Communications between DIRD and CASA in 2015

Rob Cumming made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

The request was refused by Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

From: Rob Cumming

Delivered

Dear Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development,

I would appreciate a list of:

1. Documents and communications sent to DIRD from CASA;

2. Documents and communications sent from DIRD to CASA

between January 2015 and December 2015

Yours faithfully,

Rob Cumming

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Cumming,

Thank you for your email received on 17 March 2017, requesting access to documents in the possession of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the Department) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). I confirm receipt of your request.

In assessing your request, I note that you have requested a list of documents and communications sent between DIRD and CASA during 2015. This is not a document that would exist in the Department.

I note that subsection 17(1) of the FOI Act states that "Where [...] a request [...] is not available in discrete form in written documents of the agency; and [...] the agency could produce a written document containing the information in discrete form [...] the agency shall deal with the request as if it were a request for access to a written document so produced and containing that information". I also note that subsection 17(2) of the Act states that "an agency is not required to comply with subsection (1) if compliance would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations."

I am writing to notify you of our intention to refuse your request, in the form received, in accordance with Section 24(1) of the FOI Act.

Section 24 provides that an agency may refuse to process an FOI request if a practical refusal reason, as defined in section 24AA, exists. Subsection 24AA(1) relevantly provides that "a practical refusal reason exists in relation to a request for a document if [...] the work involved in processing the request [...] would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations"

The broad scope of your request could apply to every officer in every section of the Department. In order to fulfil your request, each officer would need to review their emails, and provide a list of emails and documents sent to or received from CASA during 2015. While this would only include officer who were working in the Deparment during 2015, it would also include searching the email archives of officer who were engaged in 2015 but are no longer with the Department. Given that the Department employs more than 1000 staff, if each officer spent 30 minutes to compile such a list, then the search and retrieval stage of your request would take in excess of 500 hours to complete (not including time required to assess and consolidate the lists, or decision making time). I consider that this to be an unreasonable diversion of the Department's resources.

In order for your FOI request to be processed, we invite you to refine the scope of your request. Please note that in accordance with Section 24AB(2)(e) you have 14 days from the date of this email to contact the Department regarding your request, or your request will be deemed to be withdrawn.

Kind regards

FOI Officer | Governance and Performance
Governance Unit | Corporate Services
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
t 02 6274 6495 |
e [email address] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

Dear Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development,

I would appreciate a list of:

1. Documents and communications sent to DIRD from CASA;

2. Documents and communications sent from DIRD to CASA

between January 2015 and December 2015

Yours faithfully,

Rob Cumming

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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #3253 email]

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From: Rob Cumming

Delivered

Dear Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's handling of my FOI request 'Communications between DIRD and CASA in 2015'.

I would request the log of these communications held by DIRD.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Rob Cumming

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Cumming,

Thank you for your email. You were advised by email on 20 March 2017 that a practical refusal reason existed in relation to your request, and if you didn't respond within 14 days (by 3 April 2017), then your request would be considered withdrawn. As you didn't respond within this time, your request was finalised as withdrawn by operation of the FOI Act. A deemed withdrawal is not an access decision, and therefore is not reviewable.

You are welcome to submit a new request. If you do, I would encourage you to revise the scope so that the practical refusal reason no longer exists. The two most pertinent aspects of this practical refusal reason were:

1) The Department does not keep "logs" of email communications.
2) In order to create such a document we would need to search the email of every employee and every section to identify documents that may be relevant, which is an unreasonable diversion of Departmental resources.

If you were able to narrow the scope of your request to a particular section of the Department, or a particular subject matter, then this may remove the practical refusal reason.

Regards,

Brad Collins
Freedom of Information Officer | Governance Section
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
e [Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development request email] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

Dear Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's handling of my FOI request 'Communications between DIRD and CASA in 2015'.

I would request the log of these communications held by DIRD.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Rob Cumming

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #3253 email]

This request has been made by an individual using Right to Know. This message and any reply that you make will be published on the internet. More information on how Right to Know works can be found at:
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

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