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Verity Pane made this Freedom of Information request to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The request was partially successful.

From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

As you would be aware, s 17(1) of the FOI Act provides that where information requested is not available in discrete documentary form, and the agency could produce a written document containing that information sought from records ordinarily available to the agency, the agency must produce the document (except in very limited circumstances otherwise).

I understand that the OAIC has a case management system, that automatically records and generates certain statistics in relation to privacy complaints and Information Commissioner FOI reviews. While only the most basic statistics are published by the OAIC, the OAIC has much more detailed statistics generated by this case management system for internal reporting purposes from what I have been advised.

I've been informed one such internal report, is an aged complaint/review report, that on any given day, can list the ongoing complaints/IC reviews by number of months old (or something similar).

Given the resourcing issues the OAIC has publicly spoken about, and the likely impact this has on the timely management of complaints/IC reviews, there is a public interest benefit in giving oversight into how long accepted privacy complaints and Information Commissioner FOI reviews are currently taking.

In order to not make this request excessively burdensome to the OAIC, I wish to limit this FOI request to, just the age (in months or days, whichever is easiest for the OAIC) of all accepted (that is, privacy complaints and IC FOI Reviews not dismissed, and which have been scheduled or are currently undergoing conciliation, investigation, determination or hearing processes presently, but have not yet been closed) privacy complaints and IC FOI reviews as of today, 25 November 2016 (or, the closest date possible, for the OAIC's case management system reporting), with aging by month from the day the privacy complaint or IC FOI review was received by the OAIC.

Preferably the reporting would be seperate for privacy complaints and IC FOI Reviews, and if possible, summarised by the age by month (i.e. all complaints that have been going on for 1 month, tallied and reported as one number, then the same for those 2 months old, and so on).

If possible, could the OAIC also report on the average time taken, from the information it collects via its Case Management System statistics function, for significant processes the OAIC carries out. For example, on average, how long has it taken the OAIC to assess whether to accept a privacy complaint (or IC FOI Review) or not; how long, on average, has the conciliation process taken, if the OAIC has decided to apply conciliation to a privacy complaint; how long, on average, has it taken the OAIC to determine a privacy complaint Determination, once the OAIC has referred a complaint to the Commissioner to decide if he will issue one; and how long, on average, has the OAIC taken to issue IC FOI Review decisions?

I looked through the OAIC Annual Reports and other OAIC reporting, but could not find these details publicly provided. While there was some reporting, it was quite limited in detail, and only at the highest marco level.

Given this information is the sort of reporting level data necessary for the public to understand the efficiencies and effectiveness of the OAIC in meeting certain legislated obligations, and by inference, whether it has been provided sufficient taxpayer resources to satisfy these, there is a significant public interest here.

That, and taking into account that the OAIC already compiles such information for internal reporting (which may only need modest reformatting for public release), I ask that the OAIC make this information freely available.

I would be happy to work with the OAIC via this forum to help further refine this FOI so as to make it straightforward for all.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

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From: Amanda Nowland
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


Attachment Schedule of documents.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ1600046 Documents.pdf
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Our Ref: FOIREQ16/00046

 

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please find attached the documents relevant to the FOI decision issued by
the OAIC on 24 November 2016.

 

Please contact me if you have any questions relating to this decision.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Amanda

 

Amanda Nowland | Deputy Director | Freedom of Information Dispute
Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

GPO Box 5128 SYDNEY NSW 2001| [1]www.oaic.gov.au

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9646 | E-mail: [2][email address]

Please note, I work Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

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1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Amanda Nowland,

Unfortunately you have attached an FOI response, to the wrong FOI. Can you please respond to the FOI it relates to.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Amanda Nowland
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Our reference: FOIREQ16/00051

Dear Ms Pane

Freedom of Information Request no. 16/00051

I refer to your request for access to documents under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982.  

The OAIC has a case management system that can generate certain statistics
in relation to privacy complaints and IC Reviews.

I can confirm the system can generate the following reports:

1.      The age of privacy complaints with aging by month;

2.      The age of IC FOI Reviews with aging by month;

3.      The time taken to complete an IC Review (including cases
negotiated or where a decision has been made);

4.      The time taken to complete a privacy complaint file (including
cases that have been conciliated or where a determination has been made).

Can you please confirm a time period for when you would like reports 3 &
4.

We received your request on 25 November 2016 and the 30 day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date.
You should therefore expect a decision from us by 28 December 2016. The
period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties or
for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log, subject to certain exceptions.
(For example, personal information will not be published where this would
be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if
you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Your Sincerely,

Amanda Nowland | Deputy Director | Freedom of Information Dispute
Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

GPO Box 5128 SYDNEY NSW 2001| [1]www.oaic.gov.au

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9646 | E-mail: [2][email address]

Please note, I work Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

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Visible links
1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Amanda Nowland,

That's great news. Appreciate your detail in your advice here.

So to confirm, if I can have the aging of privacy complaints and IC FOI reviews by month, for all open matters, as at 25 November 2016 (or closest reporting date, if reports limited to fixed reporting dates).

Can I also add a small request (if it won't change the FOI due date) for the number of privacy complaints (at this date of 25 November, or closest reporting date) current awaiting:
* a decision by the Commissioner as whether to proceed to s 52 Determination, and
* those complaints for which a s 52 Determination has been undertaken, but which is not yet complete

I am unsure as to the flexibilities of your statistics reporting system, with respect to the TTtC (Time Taken to Completion) data requested for Privacy and IC FOI matters. I would assume at a minimum it can report this on a financial year basis, and financial year to date basis.

Ideally, it would be beneficial to have this information over a couple of financial years (pre and post the abandoned closure of the OAIC) to track the impact of these events on processing capabilities, but I do not seek to create a burden for the OAIC in providing (if it would necessitate manual compiling). Would it be possible to get the last four financial years, as well as the financial year to date, from your reporting system without too much trouble?

Again, I'm specifically interested in looking not just at the TTtC for all matters lumped together (which given early closures of matters the OAIC chooses not to investigate, would skew the data badly) but rather broken down to the individual stages of privacy complaint and IC FOI handling (that is, how long on average it took to do preliminary assessment, how long on average to do conciliation, how long on average to do investigation, how long on average to issue Determination or IC Decision for those matters that progressed to that stage).

Happy to take advice from you on how best that can be met, and hopefully we can get some high quality information here, to best understand the time required for such processes.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Enquiries
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


Attachment FOIREQ16 00051 Decision letter.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ1600051 Schedule of Documents Dec 2016.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ1600051 Documents Dec 2016.pdf
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Dear Ms Pane

 

Please find attached our decision on your FOI request.

 

Regards

Carl

Enquiries Officer

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Amanda Nowland,

Thank you for providing your response and some of the information sought.

As case numbers are irrelevant, I have no objection to their exclusion, and I may be able to answer the other questions raised by compiling the information provided (which appears to provide enough detail to allow this to happen).

I will review the material provided in detail, to confirm, but I anticipate this will conclude this FOI.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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