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
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
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.
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
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
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
Division 1 of Part II of Schedule 2 lists the department as exempt from the operation of the FOI Act in
(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.
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].
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.
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.
[AGS request email]
Freedom of Information and Parliamentary Section
Strategy and Governance Branch
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
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