Our reference: RQ20/03837
Agency reference: 38581
Ms Penny Imnes
Sent by email: email@example.com
Extension of time under s 15AB
Dear Ms Imnes
On 10 November 2020, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (the Department) applied for
further time to make a decision on your FOI request of 12 October 2020 under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982
(Cth) (the FOI Act).
This application is on the basis that the processing period is insufficient to deal adequately
with your request, because it is complex.
The Department attempted to obtain an agreement under s 15AA of the FOI Act for an
extension of time from you. The Department did not receive a response from you.
Contact with you
On 12 November 2020, I wrote to you to seek your view on the Department’s application. You
responded to my inquiries and provided comments which I have taken into consideration,
I believe the Department is still locating three Labour Hire Contracts I requested.
These contracts have no confidentiality issues and I see no complexity in retrieving the three
relatively routine contracts.
I do understand things can take time, I believe an extra 7 days is appropriate, which would be
the 18 November 2020.
As a delegate of the Information Commissioner, I am authorised to make decisions on
applications for extensions of time under s 15AB of the FOI Act.
1300 363 992
T +61 2 9284 9686
GPO Box 5218
F +61 2 9284 9666
Sydney NSW 2001
ABN 85 249 230 937
I have decided to grant the Department an extension of time under s 15AB(2) of the FOI Act
to 11 December 2020
. I am satisfied that the Department’s application for an extension of
time is justified, because the request is complex. My reasons fol ow:
• Services Australia has advised that the initial processing of the request was complex
due to the terms of the request which made it difficult to identify the relevant
• Since the revision of the scope on 29 October 2020, the Department has consulted
with the relevant business areas.
• The Department has received documents relating to two points of your FOI request
and are awaiting documents for another two points.
• The relevant business area encountered some complexities in identifying and
retrieving the requested documents and are in the process of col ating the
I have considered your request that the Department is granted a 7 day extension until
18 November 2020 as you do not consider the document process to be complex in nature.
Based on the information currently before the OAIC, I am satisfied that the Department’s
request for an extension of time until 11 December 2020 is required to process your FOI
request including col ating documents.
If you have any questions about this email, please contact me on 02 9284 9625 or via email
In al correspondence please include OAIC reference
number at the top of this letter.
Review and Investigations Adviser
Freedom of Information
17 November 2020
If you disagree with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) decision
you can apply to the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court for a review of a
decision of the Information Commissioner if you think that a decision by the Information
Commissioner to grant an extension of time is not legal y correct. You can make this
application under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
The Court will not review the merits of your case but it may refer the matter back to the
Information Commissioner for further consideration if it finds the decision was wrong in law
or the Information Commissioner’s powers were not exercised properly.
An application for review must be made to the Court within 28 days of the OAIC sending the
decision to you. You may wish to seek legal advice as the process can involve fees and costs.
Please contact the Federal Court registry in your state or territory for more information, or
visit the Federal Court website at http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/.
Further information about how applications to extend the timeframe to process an FOI
request are handled by the OAIC can be found published on our website:
For FOI applicants:
How to make an FOI request: Extensions of time
For agencies and ministers: Guidance and advice: Extension of time for processing
The OAIC has the power to investigate complaints about an agency’s actions under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). This is a separate process from asking for an
Information Commissioner review fol owing a decision made under the FOI Act. Complaints
usual y focus on how an agency has handled your FOI request or complied with other
obligations under the FOI Act, rather than the decision itself.
In some cases, the Information Commissioner's investigation of a complaint may lead to the
agency addressing the issues that you have complained about. In other cases, the
Information Commissioner may make suggestions or recommendations that the agency
should implement. The Information Commissioner can only make non-binding
recommendations as a result of a complaint. You and the agency will be notified of the
outcome of the investigation.
FOI complaints to the OAIC must be made in writing. Our preference is for you to use
the online FOI complaint form i
f at all possible.
Further information about how to make a complaint can be found published on our website: