, my preliminary estimate of the charge you are liable to pay is $6,218.
Basis for my preliminary estimate of the charge
A staff member has conducted a search for files relating to your request. The number of
pages requiring examination to determine whether or not they fall within the scope of your
request is estimated at 1,754. These are in electronic format. This includes emails, reports,
spreadsheets and contracts. The calculations below are based on sample processing times
and prior experience of processing matters of similar size.
I have assessed the work the AAT would need to do to process your request and have
calculated the following breakdown of charges:
Number of potential pages relevant to your request (excluding
computer generated report)
Search and retrieval
Search and retrieval of relevant documents
Collation of emails, contracts and reports including
printing, sorting and assessment of scope
Preparation of a report from the AAT’s Finance Database
(Part 3 of your request)
Preparation of schedule of documents, including sorting,
cross checking and describing documents
A. Search and retrieval subtotal
Examination of documents, including reading all
documents and consideration of exemptions for 1,754
Consultation with third parties under section 27 and s27A
(estimate 24 persons and 4 entities may reasonably wish
to raise an exemption)
Preparation of documents for release, including marking
redactions, and copying to disk
Preparation of notice of access decision, including proof
Decision making subtotal (before deduction of 5
B. Decision making subtotal (after deduction of first 5
-5 X 20
ACCESS AND DELIVERY CHARGES
Delivery (actual cost)
Inspection (@ $6.25 per half hour)
C. Access and delivery charges subtotal
ESTIMATED TOTALS AND DEPOSIT
ESTIMATED TOTAL (total of A, B and C)
Your right to contend the charge
Under the FOI Act, you have the right to contend that the charge:
• has been wrongly assessed, or
• should be reduced, or
• should not be imposed.
In deciding whether a charge should be reduced or not imposed, the decision maker in our
agency must take into account:
• whether payment of the charge, or part of it, would cause you financial hardship
• whether giving access to the documents is in the general public interest or in the
interest of a substantial section of the public
• any other relevant matter.
Payment of a deposit
As the charge exceeds $100, a 25 per cent deposit $1,554
will be sought if the charge is
The deposit is not refundable except in some limited circumstances for example, if the AAT
fails to make a decision on your request within the statutory time limit, or may be refundable
in part if the final charge is less than the deposit paid.
Should you decide to pay the charge, please contact us regarding the method of payment.
The time you have to respond and what you need to do
You have 30 days to respond in writing to this notice. We therefore expect a response from
you by 20 April 2020.
By that date, you must do one of the following things in writing:
• agree to pay the charge (this will mean that you will not be entitled to access the
requested documents until the full charge is paid)
• contend that the charge has been wrongly assessed, or should be reduced or not
imposed and explain your reasons
• withdraw your request.
Please send your response to:
[AAT request email]
If you do not provide us with a written response by 20 April 2020
your request will be taken
to have been withdrawn.
Questions about this notice
If you have any questions or wish to discuss this notice with us, please contact me on 02
or by return email.
More information about charges under the FOI Act is available on the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner’s website: www.oaic.gov.au.
The period for processing your request is suspended from the day that you receive this
notice and resumes on either the day you pay the charge (in full or the required deposit) or
the day on which this agency makes a decision not to impose a charge.
Authorised AAT Officer