Documents not available for download from your FOI log or reasoning

Posty made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

The request was partially successful.

From: Posty

Delivered

Dear FOI Department,

It has been noticed, that in some occasions, 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. It is puzzling that, on some occasions, you have made the documents available and others not.

I believe this is not in 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 said non-website published successful for 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: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Thank you for your email.  The Department of Infrastructure, Regional
Development and Cities is closed from Tuesday 25 December 2018 to Tuesday
1 January 2019 inclusive and will reopen for business on Wednesday 2
January 2019.  The department will assess any requests for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 when we re-open in the new
year.  The department will contact you about your request at that time. 
Please note that it may be necessary for the department to seek an
extension of time to process FOI requests that are received during this
period.

 

Kind regards.

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Posty

Thank you for your email of 31 December 2018. The documents you have requested access to are specifically identified on the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). As such they form part of a public register and are open to public access. Guidance provided by the OAIC suggests that where a document is already publicly available the right to obtain access under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) does not apply (https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor... ).

Your feedback regarding the administration of the department's disclosure log has been noted. Relevantly the FOI Act at subsection 11C (3)(c) states:

(3) The agency, or the Minister, must publish the information to members of the public generally on a website:
(c) publishing on the website other details of how the information may be obtained.

Where it may be not be practicable for the department to publish documents released under an FOI application, in providing instructions on how specific information released in accordance with a decision on FOI can be obtained, the department is compliant with the requirements set out in the FOI Act.

The department can provide you with access to the documents you have sought in one of the following ways:

1. via a secure file transfer link (we will require an email address to make the documents available); or
2. by electronic media such as a CD or USB (we will require a postal address); or
3. with a reasonable opportunity to inspect the documents.

Kind regards

FOI Team
Communications, Parliamentary and Governance Branch| Corporate Services
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
t 02 6274 7393
e [email address] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

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From: Posty

Delivered

Dear FOI Team,

This is a freedom of information request - not pure feedback.

From memory the FOI guidelines state that you must attempt to supply documents (should it be acceptable, which your offer to supply infers) in the method the requestor asks. I’m on mobile and can’t quote you chapter and verse but I assure you it’s there. I’ve asked for them to be put on the website. Please do so.

Reading between the lines you are inferring that it’s not practicable to put the files on the website. Why is it not practicable to put the documents on your foi log? You have not explained.

An email address is already supplied if you receive and provide advice why they cannot be available on your website and are attempting to supply them - just reply to this email with the documents and I will receive them. I’ve received advice earlier that the limit for files is 100mb if this is an issue, please split into multiple emails.

Or you know, just put them on the website?

Yours sincerely,

Posty

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Posty

Thank you for the email below. We note that the FOI disclosure log has been updated to provide a link the document listed in the 2015/16 table. The State of the Cities report is now accessible via that link.

The other matter for which the documents were not available to down load directly from the FOI disclosure log was FOI 19-004. Upon examination of these documents the FOI team consider that an administrative error occurred and the documents in the form they were released to the applicant in this matter are not suitable for publication on the FOI Log.

The FOI Act requires documents, as they are released to the applicant, to be published on the log. In this case information relating to the legitimate business affairs of the applicant and their contracted service providers was released to the applicant, however, this has been deemed not suitable for general publication on the website. The reference to this matter has been removed.

Kind regards
FOI Team
Communications, Parliamentary and Governance Branch| Corporate Services
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
e [email address] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

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Things to do with this request

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