Documents relating to CER's request for ongoing access to Telecommunications Data

Richard Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Clean Energy Regulator

The request was successful.

From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Clean Energy Regulator,

In 2015 the Commonwealth Attorney-General, under Freedom of Information, released a list of Government Agencies, Departments and Authorities that had applied for ongoing access to Telecommunication Data of Australians.

The Commonwealth Clean Energy Regulator was present in the two lists released under the FOI release, having applied for access to both historical Telecommunications Data and ongoing Telecommunications Data of Australians.

I therefore request the following Government Information:

a) Documents relating to the Commonwealth CER's consideration and decision to apply for ongoing access to Telecommunications Data as per the TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979;

b) The date of each Application made by Commonwealth CER for access to Telecommunications Data under the TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979;

c) Documents relating to how Commonwealth CER deals with the privacy of data obtained through access to ongoing access to Telecommunications Data as per TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979, including how the data received is obtained, assessed, stored and ultimately destroyed;

d) The number of documents containing data obtained by the Commonwealth CER through its ongoing access to Telecommunication Data; and

e) The number of documents containing data obtained by the Commonwealth CER through its ongoing access to Telecommunication Data that Council has determined are not likely to be required for a permitted purpose and therefore has destroyed, for the period of time from since the commencement of ongoing access to the data was granted until 17th March 2017.

To assist you with your processing of your response, I am interested primarily in the following points, which I consider to be of significant public interest:

1) why the Commonwealth CER thinks that it requires access to the Telecommunications Data of Australians, considering there appears to be very few legitimate reasons that the Commonwealth CER would require ongoing access to the phonecall and internet browsing details of Australians to further its role, which is stated on its website as being:

"The responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator include:

- providing education and information on the schemes that we administer
- monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with each scheme
- collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing information and data
- accrediting auditors for the schemes we administer, and
- working with other law enforcement and regulatory bodies.

As an economic regulator, the Clean Energy Regulator does not have any direct role or powers under our legislation to enforce work health and safety, environmental protection, or planning laws."; and

2) the scale of Telecommunications Data of Australians being obtained, handled, stored and ultimately destroyed by Commonwealth CER.

If this can be answered as informal request, please do so.

Otherwise, please proceed with this as a formal request under the Freedom of Information principles & framework, i.e. the Freedom of Information Act 1982 & other associated guidelines and regulations.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Smith

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From: CER - FOI Contact Officer
Clean Energy Regulator

Dear Mr Smith,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your FOI request. Our reference number for your request is FOI 27_2016.

We are currently assessing the overlap between your request and what has already been published as the result of a previous FOI request for similar documents (see FOI 20_2016 at http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/A.... Once we have a clearer sense of what documents the agency holds, and the nature of those documents, we will be able to advise you of how your request will be processed.

The agency usually has 30 days to advise you of a decision in relation to your request. The nominal deadline for advising you of the decision falls on 19 April 2017. This deadline may be extended if it is necessary for the agency to consult with any third party about the release of documents containing their information.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Katia Tsiolkas
FOI Contact Officer
Office of the General Counsel
Clean Energy Regulator
(02) 6159 3422

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From: CER - FOI Contact Officer
Clean Energy Regulator


Attachment FOI 27 2016 access decision 19042017.pdf
5.4M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith,
Please find attached a copy of the decision made today to give you access to certain documents in response to your FOI request.
The documents will be sent by separate email(s).
Kind regards,

FOI Contact Officer
Office of General Counsel
[CER request email]
        

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From: CER - FOI Contact Officer
Clean Energy Regulator


Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 1 for release.pdf
857K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 2 for release.pdf
565K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 3 for release.pdf
2.7M Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 4 for release.pdf
1.1M Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 5 for release.pdf
157K Download View as HTML


This email contains Documents 1-5 of the documents identified in the schedule of documents attached to the access decision made today (19 April 2017; FOI 27_2016).

The remaining documents will be sent separately.

FOI Contact Officer
Office of General Counsel
[CER request email]
        

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From: CER - FOI Contact Officer
Clean Energy Regulator


Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 6 for release.pdf
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Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 7 for release.pdf
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Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 8 for release.pdf
132K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 9 for release.pdf
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Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 10 for release.pdf
156K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 11 for release.pdf
76K Download View as HTML


This email contains Documents 6-11 of the documents identified in the schedule of documents attached to the access decision made today (19 April 2017; FOI 27_2016).

The remaining documents will be sent separately.

FOI Contact Officer
Office of General Counsel
[CER request email]
        

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From: CER - FOI Contact Officer
Clean Energy Regulator


Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 12 for release.pdf
9.2M Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 13 for release.pdf
122K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 14 for release.pdf
235K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 15 for release.pdf
374K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 27 2016 Document 16 for release.pdf
225K Download View as HTML


This email contains Documents 12-16 of the documents identified in the schedule of documents attached to the access decision made today (19 April 2017; FOI 27_2016).

This is the final batch of documents.

Thank you.

FOI Contact Officer
Office of General Counsel
[CER request email]
        

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Geoff Purvis-Smith,

Thank you for your reply of 19 April 2017 where the CER has decided to release 16 documents.

I note that the CER has responded to my FOI request in a timely and comprehensive manner.

Thank you for your efforts in processing my request without any disruptions or delay. This demonstrates a pleasing level of efficiency and effectiveness in which the CER is undertaking its functions. Other Commonwealth agencies could learn from the CER's example.

I therefore consider this request for Government Information to be closed.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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