Dear Department of Finance,
Under the FOI Act 1982, I request:
- Any currently-valid organisational charts that show the position of the Electoral Policy Unit within the Department's organisational structure. I do not want the contact details of any employees, nor the names of any employees whose rank is EL1 or lower.
- A list of all files (in the records management sense of container objects or "folders") from the Department's primary records management system, created from 2017 to the present, where the file is owned or otherwise associated with the Electoral Policy Unit.
I ask that the documents be provided in electronic form to this email.
Thank you very much for your attention to my request.
Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.
Freedom of Information Request – FOI 22/42
Thank you for your email to the Department of Finance (Finance) requesting
access to the following under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
· Any currently-valid organisational charts that show the position
of the Electoral Policy Unit within the Department's organisational
structure. I do not want the contact details of any employees, nor the
names of any employees whose rank is EL1 or lower.
· A list of all files (in the records management sense of
container objects or "folders") from the Department's primary records
management system, created from 2017 to the present, where the file is
owned or otherwise associated with the Electoral Policy Unit.
Your request was received by Finance on Wednesday 15 June 2022. The
statutory period for processing your request commences from the day after
Finance received your request and a decision is due on Friday 15 July
The processing period may be extended if we need to consult third parties,
impose a charge or for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.
We seek your assistance
In relation to the first part of your request, you can access a copy of
Finance’s organisational chart on our website - Organisational
Directory | Department of Finance. Please note that Finance’s
organisational chart only shows the breakdown of our organisation to a
The team that works on electoral policy sits within the Resource
Management branch, which is located within the Governance and Resource
If the above organisational directory contains the information that you
are seeking, we kindly request that you withdraw that portion of your FOI
In relation to the second part of your request, we consider processing
your request in its current form would substantially and unreasonably
divert the resources of Finance from its other operations.
We kindly ask that you narrow the scope of your request to a particular
We kindly request that you narrow the scope of your request by 5:00pm
Friday 24 June 2022.
Liability to pay a charge
You will be notified of any charges in relation to your request as soon as
possible, before we process any requested documents or impose a final
As required by the FOI Act, any documents provided to you under the FOI
Act will be published on our disclosure log, unless an exemption
applies or the documents are characterised as containing personal
information. Documents will be published within one working day after they
are released to you.
Policy to exclude junior officer contact details and signatures
Finance has adopted a policy to generally exclude from any documents
released under FOI, the names and contact details of junior staff (non-SES
officers) and staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act
1984 (adviser level and below). Finance has also adopted a policy to
exclude signatures from any documents released under FOI (unless publicly
available). Finance’s preference is to reach agreement with FOI applicants
to exclude these details from the scope of the request. Where there is no
objection, the names and contact details of junior officers, as well as
any signatures appearing in identified documents, will be redacted under
section 22 of the FOI Act on the basis that these details are irrelevant
to the request.
Please contact the FOI Team on the below contact details if you wish to
discuss your request.
FOI Officer | Legal and Assurance Branch
Business Enabling Services
Department of Finance
E: [Finance request email]
A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603
Dear FOI Officer,
Regarding Part 1 - I thank you for the information regarding the Resource Management Branch.
To be clear - the phrase "organisational charts" in my original request was intended to be generic, and cover unpublished division-specific organisational charts of the kind that are commonly prepared for internal distribution within divisions or branches of large organisations, rather than just the Department-wide organisational chart.
If such a document exists that describes organisational units within the Resource Management Branch, indicating the area within the branch responsible for electoral policy, I would consider the latest version thereof to satisfy my request.
As such, I won't withdraw this part of my request. As per my original request, I would be happy to exclude any parts of such a document that give contact details, as well as names of employees that are EL1 or below. I would also be happy to exclude any parts of such a document that are not relevant to electoral policy.
Regarding Part 2 - I am very surprised that producing a list of file titles from the Department's EDRMS system is regarded as an unreasonable diversion of resources. Such metadata is regularly exported by all Commonwealth departments, covering a much broader scope, twice a year, for the purposes of producing Harradine/Senate Order 12 reports.
I would be prepared to narrow the scope of my request to cover files created from 1 January 2020 onwards, rather than 2017. This should significantly reduce the required processing time.
Thank you for your attention to this request.