Australian immigration data

SOHAIR ADAS made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Home Affairs

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Freedom Of Information:Department of immigration and border protection

To whom it may concern

The purpose of this written e-mail is to request information under the Freedom Of Information Act 1982. i am a journalism student studying at Macleay College i would like to request documents in regards to the ‘IHMS can't locate refugees due to poor Australian immigration records’ released on the 06 August, 2015 written by Daniel Waldron.

please provide me with the following:

Records of the poor Australian Data immigration department and bad data
Medical documents
The documents held by the IHMS, from the private sector organisation
The presentation held on August, 2013 by the IHMS, immigration department

please notify me if this request requires fee’s
Thank you in advance



Dear Sohair Adas


I refer to your request to access documents under the FOI Act.


The purpose of this email is to seek clarification from you regarding the
documents you wish to access. This email is also to advise that the
Department has not yet accepted your request as valid under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). I will explain my reasons in full below.


Requirements of the FOI Act

The requirements for a valid FOI request are set out in section 15(2) of
the FOI Act, which provides that:


The request must:


(a)  be in writing; and


(aa) state that the request is an application for the purposes of this
Act; and


(b) provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably
necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister,
to identify it; and


(c) give details of how notices under this Act may be sent to the
applicant (for example, by providing an electronic address to which
notices may be sent by electronic communication).


In your request you have referred to an article written by Daniel Waldron,
which is available on the [1]workpermit website. You have then referenced
parts of this article to try and identify documents. However, this
information is insufficient to enable a reasonable officer of this
Department to identify documents subject to your request. As a result I am
not satisfied that you have met the requirement of s.15(2)(b). Therefore
your request has not yet been registered as valid.


For ease of reference I have set your request out into three parts and ask
you to consider providing further clarifying details to assist the
Department in identifying the categories of documents you wish to access.
It would also be of assistance if you could include a timeframe for your
request. For your reference s.4 of the FOI Act provides a definition for
types/categories of documents.


Part 1

In the first part of your request you have stated ‘Records of the poor
Australian Data immigration department and bad data Medical’, it is
unclear from this wording what documents you would be interested in
accessing. Rather this appears to be a reinterpretation of the context in
the article written by Daniel Waldron and could be considered to be an
opinion/statement. Please advise what type of documents you consider to be
relevant to this part of your request. For example are you interested in
the Departments record keeping policy?


Publicly available information

To assist you the Department publishes reports and publications on its
website including the annual reports. There may be information relevant to
what you seek on our website. You can find these publications at the
following link.

See: [2]

Fact Sheets:


Part 2

Your request indicates that you seek ‘The documents held by the IHMS, from
the private sector organisation’. IHMS are contracted to provide health
services to Departmental clients and there is a considerable number of
documents created by IHMS on a daily basis. Documents are created for a
number of reasons but primarily they would be the clients medical


This part of your request does not include a timeframe or the categories
of documents you wish to access. I consider that this part of your request
is not only insufficient to identify the specific documents you wish to
access but would constitute an unreasonable diversion of resources.
Further, the nature of the information captured by this part of your
request would require the Department to consider the application s.47F in
connection to the sensitive personal information of clients medical


Please advise what type of documents you consider to be relevant to this
part of your request. You may also consider how you could be more specific
in providing context surrounding what type of information you hope to
capture in this part of your request, this may be of assistance in
identifying the category of documents relevant to this part of your


Part 3

This part of your request is sufficient to identify the document you wish
to access, being ‘The presentation held on August, 2013 by the IHMS,
immigration department’.


Therefore, you may wish to revise the scope of your request to only the
third part. However, it appears (from reading the workpermit article) that
this document is an internal IHMS document. If this is the case and it is
not a document subject to the parameters of the contract the Department
has with IHMS, then they are under no obligation to provide the Department
with a copy as it would fall outside the requirement of s.6C(2)(b).


Next Steps

Please respond by writing to [4][email address]. In your response please
clearly set out the scope of documents you wish to access under the FOI
Act. A response is due by close of business Friday 16 October 2015.


Once a revised scope has been received the Department can validate the
request and begin searching for relevant documents.


If a response is not received by Friday 16 October 2015 the request will
be closed as invalid.


Yours sincerely


Janelle Raineri

A/g Assistant Director | Freedom of Information Section

Access to Information | Information Management Task Force

Corporate Group

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

P: 02 6264 1580 

E: [5][email address]


Please note I am out of the office from 2:30 PM



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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

It is a surprise to me that the officer was able to understand the request in sufficiency to know that there was a journalist in discussion. I did not understand the request at all, so I am impressed. By why is there not a reply from the applicant?