Department Reference: FOI 2033
via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE OF DECISION UNDER SECTION 24A
OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982
I refer to your request of 13 October 2020 to the Department of Health (the
department) seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (the Act)
in the following terms:
All, or as many of the following as possible:
1. Any internal documents regarding co-morbidities pertinent to COVID-19
2. Any internal documents regarding contributing factors pertinent to
3. Any internal documents regarding aggregated statistics pertinent to
contributing factors AND/OR co-morbidities related to COVID-19 deaths.
4. Any internal documents regarding aggregated statistics pertinent to
5. Any internal documents regarding statistical analysis of COVID-19
6. Any internal documents regarding the analysis of COVID-19 deaths.
I am authorised under subsection 23(1) of the Act to make decisions in relation to
Freedom of Information requests. I am writing to notify you of my decision in
response to your request.
Appropriate steps have been taken to find the documents referred to in your request
including consultation with relevant departmental officers and searches of
departmental file management systems.
Freedom of Information Unit (MDP 516) GPO Box 9848 Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6289 1666 ABN: 83 605 426 759
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I am satisfied, on the basis of the consultation undertaken and the searches
conducted, that the department does not hold the documents you requested.
As a consequence, relying on section 24A of the Act, I cannot provide access to the
documents you requested.
FOI review rights
If you are dissatisfied with my decision, you may apply for a review.
Under section 54 of the Act, you may apply in writing to the department for an
internal review of my decision. The internal review application must be made within
30 days of the date of this notice (or such further period as the department allows).
To assist in the internal review process, please provide reasons you consider review
of my decision is necessary. The internal review will be undertaken by another
officer of the department within 30 days of receipt of your application.
An application for an internal review can be sent to:
FOI Unit (MDP 516)
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Information Commissioner review
Alternatively, under section 54L of the Act, you may apply to the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) for review of my decision. An
application for review must be made in writing within 60 days of this notice (if you
do not request an internal review).
You may also make a complaint to the OAIC about action taken by the department
in relation to your application.
The OAIC can be contacted by:
1300 363 992
More information about OAIC review and making a complaint is available on the
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Relevant provisions of the Act
The Act, including the provisions referred to in this letter, can be accessed from the
Federal Register of Legislation website:
While the department does not hold the documents you have requested, I can
provide the following information outside the Act.
The department’s website hosts information, including Australian statistics about
COVID-19. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers
provides regular updates on COVID-19 cases, including information about the
number of COVID-19 related deaths by State and Territory and is available here:
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System co-ordinates the national
surveillance of more than 50 communicable diseases or disease groups in Australia.
Under this scheme, notifications are made to the relevant States or Territory health
authority under the provisions of the public health legislation in their jurisdiction.
Summary data for each State and Territory from 1991 to the present is available here:
In addition, the internet hosts a range of information about COVID-19, including
deaths and recovery rates. For example, information about case numbers, deaths and
cases around the world is available on the World Health Organisation website:
If you require clarification of any of the matters discussed in this letter you should
contact the department’s Freedom of Information Unit on (02) 6289 1666 or at
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
30 October 2020