Documents not available for download from your FOI disclosure log / reasoning

Posty made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Jobs and Small Business

The request was successful.

From: Posty

Delivered

Dear FOI Department,

It has been noticed there are documents on your Freedom Of Information Disclosure Log where you have put the most redundant text next to FOI disclosures—the equivalent of “if you would like access to these documents, please email/contact us for access”.

Any person reviewing the information on that site would of course be after the documents. This lack of access displays complete disregard of the spirit of the FOI act section 11C and thus I request, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, copies of the following documents:

All documents as is (that is, redacted or unredacted) from all previously made decisions on your department's FOI log that are currently not available for download direct from the website.

My preferred method of delivery for this information is for it to be placed on your department's Freedom of Information disclosure log web page as per part A) of 11C of the FOI Act. Should this request be successful you can put a simple list of the documents that were made available from the request, or whatever is most expedient, on the log.

I apologise for my pessimism, but past FOI experiences have led me to believe this request may elicit a response similar to “this request would divert too many resources of your department to complete”. Should you be thinking this, you have nobody to blame but yourselves—your department made this metaphorical bed.

Should you be seriously considering a practical refusal, my alternative request is for any documents that your department holds relating to the decision to include text on your freedom of information disclosure log similar to "contact us for access to this document".

In addition I request the total of the number of times any member of the public has asked for access to each non-website published successful documents on the FOI disclosure log other than the original successful applicant.

I do accept there is a very remote possibility there is a “Good Reason” for these not being available, and I hope these are contained within the documents provided as I cannot foresee any.

In the interests of expediency, I am willing to consider Administrative Access to said documents, should the document be provided within 30 days ( plus any public holidays in-between) of the sending of this email. After this time - the FOI Act applies as normal in all instances and any requests for extension will be denied without a supplied very good reason.

Regards,

Posty

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From: Jobs - FOI
Department of Jobs and Small Business



 

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The Department of Jobs and Small Business is closed from 12:30pm on 24
December 2018 to 1 January 2019 (inclusive) due to Christmas shutdown.

 

Your correspondence will be considered and actioned when we re-open on 2
January 2019.

 

 

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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From: Jobs - FOI
Department of Jobs and Small Business


Attachment Posty Decision Admin Release.pdf
690K Download View as HTML

Attachment Documents for release 1 of 2.zip
17.2M Download


Dear Posty

 

Please find attached the Department of Jobs and Small Business’ decision
on access in relation to your request dated 1 January 2015. Please note
that due to the size of the attachments this is email one of two.

 

Regards,

 

Sarah Rubenstein

Information Law Team | Corporate Legal

Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

Phone (02) 6240 7310 | Email [1][email address]

[2]www.jobs.gov.au

 

 

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From: Jobs - FOI
Department of Jobs and Small Business


Attachment Documents for release 2 of 2.zip
10.7M Download


Dear Posty

 

I refer to my email of 5:42pm today providing the Department of Jobs and
Small Business’ decision on access in relation to your request dated 1
January 2015 (below). Please note that this is email 2 of 2 responding to
that request.

 

Regards,

 

Sarah Rubenstein

Information Law Team | Corporate Legal

Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

Phone (02) 6240 7310 | Email [1][email address]

[2]www.jobs.gov.au

 

 

From: Jobs - FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Friday, 4 January 2019 5:42 PM
To: [FOI #5196 email]
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Documents not available for
download from your FOI disclosure log / reasoning [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

Dear Posty

 

Please find attached the Department of Jobs and Small Business’ decision
on access in relation to your request dated 1 January 2015. Please note
that due to the size of the attachments this is email one of two.

 

Regards,

 

Sarah Rubenstein

Information Law Team | Corporate Legal

Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

Phone (02) 6240 7310 | Email [3][email address]

[4]www.jobs.gov.au

 

 

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Posty left an annotation ()

I finally had some time to open these "documents".

This borders on malicious compliance - two zip files with giant PDFs with every file not available for download in the one document - one file is 440+ pages.

it would have been more effort to create this than create a folder, and then zip it.

it removes any context of separation between the documents and is nigh impossible to browse.

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From: Posty

Delivered

Dear Sarah,

Firstly I'd like to thank you for supplying a version of the documents.

I finally got a chance to review them recently - i noticed you appeared to put all of them into two pdfs and sent them? this makes them practically really hard to read and have any context of which release is what as well as managing them. this is still overall a good outcome as now they are publicly available in SOME sense through righttoknow.org.au.

I'm still wondering if we can't make it a better outcome though.

In regards to 'being consistent' with other departments and compliance- it's actually the minority of federal government departments that are not making available documents for download from their disclosure log - I have outlined my results in an 'audit' of sorts here:

https://medium.com/@posty/federal-freedo...

More and more departments are moving to this model (some have done from day one) the dept of environment and energy have just started publishing theirs (not in above link).

I want to understand the barriers you're facing from putting them on the website - because if it is consistent as you say it is it would need to be the best way to do it when interpreting the FOI act ( RE interpretation - http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/c... ).

I do understand that you have a 'shared services' type environment with your IT needs and perhaps an internal helpdesk ticket can be lodged if you are unaware of the barriers.

It is exceedingly clear that it being on the website would be the best as this correspondence would need to have not ever taken place would it be so.

I'd like to prevent others or even myself from having to ask the same thing next year.

I'd like to know if there are any plans to join the rest of the departments in making them available for download, and if not - why not?

I'm happy for this to be answered administratively - take your time.

for helpful reference for other FOI deliveries - should you require to do this again for other purposes it would be easier to create a new folder in windows and then copy them all of the files to it, then create a zip.

I'm aware many government departments have access to 7-zip application that can split them to any differing size you wish:
https://www.linglom.com/it-support/how-t...

you can also upload documents (I'm told potentially up to 100mb) directly through right to know - for instance your two emails totalled about 30MB. you could have just upload directly to this website in one.

instructions here - apparently you just click the link at the bottom of this email:
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/help/offi...

Yours sincerely,

Posty

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From: Jobs - FOI
Department of Jobs and Small Business

Dear Posty,

 

We refer to your below email regarding the disclosure processes of the
Department of Jobs and Small Business (the department). As stated in the
department’s letter to you dated 4 January 2019, the department complies
with its legal requirements under s 11C(3) of the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 and access to documents on the department’s disclosure log is
provided on request.

 

Regards,

 

Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

Phone (02) 6240 7310

[1][email address]

[2]www.jobs.gov.au

This transmission is intended only for the use of the addressee and may
contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you are not the
intended recipient, you are notified that any use or dissemination of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
transmission in error, please notify us immediately by telephone and
delete copies of this transmission together with any attachments.

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

The applicant has not marked the status of this request; I have been asked to do it. I have marked this request as "successful" but the applicant maybe will disagree. If she does disagree, she can change the status ...

Here is my explanation. The applicant wants to know why information that is released under the Freedom of Information Act is not posted on the website of the authority. Section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1983 (Cth) says that if an authority has made information available to a person under FOI then the authority must publish details of the information on their "disclosure log". Section 11C(3) lists 3 different ways the authority can satisfy the obligation to publish details. The subsection lists the 3 different ways with the word "or" between them. The applicant has said this on her website ( https://medium.com/@posty/federal-freedo... ), "Given the above, you can see there’s a clear order and spirit of how access should be easy to what has been successfully requested. To me, this reads like c) is designed to be a catch all to not be prescriptive of what technology must be used." I think when I read this and the applicant's emails that she thinks that an authority should only use option c when no other option is possible. The authority, in the final email, implies something different when they say that they meet their obligations under the FOI Act.

Because the authority has answered with an answer that seems to me to give the information that was asked for, I have marked it as successful, even if the applicant disagrees with the spirit of the answer.

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Posty left an annotation ()

Thanks for the comment - very polite.

my request was mainly about attempting service improvement that the department sorely lacked any interest in.

it's a technical success and I agree.

I just hadn't got around to doing it, thanks :)

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Jobs and Small Business only: