22 April 2021
BY EMAIL: email@example.com
In reply please quote:
FOI Request: FA 21/03/00744
File Number: OBJ2021/8832
Dear Suraj Gupta
Freedom of Information (FOI) request - Access Decision
On 15 March 2020, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) received a request for
access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act).
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with a decision on your request for access under
the FOI Act.
Scope of request
You have requested access to the following documents:
I would like to know the number of citizenship applicants who are waiting to complete
the citizenship ceremony, residing in various Victorian councils (listed below). Please
consider only applicants who were approved on or before 28/02/2021. Also, please
split the numbers by each council.
Councils: Banyule City Council, VIC Baw Baw Shire Council, VIC Bayside City Council,
VIC Boroondara City Council, VIC Brimbank City Council, VIC Cardinia Shire Council,
VIC Casey City Council, VIC Central Goldfield Shire Council, VIC Darebin City Council,
VIC Frankston City Council, VIC Glen Eira City Council, VIC Greater Dandenong City
Council, VIC Greater Geelong City Council, VIC Hobsons Bay City Council, VIC Hume
City Council, VIC Kingston City Council, VIC Knox City Council, VIC Latrobe City
Council, VIC Manningham City Council, VIC Maribyrnong City Council, VIC
Maroondah City Council, VIC Mitchell Shire Council, VIC Monash City Council, VIC
Moonee Valley City Council, VIC Moreland City Council, VIC Nillumbik Shire Council,
VIC Port Phillip City Council, VIC Stonnington City Council, VIC Whitehorse City
Council, VIC Whittlesea City Council, VIC Wyndham City Council, VIC Yarra City
Council, VIC Yarra Ranges Shire Council, VIC
2 Lonsdale Street Me bourne VIC 3000
PO Box 241 Melbourne VIC 3001 • Telephone: 03 8682 2452 • Fax: • www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Authority to make decision
I am an officer authorised under section 23 of the FOI Act to make decisions in respect
of requests to access document or to amend or annotate records.
In reaching my decision I referred to the following:
• the terms of your request
• the document relevant to the request
• the FOI Act
• Guidelines published by the Office of the Information Commissioner under
section 93A of the FOI Act (the FOI Guidelines)
• advice from Departmental officers with responsibility for matters relating to the
document to which you sought access
Document in scope of request
The Department has consulted with the relevant area of the business in relation to the
documents you have requested access to and finds no relevant document holdings.
The Department does not hold an existing discrete document that contains the data you
The Department has considered whether it can extract this data in accordance with
section 17(1) of the FOI Act.
The obligation for retrieving or collating information stored in a computer system arises
• the Department could produce a written document containing the information
using a computer or other equipment that is ordinarily available to the agency for
retrieving or collating stored information, and
• producing a written document would not substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the agency from its other operations (s17(2))
In Collection Point Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation
the full bench of the Federal
Court decided that if a new computer program is required to be written to produce the
document then a computer is not being used in a manner that is ordinarily available to
the agency because an extraordinary step is required to be taken1.
The Department’s ordinary use of computer systems includes measures to produce
regular reports on citizenship data; however the data you have requested is of a type
that is not produced as part of this regular business reporting cycle.
1 Collection Point Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation
 FCAFC 67 .
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To compile the information you have requested into a discrete document would require
that additional and extraordinary measures be undertaken. This is not what section 17
of the FOI Act requires. Section 17 only requires a new document to be created when it
is possible to do so using a computer or other equipment to extract data.
The data you have requested is of a detail that cannot be reported on from the
Department’s computer systems. Either the data is not collected to that level of detail,
or it is not possible to extract the data using a computer system in a manner that is
ordinarily available to it.
I am satisfied that the Department is not able to produce a written document containing
the information you seek in your request in a discrete form using a computer or other
equipment ordinarily available to it.
Having regard to your request and the types of document that may fall within the scope
of your request I am satisfied that the searches conducted were extremely thorough and
all reasonable steps have been taken to locate any document relevant to your request.
Section 24A of the FOI Act provides that the Department may refuse a request for
access to a document if all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document and
the Department is satisfied that the document does not exist.
I am satisfied that the Department has undertaken reasonable searches in relation your
request and that no documents were in the possession of the Department on 15 March
2021 when your FOI request was received. As such, I am refusing your request based
on the application of section 24A of the FOI Act.
A copy of the FOI Act is available at
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A02562. If you are unable to access the
legislation through this website, please contact our office for a copy.
Your Review Rights
If you disagree with this decision, you have the right to apply for an internal review by
the Department of this decision. Any request for internal review must be provided to the
Department within 30 days of you being notified of the decision. Where possible please
attach reasons why you believe a review of the decision is necessary. The internal
review wil be carried out by an officer other than the original decision maker and the
Department must make a review decision within 30 days.
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Applications for review should be sent to:
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail to:
Freedom of Information Section
Department of Home Affairs
PO Box 25
BELCONNEN ACT 2617
Review by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
You may apply directly to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
for a review of this decision. You must apply in writing within 60 days of this notice. For
further information about review rights and how to submit a request for a review to the
OAIC, please see Fact Sheet 12 "Freedom of information – Your review rights", available
online at https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-review-process.
Making a Complaint
You may complain to the Australian Information Commissioner about action taken by
the Department in relation to your request.
Your enquiries to the Australian Information Commissioner can be directed to:
Phone 1300 363 992 (local call charge)
There is no particular form required to make a complaint to the Australian Information
Commissioner. The request should be in writing and should set out the grounds on which
it is considered that the action taken in relation to the request should be investigated
and identify the Department of Home Affairs as the relevant agency.
Contacting the FOI Section
Should you wish to discuss this decision, please do not hesitate to contact the FOI
Section at email@example.com.
Position number 60097486
Authorised Decision Maker | Freedom of Information Section
FOI and Records Management Branch
Data Division | Strategy and Law Enforcement Group
Department of Home Affairs
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