Email involving Quatari Airways and newborn baby

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Please treat this request administratively if possible. If you can’t do this, the consider it a formal FOI request.

In this Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-ne...) the reporter asserts that:

“ One of the women was a Dfat employee and emailed the department about the incident before the plane had left Qatar. Other women made an official report with the Australian federal police when they landed in Sydney on 3 October.”

I seek:
1. A copy of the original email sent from the employee in question.

2. The email chain showing to whom within the department the email was forwarded to (for example, if the email has been forwarded or replied to)

For obvious reasons, I am happy to exclude as irrelevant any information about the employee who made the concern (including their name, contact information or position). I also consent to the redaction of the names of other employees and their contact details, however not their position descriptions.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Fairless

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: LEX2841

File Number: 20/30150

 

Dear Mr Fairless

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 29 October 2020 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to the following:

 

“In this Guardian article
(https://www.theguardian.com/australia-ne...)
the reporter asserts that:

 

‘One of the women was a Dfat employee and emailed the department about the
incident before the plane had left Qatar. Other women made an official
report with the Australian federal police when they landed in Sydney on 3
October.’

 

I seek:

1. A copy of the original email sent from the employee in question.

 

2. The email chain showing to whom within the department the email was
forwarded to (for example, if the email has been forwarded or replied
to).”

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision

We received your request on 29 October 2020 and the 30-day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that
date.  You should therefore expect a decision from us by 30 November 2020.
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges

Please note that the department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release

As the subject matter of your request may require DFAT to upload documents
released to you to the department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take this
opportunity to advise you that the department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details

It is the department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[1][DFAT request email] so the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will
take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope
of your request.

 

Personal Information

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The department’s privacy policy is available
at [2]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [3][DFAT request email].

 

 

Yours sincerely

Joel

[4]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

DFAT FOI Team

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[5]DFAT.GOV.AU | [6]Twitter | [7]Facebook | [8]Flickr | [9]YouTube

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Joel,

While it is inappropriate (and against the FOI Act) for you to automatically exclude information from the scope of a request, you will note that I have already accepted and requested the personal details (other than the position titles) of all employees can be redacted.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
FOI Reference: LEX2841
File Number: 20/30150

Dear Mr Fairless

Please find attached a notice of charges relating to your FOI request, reference LEX2841.

Yours sincerely
Joel

DFAT FOI Team
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DFAT.GOV.AU | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

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Dear Joel,

I refer to the Charges Notice from the Department dated 26 November 2020.

For the avoidance of doubt, this request is being made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of Right to Know or any other organisation.

The decision maker has provided an estimate of $54.17 however has not explained the basis on which the assessment is made, other than a generic answer about "the number of relevant pages, processing time and time taken by the decision maker (once appointed) to assess your request".

The notice provided is insufficient and does not comply with the requirements under Section 29(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth).

Can the Decision Maker please provide further information as to the basis for their charges assessment? This will assist me in deciding if I should seek review of the charges decision.

Whilst unrelated to the charges notice, I respectfully point out that requesting that any return credit card information to the Department via email is not secure, is against the PCI-DSS (the industry standard for credit card processing) and can void the security guarantee that some credit card providers give for Fraud.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: LEX2841

File Number: 20/30150

 

Dear Mr Fairless

Thank you for your email dated 1 December 2020 relating to charges issued
for your FOI request, reference LEX2841.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) acknowledges that this
request is being made in your personal capacity and not on behalf of Right
to Know.

 

As requested, please find below a breakdown of the charges issued for this
request. The amounts referred to are consistent with Schedule 1 of the
Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019.

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Reason for charge |Amount of charge |Time per task|Cost |
|-------------------------------+--------------------+-------------+-----|
|Charge in respect of the time |$15.00 per hour |3 hours |$45 |
|spent by the department in | | | |
|searching for, or retrieving, | | | |
|the document | | | |
|-------------------------------+--------------------+-------------+-----|
|Charge in respect of the time |$20.00 for each hour|5.46 hours |$9.17|
|spent by the department in |after the first 5 | | |
|deciding whether to grant, |hours | | |
|refuse or defer access to the | | | |
|document or to grant access to | | | |
|a copy of the document with | | | |
|deletions, including time | | | |
|spent: | | | |
| | | | |
| a. In examining the document; | | | |
| or | | | |
| b. In consultation with any | | | |
| person or body; or | | | |
| c. In making a copy with | | | |
| deletions; or | | | |
| d. In notifying any interim or| | | |
| final decision on the | | | |
| request | | | |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

I trust this information is of assistance. Should you have any further
questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me by return email.

Yours sincerely
Joel

[1]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

DFAT FOI Team

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[2]DFAT.GOV.AU | [3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Flickr | [6]YouTube

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Please consider this request withdrawn.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless