PO Box 457
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Our ref. 227/2020
Concerned Citizen firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Concerned Citizen,
I refer to your request for an internal review of the decision made 14 October 2021 to refuse
your application requesting access to: ‘any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) between the 1st of
March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“review” or
“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”).’
In accordance with s 54C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), I am authorised to
conduct an internal review of a decision regarding access under the FOI Act. As the decision-
maker for this internal review, I am in no way bound by the primary decision.
I affirm the primary decision made by Anthony Warnock on 14 October 2021 on the basis that
all reasonable steps have occurred to locate the document and affirm the documents do not
Reasons for my decision
On 1 October 2021 DTA’s Records Management team conducted an extensive search across
the whole of DTA’s systems using the search terms as articulated in the scope of the request.
The results were inconclusive because the search term captured every document. For
The term "review" appears in some standard email footers - see below
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If you
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the message from
your computer system.
On 6 October 2021 you were informed of our findings and instructed DTA to find a
manageable outcome for your request.
On the same day, the FOI Officer made enquiries into locating the requested documents and
found that no review of COVID Safe occurred during 1 March 2021 and 10 March 2021.
Additionally, the terms ‘ 5 star/ ratings’ is not used by DTA to assess performance, which is
why we could not find documents with the scope of your request.
Based on this evidence, I am satisfied that al reasonable steps have been taken to locate
documents relevant to your request. I am satisfied that the documents referred to in your
request do not exist and refuse your request in accordance with section 24A of the FOI Act.
In making this decision I also considered your objections of, and I quote: ‘In the week from:
- the 8th to the 15th of February, 2021 there were 18 ratings submitted (including 4 5 star
- the 15th to the 22nd of February, 2021 there were 22 ratings submitted (including 5 5 star
- the 22nd of February to the 1st of March, 2021 there were 19 ratings submitted (including 6
5 star ratings)
But on the week from the 1st to the 8th of March, 2021 there were 120 ratings submitted with
62 5 star ratings. This seems unusual.
I would like to understand why there was an unusual number of ratings submitted to the App
Store during this period at the start of March 2021.’
The App Store ratings is a function of the App Store. DTA has no control over these ratings
and nor do we hold information in relation to App Store ratings. This only re affirms the
reasons why DTA is unable to locate documents relating to your request.
To satisfy your request we would recommend that you direct your request directly to the App
Material taken into account
− The primary decision
− Searches conducted
− Your contentions dated 19 October
− Advice provided by the subject matter experts
− The Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982
− Guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Review by the Australian Information Commissioner
Under section 54L of the FOI Act, you may seek review of this decision by the Australian
Information Commissioner. Your application must be made within 30 days of you receiving
The Australian Information Commissioner is an independent office holder who may review
decisions of agencies and Ministers under the FOI Act. More information is available on the
Australian Information Commissioner's website at www.oaic.gov.au.
You can contact the Information Commissioner to request a review of a decision online
, by email to email@example.com
or by writing to the Information
Director of FOI Dispute Resolution
GPO Box 5218
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Complaints to the Australian Information Commissioner
You may complain to the Australian Information Commissioner about action taken 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 DTA as the relevant agency.
If you have any queries regarding this notice, please contact the FOI team by email to