Correspondence containing "separation of powers" in relation to emergency powers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

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Leo Crnogorcevic

Dear Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet,

I am writing to request access to certain departmental correspondence under section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

I am specifically requesting any correspondence between 1 March 2020 and 25 August 2020 containing the phrase "separation of powers" in relation to emergency powers employed under section 198 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

I am also seeking any potential charges arising from this request to be waived – I am a university student who has been out of employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this request is made for furtherance of university-related research.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Leo Crnogorcevic

FOIDPC (DPC), Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Crnogorcevic

I refer to your request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (the Act), received by this department on 17 August 2020.

Section 17 of the Act states:

(2) A request shall provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister, as the case may be, to identify the document.

I am of the view that your request does not provide sufficiently specific information to enable a search to be conducted, and further clarification will be required should you wish to proceed.

Clarification of your request in the following ways may assist:

- Is your request intended to relate to internal correspondence only, or does it also include correspondence received by the department from external sources (i.e. members of the public).
- As it stands, your request would potentially require a search of an unknown number of policy areas within the department. I refer you to the attached organisation chart and request that you specify three areas that you wish to have searched. This will assist in ensuring your request does not involve a substantial and unreasonable diversion of the department's resources.

Currently your request does not constitute a valid request made under the Act, and no further action will be taken until the issues set out above are addressed. If you require any clarification of the above, please feel free to send through your queries by email.

Kind regards

Matthew Thompson  |  Manager, Freedom of Information and Privacy  |  Operations
Department of Premier and Cabinet | Working remotely

We acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Victoria and pay our respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future.


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