Our reference: RQ21/00394
Agency reference: 67798
Mr Allan Phu
Sent by email: email@example.com
Extension of time under s 15AB
Dear Mr Phu
On 16 February 2021, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (the
Department) applied for further time to make a decision on your FOI request of 19 December
2020 under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (the FOI Act).
This application was made on the basis that the processing period is insufficient to deal
adequately with your request, because it is complex.
The Department advised that the statutory timeframe had already been extended to allow
for consultation in accordance with s 15(6) of the FOI Act.
Contact with you
On 16 February 2021, I wrote to you to seek your view on the Department’s application. I
invited you to provide any comments by 18 february 2021. You have not responded to my
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.
I have decided to grant the Department an extension of time of 14 days under s 15AB(2) of
the FOI Act to 3 March 2021
. I am satisfied that the Department’s application for an
extension of time is justified, because the request is complex. My reasons and considerations
• the Department advised that document searches and retrieval have been completed
and are currently awaiting a third party consultation response
• the Department considers your request to be complex due to the large volume of
requests received since June 2020 about similar subject matter which has resulted in
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the Department devoting a significant amount of resourcing to processing these
• additional time has been spent in conducting document searches, document
retrieval, engaging in consultations, commencing document review and as a result
has led to unavoidable delays in processing your request
• additional external assistance has been sought by the Department to process these
requests and it has advised that your request is in the advanced stages of processing,
• additional time will enable the Department to follow up on the third party
consultation response and finalise the decision.
If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9847 or via email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please quote OAIC reference number at the top of this email in
Assistant Review and Investigation Advisor
Freedom of Information
19 February 2021
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 legally 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 following a decision made under the FOI Act. Complaints
usually 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: https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/reviews-and-complaints/make-an-foi-