9 December 2020
Our ref: CRM2021/308
Mr Steve McKenzie
By Email: email@example.com
Dear Mr McKenzie, Freedom of Information Request – Section 24AB(2) Notice
I refer to your email of 18 November 2020 seeking information under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982
Notice is hereby given under section 24AB(2) of the Act of an intention to refuse to
grant access to the documents sought, pursuant to section 24AA of that Act. For the reasons
outlined in paragraphs 6 through 8 below, the Australian Federal Police (“the AFP”) is satisfied
that the work involved in processing that request would substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the AFP from its other operations.
Natalie Woodberry is the agency officer with whom you may consult with a view to
making the request in such a form that would remove the ground for refusal. She may be
contacted on (02) 5126 9366.
The following information is provided to assist you in making a request in such a form
that the grounds for the section 24AA refusal is removed.
Preliminary enquiries concerning your request for information have been made which
indicate that there is a large volume of documents which fall within the scope of your request.
The AFP maintains that to process the request in its current form would substantially
and unreasonably divert the resources of the AFP from its other operations. In forming this
view I have had regard to the probable resource demands posed by your FOI request and to
s 24AA(1)(a)(i), (2) and (3) of the Act.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Australian Federal Police
ABN 17 864 931 143
GPO Box 401 Canberra City ACT 2601
Telephone: 02 6131 6131
Preliminary searches have located approximately 2000 pages of material potentially
relevant to your request. Further searches for documents would be required, meaning the
volume of material potentially relevant to your request would be much larger than what has
already been identified. It is estimated that it would take approximately 319 hours
(approximately 39 days) of AFP staff time to process your request as presently drafted.
The AFP is of the opinion that to process your request in its current form would be an
unreasonable diversion of AFP resources and a substantial burden on the AFP Freedom of
Information Team which will substantially impact on other requests for information to the
detriment of a number of other applicants.
You could consider narrowing your request within a reasonable form which would
remove the ground for the section 24AB refusal. You may wish to consider:
- identifying a specific category of documents that you seek;
- providing a timeframe for the documents you seek; and/or
- narrowing the focus of your request.
As noted above, the agency officer will be available to discuss the matter. Should you
not avail yourself of this opportunity to consult within 14 days of the date of this letter, notice
will be given of a decision to refuse access on the basis stated above.
An extract of sections 24AA and 24AB of the Act is attached for your information.
A/g Principal FOI Officer and Team Leader
Freedom of Information
Australian Federal Police
24AA When does a practical refusal reason exist?
(1) For the purposes of section 24, a practical refusal reason
exists in relation to a
request for a document if either (or both) of the following applies:
(a) the work involved in processing the request:
(i) in the case of an agency—would substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the agency from its other operations; or
(ii) in the case of a Minister—would substantially and unreasonably
interfere with the performance of the Minister’s functions;
(b) the request does not satisfy the requirement in paragraph 15(2)(b)
(identification of documents).
(2) Subject to subsection (3), but without limiting the matters to which the agency or
Minister may have regard, in deciding whether a practical refusal reason exists,
the agency or Minister must have regard to the resources that would have to be
used for the following:
(a) identifying, locating or collating the documents within the filing system of
the agency, or the office of the Minister;
(b) deciding whether to grant, refuse or defer access to a document to which
the request relates, or to grant access to an edited copy of such a
document, including resources that would have to be used for:
(i) examining the document; or
(ii) consulting with any person or body in relation to the request;
(c) making a copy, or an edited copy, of the document;
(d) notifying any interim or final decision on the request.
(3) In deciding whether a practical refusal reason exists, an agency or Minister must
not have regard to:
(a) any reasons that the applicant gives for requesting access; or
(b) the agency’s or Minister’s belief as to what the applicant’s reasons are for
requesting access; or
(c) any maximum amount, specified in the regulations, payable as a charge for
processing a request of that kind.
24AB What is a request consultation process?
(1) This section sets out what is a request consultation process
for the purposes of
Requirement to notify
(2) The agency or Minister must give the applicant a written notice stating the
(a) an intention to refuse access to a document in accordance with a request;
(b) the practical refusal reason;
(c) the name of an officer of the agency or member of staff of the Minister (the
) with whom the applicant may consult during a period;
(d) details of how the applicant may contact the contact person;
(e) that the period (the consultation period
) during which the applicant may
consult with the contact person is 14 days after the day the applicant is
given the notice.
Assistance to revise request
(3) If the applicant contacts the contact person during the consultation period in
accordance with the notice, the agency or Minister must take reasonable steps to
assist the applicant to revise the request so that the practical refusal reason no
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), reasonable steps
includes the following:
(a) giving the applicant a reasonable opportunity to consult with the contact
(b) providing the applicant with any information that would assist the applicant
to revise the request.
Extension of consultation period
(5) The contact person may, with the applicant’s agreement, extend the consultation
period by written notice to the applicant.
Outcome of request consultation process
(6) The applicant must, before the end of the consultation period, do one of the
following, by written notice to the agency or Minister:
(a) withdraw the request;
(b) make a revised request;
(c) indicate that the applicant does not wish to revise the request.
(7) The request is taken to have been withdrawn under subsection (6) at the end of
the consultation period if:
(a) the applicant does not consult the contact person during the consultation
period in accordance with the notice; or
(b) the applicant does not do one of the things mentioned in subsection (6)
before the end of the consultation period.
Consultation period to be disregarded in calculating processing period
(8) The period starting on the day an applicant is given a notice under subsection (2)
and ending on the day the applicant does one of the things mentioned in
paragraph (6)(b) or (c) is to be disregarded in working out the 30 day period
mentioned in paragraph 15(5)(b).
Paragraph 15(5)(b) requires that an agency or Minister take all
reasonable steps to notify an applicant of a decision on the applicant’s
request within 30 days after the request is made.
No more than one request consultation process required
(9) To avoid doubt, this section only obliges the agency or Minister to undertake a
request consultation process once for any particular request.