10 March 2021
Thank you for speaking with eSafety staff on the phone on 25 February 2021 to discuss your Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act) request of 18 February 2021.
The purpose of that call was to look at how your FOI request might be narrowed so that it can be
processed. Thank you for offering to refine your request by removing the word ‘prostitution’ from
the scope and excluding complaints data and news articles.
Unfortunately, the request remains very broad. If it cannot be narrowed further then eSafety may
have no choice but to refuse your request on the grounds that the work involved in processing the
request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of eSafety from its other
operations, as specified in section 24AA(1)(a)(i) of the FOI Act.
The 14 day consultation period expired on 5 March 2021, and we will need to make a decision
about whether to refuse your request by no later than 6 April 2021.
eSafety wishes to give you every opportunity to make a request we can process, so we are writing
to give you some more information and ask you to further consider the terms of your request and
see if you can narrow it.
Why is eSafety concerned it may not be able to process your request?
The way your request is framed, it will be necessary to conduct searches across a wide range of
documents to identify those that may contain the words you have specified. Initial enquiries
suggest this may require review of 450 or more documents to identify those within scope, following
which the documents that are identified will each need to be reviewed and a decision made. It is
not surprising that there could be a large number of documents, as the terms in your request are
terms that relate to the core functions and role of eSafety.
As you can appreciate, reading and considering so many documents will take one or more eSafety
staff many hours. Those documents that may be straightforward to review may not provide you
with any real information or insight. Other documents may be complex and require close
consideration by several eSafety officers. Inevitably because you seek correspondence with ‘any
other party’, a considerable number of documents are also likely to require eSafety to consult third
All of this will require many staff hours, diverting eSafety from its core functions. eSafety is a small
agency and its limited resources are currently focused on an important legislative reform process
for our governing legislation, which is time sensitive and critical.
What could you do to narrow the scope of your request?
eSafety takes its responsibilities under the FOI Act seriously and would like to process your FOI
request, if possible. We cannot dictate how you wish to frame it, but the following ideas are some
you could consider that might help reduce the scope of the request enough for it to be processed,
although eSafety will need to consider anything you suggest and get back to you about whether
any revised request can be processed.
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• rather than seeking any email or documents with the words you have specified, making a
more descriptive request that is focused on what you are most interested to obtain that
might be narrower in scope, and/or
• reducing the number of words you have specified in your request and linking them to a
specific subject you are most interested in.
I can continue to assist you, as far as possible, to help revise your request so that the practical
refusal reason no longer exists. If you would like to revise your request, please submit a revised
request as soon as possible. If you do not wish to revise your request, or you do not get back to
eSafety soon, a decision may be made to refuse your request on resource grounds under
section 24(1) of the FOI Act.
Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss.
We look forward to hearing from you.