ONE NATIONAL CIRCUIT
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982
DECISION BY: Petra Gartmann
Legal Policy Branch
Via the Right to Know Website
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear F Melton
I refer to your email of 11 November 2021 in which you made a request (the FOI request
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act
) to the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department
) in the following terms: … I seek a copy of any document that gives effect to the OAIC’s recommendation that PM&C appoint
an ‘Information Champion’ and that identifies that Information Champion - as recommended by the
OAIC as part of its investigation (CP21/01673) into PM&C's corruption.
I am authorised to make this decision in accordance with arrangements approved by the
Department’s Secretary under section 23 of the FOI Act.
I have decided to refuse your request under section 24A(1) of the FOI Act, on the basis that
the Department has taken all reasonable steps to locate the documents you have requested,
and those documents do not exist.
In making this decision, I have had regard to the following:
• the terms of your request;
• my own knowledge of the subject matter of your request;
• the FOI Act;
• the Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under section 93A of the
FOI Act (the Guidelines).
Postal Address: PO Box 6500, CANBERRA ACT 2600
Telephone: +61 2 6271 5849 Fax: +61 2 6271 5776 www.pmc.gov.au ABN: 18 108 001 191
Subsection 24A(1) of the FOI Act provides that:
An agency or Minister may refuse a request for access to a document if:
(a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document;
(b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document:
is in the agency’s or Minister’s possession but cannot be found; or
does not exist.
The Guidelines state at 3.88: The Act is silent on what constitutes ‘all reasonable steps’. The meaning of ‘reasonable’ in the context
of s 24A(1)(a) has been construed as not going beyond the limit assigned by reason, not extravagant
or excessive, moderate and of such an amount, size or number as is judged to be appropriate or
suitable to the circumstances or purpose.
Based on my own knowledge of the subject matter, and a review of documents relating to this
subject matter, I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to find the documents
relevant to the FOI request and that the documents requested do not exist.
I have therefore decided to refuse the request under subsection 24A(1) of the FOI Act. Processing and access charges
I have decided not to impose processing charges in respect of your request.
Information about your rights of review under the FOI Act is available at
https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/reviews-and-complaints/. Complaint rights
You may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner about the Department’s actions
in relation to this decision. Making a complaint about the way the Department has handled an
FOI request is a separate process to seeking review of the Department’s decision. Further
information about how to make a complaint is available at https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-
Legal Policy Branch
25 November 2021