Documents related to Twitter posts made to @VanessaPowell25

Ben Fairless made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Home Affairs

The request was refused by Department of Home Affairs.

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP),

I request a copy of all documents held by DIBP that either involve, discuss, make mention of or have relevance to, the communications which were initiated from the DIBP's Twitter account (@DIBPAustralia) which are sent to or contain the phrase "@VanessaPowell25"

This request specifically includes, but is not limited to:
- "Direct Messages" sent between any of DIBP's official or unofficial Twitter accounts and @VanessaPowell25
- Documents created or held by DIBP in relation to the alleged "offensive remark" mentioned in the Tweets from @DIBPAustralia to @VanessaPowell25 on the 4th of April 2014
- Copies of any complaint made by any employee's, contractors, or anyone associated with DIBP.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI


Attachment Ben Fairless FA 14 04 00348 Acknowledgement of FOI Request.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Please find attached the acknowledgement of receipt for your recent FOI
Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Isheeka Goswami
Privacy Administrative Officer

FOI and Privacy Policy
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Telephone: (02) 6198 7525
Email: [1][email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless

 

Re: Your Freedom of Information request

 

I am writing to inform you that I have been appointed as the authorised
decision maker for your FOI request, seeking access to:

 

… a copy of all documents held by DIBP that either involve, discuss, make
mention of or have relevance to, the communications which were initiated
from the DIBP's Twitter account (@DIBPAustralia) which are sent to or
contain the phrase "@VanessaPowell25"

 

This request specifically includes, but is not limited to:

- "Direct Messages" sent between any of DIBP's official or unofficial
Twitter accounts and @VanessaPowell25

- Documents created or held by DIBP in relation to the alleged "offensive
remark" mentioned in the Tweets from @DIBPAustralia to @VanessaPowell25 on
the 4th of April 2014

- Copies of any complaint made by any employee's, contractors, or anyone
associated with DIBP.

 

As part of the department’s FOI service standard, I will update you every
14 days regarding the progress of your request, however please do not
hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss the
request in the interim.

 

I have received the documents that relate to this request from the
relevant business area and I have begun my assessment of them.

 

Extension of time

The current due date for your request is Tuesday 6 May 2014.  Due to the
number of requests currently being processed by our office, it is unlikely
that I will be able to finalise your request by the original due date. 

 

I accordingly seek your agreement (under s.15AA of the FOI Act) to extend
the timeframe for the processing of your request by 30 days.  This would
extend the due date for your request to Thursday 5 June 2014.

It would assist the Department in managing its FOI caseload if you could
provide a response to this request by close of business, Wednesday 30
April 2014.

Sincerely

 

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne,

Thanks for your acknowledgement.

I note that you already have the documents and are assessing them. Before I consider an extension, it would be greatful if you can you let me know roughly how many pages you have to assess?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for your email.

To clarify, I have received documents from the relevant business area in relation to your FOI request.

I am now in the process of reading through the documents to determine whether they fall within the scope of your request. I am therefore unable at this stage to advise you on the number of documents (and number of pages) which may be in scope.

Please advise whether you agree to an extension of time for me to process your request.

Sincerely,

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [DIBP request email]

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne ,

I was more interested in how many documents the business area had provided (in scope or otherwise) to determine the reasonableness of a 30 day extension.

I happy to agree to a 1 week extension which would take the due date to 13th of May.

If you need an extension beyond this date, please feel free to ask closer to the date.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for agreeing to an extension of time of 7 days for me to process your request.

The due date for your FOI request is now 13 May 2014.

Regards,

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [DIBP request email]

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From: FOI


Attachment CCAF form.doc
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Attachment Charges Notice.pdf
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Attachment mg info.txt
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UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless

I am writing in regards to your FOI request seeking:  

 

…  a copy of all documents held by DIBP that either involve, discuss, make
mention of or have relevance to, the communications which were initiated
from the DIBP's Twitter account (@DIBPAustralia) which are sent to or
contain the phrase "@VanessaPowell25"

This request specifically includes, but is not limited to:

- "Direct Messages" sent between any of DIBP's official or unofficial
Twitter accounts and @VanessaPowell25

- Documents created or held by DIBP in relation to the alleged "offensive
remark" mentioned in the Tweets from @DIBPAustralia to @VanessaPowell25 on
the 4th of April 2014

- Copies of any complaint made by any employee's, contractors, or anyone
associated with DIBP.

 

This email is to advise you of my decision that you are liable to pay a
charge in respect of the processing of your FOI request in accordance with
s 29 of the FOI Act.  

 

Please see the attached letter for further information.  

 

How to pay:

 

Include your FA Reference number and advise whether you wish to pay the
deposit or the full amount.

 

The deposit or full payment can be paid by cheque, money order, credit
card or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

 

Cheques and money orders should be made payable to "Collector of Public
Monies" and sent to:

 

FOI & Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

PO Box 25

BELCONNEN  ACT  2616

AUSTRALIA

 

Should you choose to pay by credit card, please complete the attached
credit card authorisation form (CCAF form), including your signature and
forward to FOI & Privacy Policy Section at the above address, or email to
[1][DIBP request email].  

 

Should you choose to pay by EFT the department’s bank account details are
as follows:

 

       •           Bank:                                  CBA

       •           BSB:                                     062987

       •           Account Number:          10016044

       •           Account Name:               DIBP Official Administered
Direct Credit Receipts Account.

 

When making the transfer you will need to quote the number of your request
- FA 14/04/00348 - so that your payment can be identified by our Finance
area.  Failure to do so may result in payments not being identified as FOI
related and could result in processing delays.

 

Please advise FOI when you have made the payment made by direct credit so
that we can contact the Finance area and they can issue a receipt. You
should also be aware that payments by direct credit are not processed in
real time. There is at least a one day delay between somebody paying money
into the department's account and notification of the payment via our bank
account statement.

 

Sincerely,

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [2][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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1. mailto:[DIBP request email]
2. mailto:[DIBP request email]

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne Nolte-Crimp,

I refer to the charges notice issued in respect of my FOI request FA 14/04/00348 - Documents related to twitter posts made to @VanessaPowell25.

The purpose of this email is to contend that the charges should not be imposed as providing the documents is in the general public interest, and in the interest of a substantial section of the public. I have detailed my case below.

\\ Background //
On the 4th of April, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) sent at least 3 public messages via Twitter (“tweets”) to Vanessa Powell. These tweets were clearly designed to intimidate and threaten Ms. Powell with further action if she did not remove what the department descried as “offensive remarks” on another social networking site (Facebook).
It is my understanding that, as a result of these tweets, Ms. Powell removed the content which the department described as “offensive”.

\\ Social Media reaction to Tweets //
To date, the 3 tweets have:
• Been shared by other twitter users (“Re-Tweeted”) over 770 times (as of 7th May 2014)
• Been “favourited” by users on twitter at least 120 times (as of 7th May 2014)
• Been replied to over 1690 times (According to Topsy – http://goo.gl/5uxyQK)
• Caused the DIBP to become a “Treding Topic” in Australia, which means that the department is among the most talked about topics of the day.

According to Topsy, there are no tweets that come close to getting the same level of attention as these tweets. If the department contends this is not the case, I would be interested to see which tweet gained more interaction from twitter users.

\\ Substantial Media Coverage //
In addition to the greatest level of response on Twitter the Department has ever seen, the tweets in question were the subject of numerous amateur and professional news stories, including but not limited to:
• over 220 comments posted on Reddit (http://redd.it/22bxzcm)
• Coverage by SBS - http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/...
• Coverage by ZDNET - http://www.zdnet.com/border-protection-f...
• Coverage by International Business Times - http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/547103/20...
• Comments on blogs - http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/20...

\\ Summary //
In summary, I contend that there is significant interest in the department’s handling of this situation (in comparison to other social media interactions by the Department) and there is significant interest in the documents which lead up to these tweets being sent (and the subsequent response).

The release of these documents will enhance transparency in Government (an objective of the FOI Act) and will provide clarity on a number of unanswered questions in relation to these 3 tweets.

I reserve the right to make further contentions that charges should not be imposed if the above are not sufficient.

I look forward to the Department's decision as soon as practical.

Sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: SCR; FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for your e-mail of 7 May 2014, seeking a waiver of the charges
for the processing of your FOI request, on public interest grounds.

I will consider your request and will revert to you in due course. Under
the FOI Act, I have 30 days from receipt of your request, to make a
decision on whether or not the charges should be waived (subsection 29(6)
of the FOI Act refers).

Sincerely,

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne,

I hope I don't sound pessimistic about the Department's and your attitude towards my requests, however I would argue that your interpretation of s29(6) is flawed. You have an obligation under the Act to consider my request **as soon as practical**, but in any case no later then 30 days.

This does not mean that you can deliberately delay response until the 29th or 30th day simply because you can't be bothered or because it suits the Department for you to drag this request out as long as possible.

I would also remind the Department that, when requested, I have acted in good faith and allowed an extension of time where the Department has sought such extension. If the Department feels the need to take advantage of that, then the Department can deal with my FOI requests without extensions.

I look forward to your response as soon as practical.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI


Attachment Charges Contention Decision.pdf
500K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless

 

I am writing in regards to your FOI request seeking:  

 

…  a copy of all documents held by DIBP that either involve, discuss, make
mention of or have relevance to, the communications which were initiated
from the DIBP's Twitter account (@DIBPAustralia) which are sent to or
contain the phrase "@VanessaPowell25"

 

This request specifically includes, but is not limited to:

- "Direct Messages" sent between any of DIBP's official or unofficial
Twitter accounts and @VanessaPowell25

- Documents created or held by DIBP in relation to the alleged "offensive
remark" mentioned in the Tweets from @DIBPAustralia to @VanessaPowell25 on
the 4th of April 2014

- Copies of any complaint made by any employee's, contractors, or anyone
associated with DIBP.

 

On 7 May 2014 you sent me an email requesting a waiver of charges on
public interest grounds.

 

Please see the attached decision letter in this regard.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne,

I refer to your charges decision letter which you provided today.

Can you please supply this document in its original machine readable format as there are accessibility issues with the current version.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

I've started CrowdFunding for this FOI request, I hope I can rely on your support: http://www.pozible.com/project/181607

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From: FOI


Attachment Charges Contention Decision.pdf
500K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for your email.

I am not sure what you mean when you say that the document is not accessible.

I went to the 'Right to Know' website and could readily access (download) the document.

Further, you did not seem to have any issue with my previous notice.

Nevertheless, I attach the decision letter again, for your information.

Regards,

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Telephone: (02) 6264 1757
E-mail: [DIBP request email]

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Marianne,

Out of curiosity, how much would the charge be reduced if I was to specifically exclude duplicates of emails?

Please consider the above a question, and not a formal revision of the scope of my request.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless

 

I refer to your email of 26 May 2014.

 

If you were to remove duplicate emails from the scope of your FOI request,
the charge would be reduced to $184.79.

 

Regards,

 

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

I refer to my below email in response to your question  on how much the
charge would be reduced if you were or exclude duplicate emails.

 

Please note that my response was for information purposes only.

 

It is no longer open to you to amend the scope of your FOI request to
exclude duplicate emails.

 

As set out in my decision following your application that the charge
should be waived (dated 16 May 2014) you have the following options
available to you:

 

1.       pay the deposit ($123.74),

2.       pay the charge ($494.95),

3.       seek internal review of my decision of 16 May 2014, or

4.       seek review from the Australian Information Commissioner of my
decision of 16 May 2014.

 

Details are set out more fully in my decision letter of 16 May 2014.

 

Regards,

 

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: FOI


Attachment Decision Letter deemed withdrawn.pdf
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Attachment mg info.txt
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UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/04/00348; ADF2014/12160

 

Dear Mr Fairless

 

Thank you for your FOI request received on 6 April 2014 for:

I request a copy of all documents held by DIBP that either involve,
discuss, make mention of or have relevance to, the communications which
were initiated from the DIBP's Twitter account (@DIBPAustralia) which are
sent to or contain the phrase "@VanessaPowell25"

This request specifically includes, but is not limited to:

- "Direct Messages" sent between any of DIBP's official or unofficial
Twitter accounts and @VanessaPowell25

- Documents created or held by DIBP in relation to the alleged "offensive
remark" mentioned in the Tweets from @DIBPAustralia to @VanessaPowell25 on
the 4th of April 2014

- Copies of any complaint made by any employee's, contractors, or anyone
associated with DIBP.

 

Purpose of this email

 

I am writing to you about the notice that I sent to you on 16 May 2014.
The notice period under the FOI Act expired at close of business on
Monday, 16 June 2014. As you did not respond to me by the end of the
notice period, your request is now deemed to be withdrawn as at close of
business on the last day of the notice period, which was Monday, 16 June
2014.

 

The attached notice provides more detail.

 

Sincerely

 

Marianne Nolte-Crimp
FOI and Privacy Policy Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E-mail: [1][DIBP request email]

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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Robin de Garis left an annotation ()

Curious what happened in the end with this. Would have contributed to the Pozible if I had seen it.
Perhaps it would be worth redoing the FOI request, excluding duplicate emails?

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

You are free to make another request if you want Robin, I think I'm going to leave this one be to be honest.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Home Affairs only: