Correspondence between the Department and Right to Know

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department of Industry, Innovation and Science,

I would like to see all documents that contain correspondence between the Department and Right to Know in relation to censorship of officer details in FOI requests.

As a starting point, to locate such documents, please note that censorship requests were made by Erin Higuchi from the Legal, Audit and Assurance branch.

However, if similar requests were made by other officers from the Department, please include documents that encompass such correspondence too.

I trust Right to Know will not object to the release of these documents given the organisation's purpose.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Witherspoon

Freedom of Information, Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    CM Freedom of Information request Correspondence between the Department and Right to Know.txt

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Dear Harry

 

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (the department)
has received your Freedom of Information request of 15 November 2020
(attached).

 

For documents that fall within the scope of the request, it is the
practice of the department to withhold:

 

·        the names, signatures and contact details of junior staff; That
is:

o   Commonwealth staff who are not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
and

o   Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff; and

·        the mobile phone numbers of SES officers.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will be released unless the
information is exempt from disclosure.

 

Confirmation from you that you are not seeking ‘personal information’ (ie.
the names and contact details of any individuals, or any information that
could reasonably identify an individual) may enable a more timely and cost
effective processing of your request.

 

Therefore, could you please clarify if you a seeking access to personal
information in the documents relating to:

·        third parties; and

·        Commonwealth staff.

 

If you are not seeking access to any personal information, you can simply
reply to this email with ‘no personal information requested’.

 

If you are seeking access to specific types of personal information, could
you please specify.

 

We look forward to your response at your earliest convenience but no later
than Monday 30 November 2020.

 

Notice of Consultation

 

Your request covers documents that contain information about the business
affairs of certain organisations.

 

Under section 27A of the FOI Act where a request is made for a document
containing information about a person, or any information that could
reasonably identify an person; and it appears the person may reasonably
wish to contend that the information is exempt or conditionally exempt,
the department must give the person a reasonable opportunity to make a
submission in support of the contention.

 

Under section 27A of the FOI Act, the department must have regard to any
submissions made by the person before making a decision to give access to
the document.

 

Given that consultation with a third party is required, the statutory
timeframe for processing your FOI request is extended by 30 days under
subsection 15(6) of the FOI Act.

 

Currently, a decision is due to you on or before 14 January 2021.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the FOI team.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Legal, Audit and Assurance | Corporate & Digital

GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Today, Right to Know received a request to consult with the Department in relation to this request.

Our general stance is to not object to the release of anything except for direct contact details of our volunteers (including mobile numbers). We have communicated this to the Department.

That said, the Department is responsible for making any decisions around the release of documents.

Regards,
Ben - Right to Know Volunteer

Dear Freedom of Information,

Please maintain all names of APS employees.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Witherspoon

Freedom of Information, Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources

3 Attachments

Dear Harry

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your FOI request of 15
November 2020.

 

Should you have any queries regarding this matter, please contact the FOI
team.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Legal, Audit and Assurance | Corporate & Digital

GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601 | [1][Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources request email]

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Dear Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources's handling of my FOI request 'Correspondence between the Department and Right to Know'.

I sought "[ALL] documents that [CONTAIN] correspondence between the Department and Right to Know in relation to censorship of officer details in FOI requests".

I note that requests were also made in relation to other officers/requests on multiple occasions, for example:
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/t...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/d...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/e...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/r...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/e...
- https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/c...

Further, in the documents released, Erin states "another request for take down" and "I will also be sending through another request shortly".

I also note that the documents you have released contain a follow-up query by Ben Fairless where he made allegations that "people are being abused due to their position". Subsequent correspondence with Ben will comprise the entire email chain and thus should also be released since they "contain correspondence between the Department and Right to Know in relation to censorship of officer details in FOI requests".

Finally, the entirety of the content in all correspondence is relevant to the request as I requested documents that contain a particular subject matter (rather than the subject matter itself) - "correspondence between the Department and Right to Know in relation to censorship of officer details in FOI requests" is only specified as a means to locate the documents requested.

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,

Harry Witherspoon

Freedom of Information, Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    CM Internal review of Freedom of Information request Correspondence between the Department and Right to Know.txt

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Dear Harry

 

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has received
your internal review request dated 13 January 2021.

 

A different decision maker will be appointed for your FOI matter.

 

The current due date for the internal review decision is by 12 February
2021.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Legal, Audit and Assurance | Corporate & Digital

GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

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Freedom of Information, Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources

2 Attachments

Dear Harry

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your internal review
request of 13 January 2021.

 

Should you have any queries regarding this matter, please contact the FOI
team.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Legal, Audit and Assurance | Corporate & Digital

GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

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