Documents relating to Greyhound Racing Victoria's request for ongoing access to Telecommunications Data
Dear Greyhound Racing Victoria,
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.
Greyhound Racing Victoria 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 Greyhound Racing Victoria'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 Greyhound Racing Victoria for access to Telecommunications Data under the TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979;
c) Documents relating to how Greyhound Racing Victoria 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 Greyhound Racing Victoria through its ongoing access to Telecommunication Data; and
e) The number of documents containing data obtained by Greyhound Racing Victoria 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 Greyhound Racing Victoria thinks that it requires access to the Telecommunications Data of Australians, considering there appears to be very few legitimate reasons that Greyhound Racing Victoria would require ongoing access to the phonecall and internet browsing details of Australians to further its role in being responsible for promoting and controlling the sport of greyhound racing, as is stated on its website:
"GRV is in the business of governing, operating and promoting greyhound racing of of the highest integrity to wagering operators and clubs for the enjoyment of members, wagerers and on-course racegoers in Victoria, nationally and internationally"; and
2) the scale of Telecommunications Data of Australians being obtained, handled, stored and ultimately destroyed by Greyhound Racing Victoria.
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.
If GRV decides not to answer my questions as an informal request, I formally request that the FOI Application Fee and Processing Fee be waived on the grounds that this is a matter of significant & general public interest.
Thanks for your e mail requesting details regarding our basis for applying for ongoing access to Telecommunications Data.
At this point in time I am seeing if we can address this through a general request for information rather than a formal FOI on the basis that to my knowledge (and I may be wrong):
- we have not sought access to telecommunications data to date
- going forward the responsibility for investigations where such requests may be made while likely reside with the Victorian Racing Integrity Unit (VRIU) which will likely be established next year .
I will get back to you once I have a few more facts (noting if we go down the FOI path then today would be day 1).
Thanks for your reply.
I will await your investigations and your further response.
I have discussed this issue with our General Counsel with the following results:
1) we are still unclear whether GRV applied for the access or whether it was sought by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner on behalf of all racing codes
2) the 2015 list was agencies that had applied for access was issued while the requests were under consideration by the federal government department
3) GRV was NOT approved for access (we believe GRV did not provide any details in support of the application)
4) GRV has not obtained any documents under the Telecommunications Act
I am seeking the formal advice of our failure to be granted access and if I can find it I will forward it to you.
happy to take any queries
Thank you for your efforts in answering my questions.
It is very much appreciated in you getting back to me quickly.
I will wait to see if you are able to forward on the formal advice of GRV's failure to be granted access.
I was wondering if there has been any development in the issues raised by you in your email to me of 23 March 2017.
Sorry for the lack of feedback
Our legal team and Investigations have confirmed we have no powers to access any form of telecommunications data.
I have not been able to locate any form of correspondence that confirms we have not been provided with any authority.
I have been able to confirm that the Annual Report 2014–15TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979 shows we are not an approved authority (Appendix B shows the approved authorities)
But have not been able to locate a similar 2015/16 report which better reflects the period of time you are interested in.
If you like I can write to the relevant federal agency seeking confirmation that we do not have authority
Please advise of your thoughts
Thanks for your response.
In light of your assistance and cooperation I believe you have answered my questions satisfactorily without any further action on your part.
Thank you for your prompt action.
Your efforts in addressing my FOI request would serve as a good example of best practice to other agencies who don't appear to value courtesy and professionalism as much as you do.
It is a credit to you and your organisation.