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

Posty made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Veterans' Affairs

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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: DALAS
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Please note that due to Christmas leave arrangements, the DALAS mailbox
will only be lightly monitored up until Monday 7 January 2019. 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Posty

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 26268

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 1 January 2019
and was made in the following terms:

 

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.

                …

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.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 31 January 2019.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department is
required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or 27A
of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

We will write again when the Department has more information. Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Contacting us about your request

 

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

 

If you have any questions, please contact us by reply email.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law Section | Legal Services and Assurance Branch

Legal, Assurance and Governance Division

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

E: [2][email address] | W: [3]www.dva.gov.au

 

[4]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Attachment FOI 26268 Charges notice.pdf
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Dear Posty

 

FOI 26268 - Charges notice

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your freedom of
information request received by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1
January 2019.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law Section | Legal Services & Assurance Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

E: [1][email address]

 

[2]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

 

 

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From: Posty

Delivered

Dear Julie,

I contend the charge - I reject it in its entirety.

You are attempting to charge me, a tax paying member of the public to provide access to documents which have already been decided upon.

I don't regularly make a habit of individually funding what are core functions of the FOI act.

I draw your attention to how best to interpret the FOI Act I quoted earlier -
"ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901 - SECT 15AA
Interpretation best achieving Act's purpose or object
In interpreting a provision of an Act, the interpretation that would best achieve the purpose or object of the Act (whether or not that purpose or object is expressly stated in the Act) is to be preferred to each other interpretation."

http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/c...

in short there needs to be a very good reason for why the documents are not already available for download on the website. I'm not seeing any here.

I do not believe there should be any charges to me so that you best comply with the law.

I also dispute this on public interest grounds, these general FOIs have already been granted as decidedly in some form of the public interest of each individual decision to warrant their delivery to the original applicant - I am merely asking that you provide the same to the rest of the public and myself via your website.

If your internal infrastructure for hosting websites proves inadequate for the task and you are not resourced to provide it I grant that you you that you can upload it directly through right to know via the link at the bottom of this email up to 100mb per file or if necessary even through other govt infrastructure designed for collaboration - govteams.gov.au. righttoknow.org.au is greatly preferred as a secondary mechanism.

I also contend that waiver of the charge would enhance the agency-client
relationship with the greater public.

Please also note in the FOI guidelines guiding principle 4.4 - you're meant to also assess the total overall charges to *the commonwealth*. this includes not only your agency, but also should I request an internal review (I have prior) or an IC review (I have prior, and have succeeded in the majority of cases - and I *will* do so should you insist this frivolous charge go ahead).

The OAIC is desperately underfunded and under-resourced and I do not wish to impose on them at all - but if you force me to I will, and I am patient and they are very friendly.

Look I'm sure there's more but I'm going to leave it there as I think there's enough for you to go on.

Yours sincerely,

Posty

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Good morning Posty,

 

Thank you for your reply. In accordance with section 29(6) of the Freedom
of Information Act 1982, a decision on the issue of charges is due to you
by no later than 4 March 2019.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Information Law Section | Legal Services & Assurance Branch

Legal Assurance and Governance Division

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

 

 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment FOI 26268 Charges decision.pdf
546K Download View as HTML


Dear Posty

 

FOI 26268 - Charges decision

 

Please find attached the charges decision relating to your freedom of
information request received by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1
January 2019.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law Section | Legal Services & Assurance Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

E: [1][email address]

 

[2]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

 

 

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