Aid-for-trade projects 2013-2018

Olivia Henderson made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The request was refused by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

From: Olivia Henderson

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I would like to request a document that lists all projects under the aid-for-trade program including; name, description, the location of operation, duration and costs. From 2013-2018.

If possible, please consider this an informal/administrative request. Otherwise please proceed with this request as a formal information request under the FOI Act.

Yours faithfully,

Olivia Henderson

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Henderson,

Please find attached the charges letter in relation to this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,
DFAT FOI Team

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From: Olivia Henderson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response.

I'm happy to pay the $30 fee if it is possible that I could receive the information today.

Do you think this would be feasible?

Apologies for the rush, I know that your response came a couple of days ago.

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Henderson

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Henderson,

There are currently 27 days left on the statutory clock for the Department to complete processing your FOI request. Please note that the clock remains suspended during the 30 days of the payment period.

Yours sincerely,
DFAT FOI Team

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From: Olivia Henderson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thanks for your response, I understand these things might take a little while.

I've emailed you my payment slip via my personal email. It should be with you now.

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Henderson

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Ms Henderson

Your FOI request has captured over 1100 database line items, each of which requires review and verification by 22 individual branches within the Department, as well as a number of overseas diplomatic posts. I am therefore of the view that processing your request would require an unreasonable diversion of the Department’s resources, as defined in section 24 of the FOI Act.

This outcome could not have been foreseen when the charges were calculated for your request. The processing charges will be refunded.

Notice is hereby given under section 24AB(2) of the FOI Act of an intention to refuse to grant access to the documents sought. The practical refusal reason is that the work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of DFAT from its other operations.

In accordance with section 24AB(2)(e), the consultation period during which you may consult with me to revise the scope of your request is 14 days after the day you are given this notice. Please note that if you do not take this opportunity to consult, in accordance with section 24AB(7)(a), your request will be taken to have been withdrawn under section 24AB(6).

One way in which you could consider narrowing the scope of your request would be to specify a particular country of interest to you.

I am the DFAT officer with whom you may consult if you wish to revise the request to a narrower scope such that it could in fact be processed. I may be contacted by email at [DFAT request email] and I will take any reasonable steps provide you, so far as is reasonably practicable, with any information that I can to assist you in amending your request under the FOI Act.

Please note that during this period of consultation, the statutory timeframe under section 15(5) of the FOI Act for the processing of your request is on hold (see section 24AB(8) for details).

Yours sincerely

Helen Horsington
Director
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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From: Olivia Henderson

Delivered

Dear Helen,

Thanks for your response.

Could I please narrow the scope of my request to Papua New Guinea only?

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Henderson

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Ms Henderson,

Thank you for your below e-mail re-scoping your request to Papua new Guinea only.

We are seeking the views from a number of affected line areas to determine whether this scope can be processed without requiring an unreasonable diversion of the Department's resources. As this process is not straightforward, I am extending the section 24(AB) consultation period by 7 days, to 14 December.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Horsington
Director, Legal
FOI and Privacy Law Section

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From: Olivia Henderson

Delivered

Dear Helen,

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Henderson

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Henderson

I have been advised by the relevant line areas, including the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, that your request remains too large to process, as verifying the data would require interrogation down to the sub-program level. Whilst this work would not be confined to solely the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, it has advised it would require several staff members working across several days each to complete the search for documents.

I am therefore of the opinion that processing your request would continue to require an unreasonable diversion of the Department's resources, as defined in section 24AA of the FOI Act. As the obligations of section 24AB(9) have been fulfilled, your request is now deemed to have been withdrawn.

This is a reviewable decision. Your review rights follow.

Yours sincerely
Helen Horsington
Director
FOI & Privacy Law Section

Notice of review rights

Internal review

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you may apply in writing for an internal review of this decision.

Your application for review must be made within 30 days after you receive this decision and set out the reasons for requesting an internal review. There is no fee for requesting a review.

The request for review should be sent by email to [DFAT request email] addressed to:

FOI & Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch
Legal Division, DFAT

Australian Information Commissioner

You can also request that the Australian Information Commissioner review this decision in accordance with section 54L of the FOI Act. This is called an ‘Information Commissioner review’ (IC review).

You must apply for IC review in writing and in most cases within 60 days of being notified of this decision. There is no fee for requesting a review.

Further information on applying for IC review (including the online review application form) is available on the website of the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and can be accessed using the following link: https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

You can also make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner about the department’s performance of its functions or the exercise of power under the FOI Act.

You can contact the OAIC by email to [email address] or call the enquiries line on 1300 363 992.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade only: