Our reference: RQ21/02271
Agency reference: FA21/02/01000
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension of time under s 54D
On 17 August 2021, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) advised this office that
it had not made a decision on your internal review request of 14 July 2021 within the
statutory period provided by the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (the FOI Act).
Consequently, the FOI Act deems that the Department has refused your internal review
request and affirmed its original decision.
However, section 54D of the FOI Act allows the Information Commissioner to extend the
processing time for an internal review where the initial decision period has ended and the
agency or Minister has not provided the applicant with notice of a decision. The Department
has applied for further time to make a decision on your internal review request.
As a delegate of the Information Commissioner, I am authorised to make decisions on
applications for extensions of time under s 54D of the FOI Act.
I have decided to grant the Department further time to 27 August 2021
to process your
request for an internal review. My reasons and considerations follow:
• the Department has advised the OAIC that:
− this internal review relates to an FOI request for documents relating to statistical data
and instructions regarding the Department’s processing of family visa applications in
the last 12 months
− you have advised the Department that you are of the view that the statistics provided
in response to your FOI request do not cover certain points that you had requested,
− the Department’s FOI team have requested the relevant business area review the
material provided in response to your FOI request and consider the issues you have
raised in your internal review application.
1300 363 992
T +61 2 9284 9686
GPO Box 5218
F +61 2 9284 9666
Sydney NSW 2001
ABN 85 249 230 937
This extension of time under s 54D of the FOI Act means that the deemed affirmation of the
original decision is taken never to have applied if the Department makes a decision on your
request by 27 August 2021.
Such an extension can only be granted once and cannot be extended by a variation.
If you do not review an internal review decision by 27 August 2021, you may wish to seek
Information Commissioner review of the Department’s deemed affirmation of its original
Further information on applying for IC review
is available on the OAIC website.
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact me on (02) 9284 9721 or via email
email@example.com. In all correspondence please include OAIC reference
FOI Regulatory Group
18 August 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-