Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,
Under FOI I request all inward facing documents on the combined library of information and knowledge (CLIK).
Dear Mr Jordan
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the department) has received your
request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act). I note you have requested access to the following:
‘I request all inward facing documents on the combined
library of information and knowledge (CLIK).’
Your request was received by the department on 5 January 2023 and the
ordinary 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced
from the day after that date.
Extension of Time
Due to an increase in the number of information access applications
currently being received by the department, we are asking your agreement
to an extension of time for a further 30 days to process this request
under section 15AA of the FOI Act. This would mean that your request is
due on 8 March 2023.
If we are in a position to make a decision on your request earlier than
this date, we will endeavour to do so.
The statutory period may also be extended if we need to consult third
parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We will advise
you if this happens.
If you do agree we will notify the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner (OAIC) of your agreement under section 15AA of the FOI Act.
The Department will notify you within 14 days of an estimate of the
charges that may apply to your request for non-personal information before
we process any requested documents or impose a final charge.
The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your email address is
[FOI #9779 email]. Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.
Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.
Request to treat certain material as out of scope or irrelevant to the
To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we intend to treat the following
information as out of scope or irrelevant to your request, pursuant to
section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act:
1. The surnames, signatures and direct contact details of non-SES
Commonwealth employees and contractors, including clinical staff working
for Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling; and
2. The signatures of third party individuals.
If you agree to the department treating these details as irrelevant, and
to our request for an extension of time, please advise by
13 January 2023.
If you have any questions about your request, please email
[DVA request email].
Fiona Position Number – 62211034
Information Access Registrations Officer
Information Access Unit / Client Access and Rehabilitation Branch
Client Engagement and Support Services Division
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)
[DVA request email]
1. mailto:[FOI #9779 email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]
3. mailto:[DVA request email]
Dear Mr Jordan,
Please find attached practical refusal notice for LEX 55381
Sharmila| Information Access Officer
Information Access Unit I Client Access and Rehab Branch
Client Engage and Support Services Division
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Tel 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)
[DVA request email]
1. mailto:[DVA request email]
I refer to your Practical refusal notice under s 24AB LEX 55381.
I have perused your most recent Staff Training Module "Information Access -FOI Training (revised April 2022) and, once again, find that I have to remind you that your 1st step before writing this Practical Refusal notice is to contact the Applicant (me) INFORMALLY and to assist me as best you can in attempting to revise the scope so as to overcome the Practical refusal reasons. (see obligation to assist applicant to make request valid and section 24AB provides for a practical refusal consultation if a request remains unclear after informal consultation).
Your training module further states the following:-
Practical Refusal – section 24AA and 25AB of the FOI Act
The request is voluminous (substantial and unreasonable diversion of department resources –s 24AA(1)(a)(i))
The request is unclear (does not sufficiently identify documents -s24AA(1)(b) and s 15(2)(b))
Always INFORMALLY consult first
Then proceed to formal consultation if necessary under section 24AB of the FOI Act
Don’t forget there is an obligation to PROVIDE ASSISTANCE to the applicant.
....and again further on Practical Refusal:- INFORMAL CONSULTATION:
Wherever possible INFORMALLY CONSULT with the applicant on the scope of the request.
Call the applicant if you can and follow up any phone calls in writing.
If a call is not possible, email the applicant with questions about their request.
Talk to them about the general nature of the documents we hold and what kinds of documents they require.
Ask for business area assistance if you aren’t sure about the request or documents that the Department might hold.
We have an OVERARCHING OBLIGATION TO ASSIST Applicants in making their FOI requests successful.
Unclear requests s 24AA(1)(b)
The request is unclear (sufficiently identify documents)
Don’t be pedantic
FOI officers have an obligation to assist the applicant to revise (more than once)
INFORMAL CONSULTATION FIRST
Need to be able to reasonable understand and identify the scope of the request.
24AB Consultation Process
During the consultation period, DVA must take reasonable steps to ASSIST THE APPLICANT to revise the request so that the practical refusal reason no longer exists.
I would also ask as to why someone could not have, in the first instance, called me on the phone to discuss this matter. This has been the procedure of the Defence Department and many other Government Departments I have had FOI dealings with. This would have been a much friendlier and collegiate way to deal with FOI (and other) matters in my opinion. You would also confirm that I don't bite, raise my voice nor treat you with a lack of respect. Currently this letter only approach gives me the impression that you are only going through the motions because the law says you must, not because you want to be helpful to me in a friendly and courteous manner.
If you are NOT going to follow your own Training Modules (informal contact, offer every assistance to Applicants etc) then why have them at all. I'm sure that Molly Cooke and other Spark Helmore staff employed by DVA would not be happy with you disregarding their efforts to train you. If the Modules are NOT followed then Molly and co, would be out of a job.
I also refer you to the evidence, on oath, given to a recent AAT hearing by Luke Brown of DVA relating to the supply by him copies of Inward facing CLIK documents if and when requested amongst other interesting evidence.
I look forward to your kindly reply. Feel free to phone me to discuss further. You have all my private details.