Our reference: RQ21/00699
Agency reference: LEX68215
Sent by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension of time under s 15AB
On 23 March 2021, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (the
Department) applied for further time to make a decision on your FOI request of 23 February
2021 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 statutory timeframe had been suspended under s 24AB of the FOI Act.
Contact with you
On 24 March 2021, I wrote to you to seek your view on the Department’s application. You
responded to my inquiries and provided comments that I have taken into consideration.
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 7 days under s 15AB(2) of the
FOI Act to 1 April 2021
. I am satisfied that the Department’s application for an extension of
time is justified, because the request is complex. My reasons and consideration follow:
• on 23 February 2021, the Department received your request
• on 3 March 2021, the Department commenced document searches
• on 4 March 2021, the Department’s FOI team was advised by the line area the request
was too large to process
• on 11 March 2021, the Department advised that you revised scope of your request
• on 12 March 2021, the Department advise that the revised scope was provided to the
1300 363 992
T +61 2 9284 9686
GPO Box 5218
F +61 2 9284 9666
Sydney NSW 2001
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• on 15 March 2021, the Department has advised that the line area confirmed the
request was able to be processed
• the Department considers your request to be complex as it relates to subject matter
which has received an unusually large volume of requests. This has led to the
Department devoting a significant amount of resources to the processing of these
requests and has caused unavoidable delays
• the Department advise that a decision is currently being prepared
• additional time is required to finalise the decision, and
• when consulted by the OAIC, you agreed to the extension.
If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9847 or via email
email@example.com. Please quote OAIC reference number at the top of this email in
Assistant Review and Investigation Advisor
Freedom of Information
25 March 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-