Our reference: RQ21/00259
Agency reference: 67800
Ms Lynn Los
Sent by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension of time under s 15AB
Dear Ms Los
On 1 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
20 December 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.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has previously granted the
Department an extension of time under s 15AB(2) of the FOI Act (OAIC reference:
RQ21/00169). This extended the decision period to 3 February 2021.
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 15 days under s 15AB(2) of
the FOI Act to 19 February 2021
. I am satisfied that the Department’s application for an
extension of time is justified, because the request is complex. My reasons follow:
• The Department have advised that the request is complex in nature as it is similar to
other FOI requests received and the scope of the request requires careful
• The subject matter of the request is sensitive in nature and any documents within
scope are approximately three to five years old.
1300 363 992
T +61 2 9284 9686
GPO Box 5218
F +61 2 9284 9666
Sydney NSW 2001
ABN 85 249 230 937
• The Department have advised that following initial search results, they have
engaged in consultations and that further third-party consultations are to be
• The Department have also advised that external assistance has now been engaged to
assist in managing the large number of requests and the complexities within each.
• The Department require the additional time to review the relevant documents and
finalise a decision.
If you have any questions about this email, please contact me on 02 9284 9625 or via email
In all correspondence please include OAIC reference
number at the top of this letter.
Review and Investigations Adviser
Freedom of Information
3 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 wil 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-