Cocos Island Surveillance System

CD made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Border Force

The request was partially successful.

From: CD

Delivered

Dear Australian Customs and Border Protection Service,

I write to you today under the FOI Act of 1982 seeking access to a document held by the department entitled;

"Cocos Island Surveillance System - Concepts and Capability - 2013/2014, Strategic Management - Research"

as published in the "Senate Continuing Order No. 10
Spring Sitting 2013" on page 5/54.

A PDF of this file can be located on the customs website" http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resour....

Yours faithfully,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that your email has been received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's FOI Coordinator.

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to access.

Further details on how to make a valid FOI request can be found on the agency’s website at: http://www.customs.gov.au/foi/requesting....

The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

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From: FOI Coordinator

Good afternoon

 

I refer to your letter dated 26 March 2015 in which you have sought access
to documents held by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
(ACBPS) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

 

You have requested access to:

1.                document entitled: "Cocos Island Surveillance System -
Concepts and Capability - 2013/2014, Strategic Management - Research", and

2.                document entitled: "Cocos Island Surveillance System -
Trials and Reports - 2013/2014, Strategic Management - Research -
Projects".

 

Whist you have submitted two separate requests, given that these requests
relate to documents, the subject matter of which is substantially the
same, ACBPS regards these requests as a single request (section 24(2) of
the FOI Act) and it will be processed as a single request. 

 

I note that the information you have provided describes an entire file,
rather than one particular document, the file reference numbers being
included in the file list referred to by you.  As such, ACBPS will
initially regard your request as a request for the entire file, and will
consider it in that regard.  Once it is possible to clarify the contents
of these files, I will contact you further to ascertain whether you wish
to reduce your request to any documents in particular that may be held on
those files.

 

Your application was received on 26 March 2015, and the 30 day statutory
period for processing your request will commence from that date. 

 

I hope to be able to advise you of our decision on your request in the
near future. 

 

Where documents are released to you in response to your request, the
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service may be required to
publish these documents on its website within 10 working days in
accordance with section 11C of the FOI Act.  Publication will not be
required where the documents contain personal or business affairs
information.

 

Should you have any queries regarding the progress of your request, please
contact me on (02) 6275 5621.

 

With kind regards

FOI Coordinator

P| 02 6275 5621

E| [1][Customs request email]

 

 

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

Thankyou for your prompt reply to this FOI request. I appreciate you combining these requests into a single request and look forward to speaking to you in regards to specific documents I am seeking within these files.

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that your email has been received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's FOI Coordinator.

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to access.

Further details on how to make a valid FOI request can be found on the agency’s website at: http://www.customs.gov.au/foi/requesting....

The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

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From: FOI Coordinator

Good morning

 

Request for access to documents - Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act)

I refer to your two requests received on 26 March 2015 for access to
documents under the FOI Act.  The decision on release is currently due on
27 April 2015.

 

As notified to you on 30 March, ACBPS regards these two requests as a
single request (section 24(2) of the FOI Act) and they will be processed
as a single request. 

In order for the Service to complete the process of searching for the
documents that fall within the scope of your request ACBPS will require
additional time to process your request.

Section 15AA of the FOI Act permits an agency to agree with an applicant
for an extension of no more than 30 days to the statutory timeframe
permitted under the FOI Act for the decision making process.

The purpose of this email is to seek your agreement to the timeframe in
this matter being extended by 30 days to complete the search for documents
to ensure that all documents that fall within the scope of your request
are retrieved.   Whilst we are seeking the extension of 30 days, ACBPS
will endeavour to make a decision in relation to access to the documents
requested as quickly as possible, and anticipate this would not extend to
the entire additional 30 days.

This would result in the decision on release of documents in this matter
being due by 27 May 2015.

Could you please respond by return email confirming your agreement to this
extension of time?  ACBPS will then register the Extension of Time
agreement with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner as
required by section 15AA(b) of the FOI Act.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to
contact me on the details below.

 

With kind regards
FOI Coordinator
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [1][Customs request email]

 

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

Good morning,

Thank you for emailing me with an update on the status of this request.

I agree to the extension of time for this FOI request.

I look forward to the decision on the release of these documents on 27 May 2015.

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that your email has been received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's FOI Coordinator.

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to access.

Further details on how to make a valid FOI request can be found on the agency’s website at: http://www.customs.gov.au/foi/requesting....

The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

Good Evening,

I am writing to you today under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the status of this particular FOI request.

The Department's previous correspondence referenced 27 May 2015 as a date where a decision regarding this request might be made.

If you could please update me as to the status of this request I would very much appreciate it.

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Good morning

Thank you for your email of yesterday's date.

I apologise for the delay that has occurred in finalising your request. I note that the decision is now outside the statutory timeframes. ACBPS is continuing to finalise the decision in relation to your request and I am actively liaising with the decision maker to do this as quickly as possible. It will be issued to you as soon as it has been finalised.

With kind regards
FOI Coordinator
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [Customs request email]

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

Thank you for writing to me to let me know that the FOI request is still ongoing and the acknowledgment that it now falls outside of the statutory timeframes.

I look forward to your further correspondence in regards to this particular request in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

I write to you today to request an update on the status of this particular FOI request.

I note that the decision upon the release of these documents is now almost a month late (after an extension was already granted).

Can you please advise upon a possible time frame for a decision and perhaps a reason for the delay?

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Good afternoon CD

I apologise for the ongoing delays that have occurred in relation to your request.

These delays have been due to difficulties in locating the files to which your request relates. Since we requested your consent to an extension of time, we have continued to undertake searches to locate the relevant files so as to ensure your request can be considered in full. As a result of those extensive searches, both files have recently been located, and the decision maker is now in the process of finalising a decision at the first available opportunity.

I apologise again for the delays that have occurred in processing your request.

With kind regards
FOI Coordinator
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [Customs request email]

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From: FOI Coordinator


Attachment 20150701 Notice of Decision.pdf
481K Download View as HTML

Attachment 2015 012332 Documents Released.pdf
1.4M Download View as HTML


Good morning CD

 

Request for access to documents – Freedom of Information Act 1982

 

Please find attached a Notice of Decision in relation to your request
received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service on 26
March 2015 for your information.

 

The documents referred to in this decision are also attached for your
reference.

 

We apologise for the delay that has occurred in the processing of your
request.

 

With kind regards
FOI Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [1][email address]

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From: FOI Coordinator


Attachment 20150701 Notice of Decision.pdf
481K Download View as HTML

Attachment 2015 012332 Documents Released.pdf
1.4M Download View as HTML


Good morning CD

 

Request for access to documents – Freedom of Information Act 1982

 

Please find attached a Notice of Decision in relation to your request
received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service on 26
March 2015 for your information.

 

The documents referred to in this decision are also attached for your
reference.

 

We apologise for the delay that has occurred in the processing of your
request.

 

With kind regards
FOI Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [1][email address]

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From: CD

Delivered

Dear FOI Coordinator,

Thank you for the decision on and release of these documents (so far).

Since receiving your decision on 2 July 2015 I have been in contact with the Australian Defence Force on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. The FOI section of the ADF denies that these files are held by that department. They have identified the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as holders of these documents.

My correspondence thus far with the ADF can be read here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/c...

In the decision of 2 July 2015 you said that "Any documents relating to the concepts, capability or trials of the Cocos Island Surveillance System would be held by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) as DSTO was responsible for that particular phase of the CKI radar project."

Correspondence with Mr John Peterson of the DSTO on 7 July 2015 stated that "Our preliminary inquiries to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, have established that no documents matching the description of your request could be identified as being in the possession of Defence, and have been identified as being files held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection."

Has the department (DIBP) actually confirmed that the contents of these reports exist and are held by the ADF? In the Departments earlier correspondence with me on 25 June 2015 it was stated that "As a result of those extensive searches, both files have recently been located, and the decision maker is now in the process of finalising a decision at the first available opportunity". Can you please confirm with me with which department/agency these "files have recently been located" with?

Yours sincerely,

CD

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From: FOI Coordinator

Good afternoon CD

Thank you for your email of 8 July below. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

As explained to you in the Notice of Decision dated 1 July 2015, your request described files, not documents, with the information being extracted from the ACBPS file listing published during the Spring Sitting of 2013 pursuant to Senate Continuing Order No. 10, otherwise known as the Harradine Order. In 1994 the Senate passed a motion by Senator Brian Harradine requiring each Minister to table twice a year a list of files created by each department or agency. The publication of this file in the ACBPS file listing is as a result of that order.

These files are ACBPS files, and were located by ACBPS as a result of your request, but do not contain any documents. They are, in effect, empty file covers. These file covers were released to you as the two documents that fell within the scope of your request, as the files themselves constitute documents, and were requested by you.

I note that in your subsequent request to the Department of Defence, you quoted the exact file titles taken from the ACBPS file list, rather than describing any particular documents you might be seeking access to. The Department of Defence were therefore quite correct in stating that the files you have described are held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (following the consolidation of ACBPS with the Department on 1 July 2015).

It may assist if you have any additional queries if you contact me by telephone. The relevant number is below if you wish to discuss further.

With kind regards
FOI Officer
Freedom of Information Section
Access to Information Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [email address]
Please consider the environment before printing this email

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Departmental Policies are weird, but I'll try to explain it.

A "File" is simply a folder (either digitally or physically) with a reference number that relates to a specific set of documents.

Within a "File" there are "Folios", or documents.

Basically, whilst the "File" may exist, there may be no documents in it. You would be best asking for documents related to the topic if searching via the File doesn't work.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Border Force only: