Correspondence from the administrator of Christmas Island regarding the Christmas Island Shire

The request is waiting for clarification. If you are Chiang Zhongzheng, please sign in to send a follow up message.

Chiang Zhongzheng

Dear Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications,

I seek emails, letters, briefs, minutes between the department and administrator about Christmas Island’s shire; including its president and the ceo.

The information being sought includes:
- concerns about the management,
including finances,
- concerns relating to the 2019 local government
- views expressed about the shire president.
by the administrator to the department.
Including, where the administrator has addressed these concerns with a Christmas Island councillor or the president or ceo of the cocos keeling island shire.

Further to this:

- the approved forms and itineraries, including Perth accommodation for the administrator’s reunion travel, including any family member, since she became administrator.

- a list of official functions held by the administrator, cost, guest list, and approval forms.

Yours faithfully,

Chiang Zhongzheng
Christmas Island Islanders for Transparency

FOI, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

OFFICIAL
 
Dear Chiang
 
Your FOI request - FOI 21-165- Notice of intention to refuse request
(section 24(1) of the FOI Act)
 
I refer to your correspondence received on 7 March 2021 (below) seeking
access to documents in the possession of the Department of Infrastructure,
Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). Your
request seeks access to:
 
I seek emails, letters, briefs, minutes between the department and
administrator about Christmas Island’s shire; including its president and
the ceo. 
The information being sought includes:
          - concerns about the management, 
             including finances, 
          - concerns relating to the 2019 local government
          - views expressed about the shire president.
               by the administrator to the department.
Including, where the administrator has addressed these concerns with a
Christmas Island councillor or the president or ceo of the cocos keeling
island shire. 
Further to this:
- the approved forms and itineraries, including Perth accommodation for
the administrator’s reunion travel, including any family member, since she
became administrator.  -
a list of official functions held by the administrator, cost, guest list,
and approval forms.
 
The FOI Act contains two 'practical refusal reasons'. The first being,
that processing the request 'would substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the agency from its other operation' (s24AA(1)(a) of the
FOI Act). An agency may also refuse an FOI request if the agency is
satisfied that the request does not 'provide such information concerning
the document as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of
the agency to identify' the document in question (section 24AA(1)(b) of
the FOI Act).
 
The purpose of this notice is to advise you (as required under s24AB of
the FOI Act) that I consider that a 'practical refusal reason' exists
under section 24AA of the FOI Act and that I am considering refusing
access to the documents in the form requested, in accordance with section
24 of the FOI Act.  Currently there are a number of aspects of your
request that are not clear and make it difficult for the department to
reasonably identify the documents you are seeking.
 
Your Request
Grateful if you could clarify and refine certain aspects of your request
including by:
 
•       Specifying which Administrator you are seeking documents
regarding. .  As part of your request refers to 2019 are you seeking
access to  information and documents about the current administrator, or a
former administrator?
 
•       A date range for the request would be of assistance, and allow
more targeted searches to be undertaken.  Please note that large date r 
ranges (i.e many years) will often yield voluminous results and may also
be refused due to volume.
 
•       The line in your request that states “concerns relating to the
2019 local government” is not clear – is this a reference to the 2019
local       Government elections?
 
We also note that your request is seeking access to what appears to be
documents that express “views” or “concerns” about individuals etc.. These
terms are subjective in nature and difficult to identify in a document in
order to categorically say a documents is within the scope of a request or
not.  The work involved to analyse such documents and make a decision on
such subjective terms is not likely to be reasonable in terms of time and
resources.  FOI is about providing access to documents rather than general
information.  We would be happy to assist you make a refined request that
we can undertake meaningful searches for and collate documents in scope
for consideration.  Currently, however, we are of the view that we cannot
reasonably identify the documents in scope and accordingly a practical
refusal reason exists as set out under (s24AA(1)(a) of the FOI Act).
 
We would like to assist you to with your request and you may wish to
consider the aforementioned points of clarification as a starting point.
 
Consultation Period
I encourage you to call me on the number below to discuss this matter so
we can refine your request and continue to process it. Alternatively,
please email [1][email address] with your suggestions for
refining and clarifying the scope. As noted, we are happy to process a
request that is workable and manageable for both parties. 
 
At this time your matter is considered to be on hold. You may consult with
us on the scope of your request during the consultation period which is
from the date of this notice until close of business on 2 April 2021. If
we do not hear from you about this matter within that period your request
will be deemed withdrawn.
 
Kind regards,
FOI Team
02 6274 7393
 
OFFICIAL
 

show quoted sections