Monday, 10 January 2022
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Eliza, Request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
The purpose of this letter is to give you a decision about access to documents you requested under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act) from the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) on 10
I, Gil ian Tang, am an officer authorised under section 23(1) of the FOI Act to make decisions in relation to
requests under the Act.
The scope of your request is as follows:
‘Information that shines light into the decision making process for making an announcement on
Twitter through the official eSafety account at 9:00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on
December 9th 2021 about the release of the thematic analysis of evidence into an age verification
roadmap for Australia.’
Your request includes:
‘Emails, internal instant messaging services, SMS, memos, final documents, risk analysis, age
verification road map marketing plan, internal marketing processes (including policies and/or
guidelines around social engagement data in Australia, making official announcements, and what
hours the eSafety social accounts are monitored), calendar invites and meeting notes.’
The period of your request is from 16 August 2021 to 10 December 2021.
As outlined in our acknowledgment letter, we have assumed that you do not require the names of public
servants and have therefore redacted them on relevance grounds pursuant to section 22 of the FOI Act.
Scope of your request
eSafety has identified 2 documents as falling within the scope of your request.
We took al reasonable steps to obtain these documents, including searching our records systems and
contacting relevant individuals and asking them to provide any documents relating to the matter outlined in
your request. Timeframe for processing
eSafety received your initial request on 10 December 2021 and the 30-day statutory period for processing
your request commenced from the day after that date. The 30-day statutory period for processing your
request therefore concludes on 9 January 2022, but as this is a Sunday, it becomes the next business day,
Monday 10 January 2022. We are providing you a response within the statutory timeframe.
Material taken into account
I have taken the following material into account in making my decision on access:
• the FOI Act, specifical y sections 11, 11A, 11B, 22 and 47C;
• the guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act
• the content of the documents that fall within the scope of your request.
Decision and Reasons for Decision
Of the 2 documents falling within the scope of your request, I have decided to:
• release to you document 1 in full; and
• release to you document 2 in part.
As outlined above, the names of public servants have been redacted pursuant to section 22 of the FOI Act.
The attached schedule provides a description of the documents and my decision about access for each
The exemption applied to part of document 2 is a conditional exemption. Below I explain why I consider the
relevant conditional exemption applies.
Conditional y exempt matter must be released unless, in the circumstances, access to it at this time would,
on balance, be contrary to the public interest (section 11A(5) of the FOI Act). The FOI Guidelines provide
more information about the public interest test and I have had regard to it when making this decision.
Paragraph 6.27 of the FOI Guidelines explains that concluding that, on balance, disclosure of a document
would be contrary to the public interest requires determining that the benefit to the public resulting from
disclosure is outweighed by the benefit to the public of withholding the information.
For the conditional exemption applied to document 2, I explain below the factors favouring and against
access I consider to be relevant. I have considered the mandatory factors in section 11B(3) and have not
considered any of the irrelevant factors in section 11B(4) of the FOI Act.
Section 47C – Deliberative processes
Section 47C(1) of the FOI Act permits conditional exemption of a document if its disclosure would disclose
deliberative matter. Deliberative matter includes opinion, advice or recommendation obtained, prepared or
recorded, or consultation or deliberation that has taken place, in the deliberative processes of an agency.
Document 2 includes information that would reveal deliberative processes of eSafety with respect to its
social media strategy and activities.
I do not believe this information is operational or purely factual information (see section 47C(2)), and am
satisfied that discrete parts of document 2 are conditionally exempt under s 47C.
Public interest factors
Under section 11A of the FOI Act, access to a document covered by a conditional exemption must be given
unless it would be contrary to the public interest.
In considering whether to exempt the document, I have considered and weighed factors for and against
disclosure, as outlined in the Guidelines and section 11B of the FOI Act.
I have considered that disclosure is general y considered to promote the objects of the FOI Act, can enhance
the scrutiny of government decision making and can inform debate on matters of public importance.
I have also considered that disclosure of the information may impede the ability of eSafety to deliberate,
evolve thoughts and evaluate advice, and perform functions conferred on it by the Enhancing Online Safety
(Cth). This may affect the ability of eSafety to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Having weighed these factors and determined that release at this time would be contrary to the public
interest, I consider that document 2 is exempt in part under section 47C.
My decision above relates to documents that fal within the scope of your request. However, in the interests
of transparency and promoting understanding of government processes more broadly, eSafety is providing
you with additional information outside the scope of your request.
I hope this assists in understanding eSafety’s general approach to scheduling social media posts.
eSafety schedules posts at various times of the day, including on weekends, depending on a number of
factors, including the subject matter and target audience. We do this to ensure posts get the highest organic
eSafety utilises software to schedule posts. This software includes a feature that determines ‘optimal send
times’, which are the best times for posting content on a specific day based on engagement factors.
The Twitter post the subject of your request was published within the optimal send time identified by our
It was also within the timeframe that eSafety’s metrics show eSafety’s Twitter audience is most engaged on
Final assessment of charges
I have decided that you are not liable to pay a charge in respect of your request.
Your rights of review
If you are dissatisfied with my decision, you may apply for internal review or Information Commissioner
review of the decision. We encourage you to seek internal review as a first step as it may provide a more
rapid resolution of your concerns.
Under section 54 of the FOI Act, you may apply in writing to email@example.com for an internal review
of my decision. The internal review application must be made within 30 days of the date of this letter. Where
possible, please attach reasons why you believe review of the decision is necessary. The internal review wil
be carried out within 30 days.
Under section 54L of the FOI Act, you may apply to the Australian Information Commissioner to review my
decision. An application for review by the Information Commissioner must be made in writing within 60 days
of the date of this letter and be lodged in one of the following ways:
GPO Box 2999, Canberra ACT 2601
Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW
More information about Information Commissioner review is available on the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner website at www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-reviews.
If you have any questions in this regard, please contact me on 1800 880 176 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of the eSafety Commissioner
Authorised decision maker pursuant to section 23(1) of the FOI Act
Schedule 1 - Schedule of Documents
deletions on the
1 9 December
3 pages Email between eSafety
Release in full
staff on decision to put
out a tweet around
thematic analysis of
evidence from the first
phase of public input into
the age verification
2 9 December
2 pages Email between eSafety
Release in part
staff on decision to put
out a tweet around the
age verification roadmap