Our reference: RQ22/01279
Agency reference: FOI/2022/097
Mr Trav S
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notification to: email@example.com
Extension of time under s 15AB
Dear Mr Trav S
On 7 April 2022, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) applied
for further time to make a decision on your FOI request of 25 March 2022 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 FOI request, because it is complex.
advised that it attempted to obtain an agreement under s 15AA of the FOI
Act for an extension of time from you. The Department advised that you did not agree to its
request for a 30 day extension.
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 under s 15AB(2) of the FOI Act
to 9 May 2022
. I am satisfied that the Department’s application for an extension of time is
justified, because the request is complex. My reasons and considerations follow:
• The Department considers the matter to be complex as:
o The FOI request is seeking access to mobile phone text messages between
two SES Officers. If the messages relevant to the FOI request exist, they will
only be available on the mobile phone devices of the two SES Officers.
o As the two SES Officers require their mobile phone devices for a broad range
of work matters, the Department’s FOI team have been required to
1300 363 992
T +61 2 9284 9749
GPO Box 5218
F +61 2 9284 9666
Sydney NSW 2001
ABN 85 249 230 937
coordinate with the Executive Assistants of the two SES Officers in order to
undertake the searches for the relevant messages in a manner that will not
unduly interfere with the ability of the two SES Officers to perform their
• The Department is seeking the extension to ensure it can provide a well-reasoned
FOI decision to the applicant.
If the Department does not make a decision by 9 May 2022
you may wish to seek
Information Commissioner review of the Department’s deemed refusal of request here.
Further information on applying for IC review
is available on the OAIC website.
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact me on (02) 9284 9716 or via email
to firstname.lastname@example.org. I
n all correspondence please include OAIC reference:
FOI Regulatory Group
12 April 2022
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 wil 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: