Dear Department of Immigration and Border Protection,
I would like to make the following requests under FOI legislation
I require specific information on how a immigrant is processed before entering the country
please send me documents regarding Manus Island and Nauru how the detentions are run
what is your plan of attack if we have something suspicious entering our waters
The amount of boat arrivals have seemed to have decreased since Labour lost the election to the Liberal Party
could you please send me specific documentation on "how you stopped the boats"
Reference: FA 15/06/01254; ADF2015/26553
Dear Jesse Mullens
I refer to your request for information received on 10 June 2015.
This email is to provide you with access to published information relevant
to your request; and to advise that the department has not accepted your
request as valid under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act)
as your request does not “provide such information concerning the document
as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency,
or the Minister, to identify it.” (s.15(2)(b) of the FOI Act).
Published information relevant to your request
I require specific information on how a immigrant is processed before
entering the country
This part of your request is broad and without further clarification
regarding the specific type of information, in relation to the immigration
programme you are interested in, it is difficult to provide you with a
direct link to the information you wish to access. Rather, I have provided
you with advice on where you can find relevant types of information and
documents on the Department’s webpage. This information may be of
assistance to you in making a new request.
The Department has a wide range of visa programmes; and information about
each programme is published on our website. There are five main areas
including, Visit Australia, Study in Australia, Work in Australia, Live in
Australia, and Australian Citizenship. You can access information about
these programmes on the Department’s home page.
The Department publishes Fact sheets and other resource documents that may
be of assistance to you in finding information on the Department and its
Fact Sheets: http://www.immi.gov.au/About/Pages/media...
Publications and Resources:
Departmental Annual Reports
The Department routinely publishes a number of statistical and research
These can be found at http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/
In addition the department does make available its policy and procedure
documents through LEGENDcom.
LEGENDcom is an electronic database of migration and citizenship
legislation and policy documents which is available to members of the
public on a subscription basis. The policy documents, amongst other things
provide information on how visa applications are processed by the
For your information s.12(1)(c) of the FOI Act provides that a person is
not entitled to obtain access to a document for which the agency has made
available for purchase by the public. Please note that should you wish to
seek access to documents available through LEGENDcom you will need to
subscribe to gain access. Details on how to subscribe are available on the
department’s website. Alternatively, you may be able to access LEGENDcom
through one of the major libraries in your state as they may maintain a
subscription. I have attached a link that will assist you to identify
those libraries that can have access to LEGENDcom, however you should
contact one of these libraries to confirm if this service is available.
please send me documents regarding Manus Island and Nauru how the
detentions are run
This part of your request is quite broad as you have not identified
specifically what documents it is you wish to access; and you have not
included a timeframe for the document search. Further, I note that the
request could possibly include the day to day operational documents
produced by the service providers and the Department. This would involve a
large amount of documents containing personal information; this part of
your request would constitute an unreasonable diversion of resources for
the Department to process (for further advice on this please refer to
s.24AA and s.24AB of the FOI Act).
It is possible that your intention was to only request access to the
service provider contracts, in relation to Manus Island and Nauru. These
documents have been published on the Departments disclosure log.
You may wish to review the documents available on the Disclosure log.
Please note if there are documents you wish to access, and a link to the
document is not available, please email the disclosure date and
description to [email address], to request a copy.
The Departments website also contains some information about immigration
detention. You may also find relevant information in the annual reports,
fact sheets, and LEGENDcom.
You may also be interested in the publications released by the Departments
Newsroom which has a category for ‘Regional Processing’.
what is your plan of attack if we have something suspicious entering our
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection does not have
responsibility for on water operations. You may wish to consider accessing
information from the Australian Customs Border Protection Service (ACBPS);
or the Australian Navy.
Prior to submitting a request with these agencies you may wish to review
what information is available on their respective websites and consider
how you may be able to re-word your request to allow an officer to
reasonably identify documents subject to your request. For example you may
wish to advise what activity you mean as ‘suspicious’. This may also
assist you in identifying the correct agency to submit your request to. I
have provide some links to the relevant agencies below.
ACBPS - Operations Sovereign Borders:
The amount of boat arrivals have seemed to have decreased since Labour
lost the election to the Liberal Party
could you please send me specific documentation on "how you stopped the
As per my advice above this part of your request would be better addressed
to the Australian Customs Border Protection Service (ACBPS). However,
there is information relevant to your request available on the following
website. Please review this information and consider if you wish to
continue to pursue a request under the FOI Act
ACBPS - Operations Sovereign Borders:
How to make a valid FOI request
The requirements for a valid FOI request are set out in section 15(2) of
the 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
(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).
The wording for your request is too broad and it is unclear what specific
information / documents it is you wish to seek access to. I have tried to
provide you with access to information in the public domain that will
provide you with the information you seek; or provide you with information
that will assist you in submitting a new request to access documents that
the Department may be able to accept as valid.
Access to Documents
The right to request documents under the FOI Act is outlined in the
Guidelines published by the Office of the Australian Information
The right of access enshrined in the FOI Act applies to ‘documents’. This
term is defined in s 4(1) to include maps, photographs, and any article
from which sounds, images or writing are capable of being reproduced (for
example, emails). There is no general obligation on agencies to reduce
information to written documentary form in order to facilitate an FOI
request, except in relation to information that is stored on a computer
tape or disk (s 17). [para 1.29]
You may wish to review the definition of a document within s.4 of the FOI
Act to assist you in identifying the types of documents it is you wish to
An agency should not wait until the practical refusal stage to help an
applicant to clarify their request. The following considerations should
also be borne in mind before a request consultation process is commenced:
· A request can be described quite broadly and must be read fairly
by an agency or minister, being mindful not to take a narrow or pedantic
approach to its construction.
· An applicant may not know exactly what documents exist and may
describe a class of documents, for example: all documents relating to a
particular person or subject matter; or all documents of a specified class
that contain information of a particular kind; or all documents held in a
particular place relating to a subject or person.
· Although a request under the FOI Act must be for ‘documents’,
rather than for ‘information’, a request may be phrased by reference to
the information that documents contain. This may in fact be an
effective and concise way for an FOI applicant to identify documents.
· A request does not need to quote a file or folio number. [para
You may phrase your request to seek access to documents containing a
specific subject matter. However, you should clearly identify; the types
of documents; the specific subject matter; and consider applying a
timeframe to the request. Information on the Departments website can
assist you in identifying a specific subject matter. In addition you can
review what documents are requested and released on the Department’s
disclosure log, this information may also assist you in phrasing a request
to access documents.
The full Guidelines can be accessed on the OAIC's website at:
Address to deliver notices
The FOI Act envisages that an agency and the applicant will, where
necessary and appropriate, engage in dialogue about the request. The FOI
Act also envisages that there may be instances when an agency will wish to
send a formal legal notice to an applicant, for example, when the agency
believes that it would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of
resources to process the request or intends to charge the applicant for
processing the request. In addition, the FOI Act provides applicants with
review rights which are activated by the act of the agency ‘notifying’ the
applicant of the decision.
In order to engage in this dialogue, the applicant must provide an address
through which the applicant intends to be contactable. It should be an
address through which the agency will be able to write to the applicant
and receive a response to the communication. It must also be an address
through which the agency can reasonably assume that legal notices will be
received, read and responded to by the applicant. This requirement has
been an element of a valid FOI request since the Act was first enacted in
The Department is not satisfied that the web address you have provided
meets the requirement of ‘details of how notices under the FOI Act may be
sent to the applicant’ (s.15(2)(c) of the Act). In particular, it does
not appear to be an address to which the agency could send a ‘notice’. The
address you have provided appears to be an address for publication of
correspondence on the internet.
When submitting a request to access documents under the FOI Act please
include advice to clearly identify where the Department can deliver a
notice. If the address to send notices is the web address please indicate
this in the body of the email.
Please note your request has been closed as invalid. You remain welcome to
submit a new request at any, time taking into consideration the advice
I hope this information is of assistance.
FOI Contact Officer I FOI Helpdesk
Freedom of Information Section
Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio
T: 02 6264 1580
E: [email address]
Please note I am out of the office from 2:30 PM