This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Legal advice style guide'.



 
 
Our ref: FOI20/050 
 
21 April 2020 
 
 
 
Mr John Smith 
 
By email: [FOI #6265 email]   
Dear Mr Smith 
Freedom of Information Request FOI20/050  
The purpose of this letter is to give you a decision about access to documents that you requested under 
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).  
Your request  
On 1 April 2020, you requested access to the following: 
… a copy of the AGS's organisational style guide that is used by the AGS in the preparation of its legal 
advice. 
 
The Attorney-General’s Department (the department) acknowledged your request on 3 April 2020. 
A decision in relation to your request is due on 1 May 2020.  
My Decision  
I am an officer authorised under subsection 23(1) of the FOI Act to make decisions in relation to 
freedom of information requests made to the department. 
I have decided to refuse your request as the department is exempt from the operation of the FOI Act in 
relation to documents in respect of activities undertaken by the Australian Government Solicitor. The 
operation of this exemption is explained further below.  
In making my decision regarding access to the relevant documents, I have taken the following material 
into account: 
  the terms of your request  
  the provisions of the FOI Act (specifically section 7(2) and Schedule 2), and 
  the guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under section 93A of the 
FOI Act. 
 
 


Exemption of certain persons or bodies (section 7(2)) 
Subsection 7(2) of the FOI Act provides that: 
(2) The persons, bodies and Departments specified in Part II of Schedule 2 are exempt from the 
operation of this Act in relation to the documents referred to in that Schedule in relation to 
them. 

Division 1 of Part II of Schedule 2 lists the department as exempt from the operation of the FOI Act in 
relation to: 
(b) documents in respect of activities undertaken by the Australian Government Solicitor. 
I am satisfied any documents the department might hold that are covered by the terms of your request 
fall under the scope of this exemption and are therefore not subject to the FOI Act.  
Additional Information 
Your review rights under the FOI Act are set out at Attachment A to this letter. 
Questions about this decision 
If you wish to discuss this decision, please contact Julia by telephone on (02) 6141 6666 or by email 
[AGS request email]. 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
Louise Vardanega 
Chief Operating Officer 
Australian Government Solicitor 
 
 
Freedom of Information request FOI20/050 – Decision Letter                                            Page 2 of 3 
 
 


FOI Review Rights 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Attorney-General’s Department (the department), you 
may apply for internal review or Information Commissioner review of the decision.  
The department encourages applicants to consider seeking internal review as a first step as it may 
provide a more rapid resolution of your concerns.   
 
Internal review 
Under section 54 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), applications for internal review 
must be made in writing within 30 days of the date of the decision letter. Applications for internal 
review must be lodged by email or post. 
email:  
[AGS request email] 
post:  
Freedom of Information and Parliamentary Section 
Strategy and Governance Branch 
Attorney-General’s Department 
3-5 National Circuit 
BARTON  ACT  2600 
An officer of the department other than the officer who made the original decision will complete the 
internal review within 30 days of receipt of your request. 
Providing reasons you believe internal review of the decision is necessary will facilitate the completion 
of the internal review.  
 
Information Commissioner review 
Under section 54L of the FOI Act, you may apply to the Australian Information Commissioner to 
review this decision.  An application for review by the Information Commissioner must be made in 
writing within 60 days of the date of the decision letter, and can be lodged in one of the following 
ways: 
online:  
https://forms.business.gov.au/aba/oaic/foi-review-/ 
email: 
[email address]  
post:  
GPO Box 5218, SYDNEY  NSW  2001 
in person:  Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, SYDNEY  NSW  2000 
More information about Information Commissioner review is available on the Office of the Australian 
Information Commissioner website.  
Go to http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-reviews.  
Freedom of Information request FOI20/050 – Decision Letter                                            Page 3 of 3