Dear Digital Transformation Agency,

Please provide any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“review” or “reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”).

Yours faithfully,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

DTA has been attempted to extract email using the terms defined in the scope of your request.

However, those terms are picking up a lot of emails. For example

The term "review" appears in some standard email footers - see below

IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If you
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the
message from your computer system.

Could you please reconsider the term of the scope of your request or if possible, provide direct reference to enable me to identify the actual document that you are seeking.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
Suzie Sazdanovic
Privacy and FOI Manager
PH: 02 6120 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

Dear DTA FOI,

I would like to revise the scope to any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”).

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

Narrowing scope by remove the term "review" will still result in the same outcome, as you are still seeking for DTA to search use the terms' reviews or rating or 5 staff.

I would like to see if we could use a different description that would pick up the document(s) that you are seeking. To enable me to process this request.

Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your request.

Thanks
Suzie Sazdanovic

Privacy and FOI Manager

PH: 02 6120 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

Dear DTA FOI,

In your previous email you indicated that the search term “review” returned many results as it is included in a standard email footer. I have narrowed the scope of my request to only include emails with the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” (plural) or “rating” or “5 star”).

I could not see the plural “reviews” contained in the standard email footer so I would hope the revised scope would only identify emails sent about reviews about the COVIDSafe app or the rating of the COVIDSafe app or about a 5 star rating for the COVIDSafe app.

Does the revised scope still result in an unmanageable number of documents being identified or are you suggesting that you think it might?

If it is the former then I will consider whether there’s any way to further narrow the scope of my request. If it is the latter then I’d request that you please check to see if there are now a more manageable number of documents or identified by the revised scope of my request.

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

Thank for providing clarification about the documents that you are seeking.

Now that I have a better understanding of your request, I'll make some enquires and I'll get back to you.

Thanks
Suzie Sazdanovic

Privacy and FOI Manager

PH: 02 6120 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

Please find attached the decision in response to your request for documents.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me directly,

Thanks
Suzie Sazdanovic
Privacy and FOI Manager

PH: 02 6120 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

Dear DTA FOI,

Thank you for your email. I am requesting an internal review of your decision.

In your letter you indicate that you are refusing my request because your are "satisfied that all reasonable steps have occurred to locate the requested documents and that these documents do not exist".

My original request was for "any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“review” or “reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”)".

In your email of the 6th of October you indicated that the word "review" appeared in a standard email footer and that resulted in a large number of documents being identified. I replied to your email on the same day to revise my scope to no longer include the term "review" in the singular (as it appears in the standard email footer) but to only include the plural version "reviews" - and I quote: "any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”)."

On the same day you then replied to state that (and I quote): "Narrowing scope by [sic] remove the term "review" will still result in the same outcome, as you are still seeking for DTA to search use [sic] the terms' reviews or rating or 5 staff [sic]."

I replied to explain that "I could not see the plural “reviews” contained in the standard email footer so I would hope the revised scope would only identify emails sent about reviews about the COVIDSafe app or the rating of the COVIDSafe app or about a 5 star rating for the COVIDSafe app". I also asked if you had actually searched using the search terms in my revised scope or if you were merely stating that you felt that it would likely produce the same result.

To which you replied:
"Now that I have a better understanding of your request, I'll make some enquires and I'll get back to you".

Subsequently I did not receive a reply until your decision to refuse my request. In your refusal you refer to your email of the 6th of October where you informed me that the term "review" appears in the standard email footer and that "On the same day, the FOI Officer made enquiries into locating the requested documents and found that no review of COVID Safe occurred during 1 March 2021 and 10 March 2021. Additionally, the terms ‘ 5 star/ ratings’ is not used by DTA to assess performance, which is why we could not find documents with the scope of your request".

Your refusal states that you are satisfied that all reasonable steps were taken to locate the documents I requested. But you have not said whether you ever searched for emails using the search terms in my revised scope. Did you search for "any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”)."?

Furthermore your refusal states that "no review of COVID Safe occurred during 1 March 2021 and 10 March 2021. Additionally, the terms ‘ 5 star/ ratings’ is not used by DTA to assess performance" and provide this as the reason that you "could not find documents with [sic] the scope of" my request.

You have misunderstood my request. I am not seeking documents about an internal DTA review of COVIDSafe and nor do I suggest that DTA use the terms '5 star' to assess performance. I was specifically requesting emails about “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”) between the 1st and 10th of March 2021 because I am trying to understand why there was an unusual number of 5 star ratings submitted to Apple's App Store for the COVIDSafe app during that period.

In the week from:
- the 8th to the 15th of February, 2021 there were 18 ratings submitted (including 4 5 star ratings),
- the 15th to the 22nd of February, 2021 there were 22 ratings submitted (including 5 5 star ratings),
- the 22nd of February to the 1st of March, 2021 there were 19 ratings submitted (including 6 5 star ratings)

But on the week from the 1st to the 8th of March, 2021 there were 120 ratings submitted with 62 5 star ratings. This seems unusual.

I would like to understand why there was an unusual number of ratings submitted to the App Store during this period at the start of March 2021.

To this end my request was for any emails sent or received by the Digital Transformation Agency between the 1st of March 2021 and the 10th of March 2021 that contain the terms “COVIDSafe” and (“reviews” or “rating” or “5 star”).

I am requesting an internal review of the handling of my FOI request. I would ask that in performing the review you answer the following questions:

Was a search conducted using the search terms in my revised scope (using only the plural form of the word "reviews" so as not to include emails with the standard email footer)?

If such a search was performed, did it identify any documents?

If such a search was not performed then does this constitute "all reasonable steps" and was the decision maker correct that "no documents exist"?

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

Please find attached DTA's decision in response to your internal review request.

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

Suzie Sazdanovic
Privacy and FOI Manager
Digital Transformation Agency
PH:02 6210 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

Dear DTA FOI,

Thank you for conducting an Internal review of the original decision. I understand that I am also able to ask the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to review this decision. However, if you are able to treat this email as an administrative matter then I may not need to ask for a further review.

The original decision and your internal review have repeated the same information, but you have failed to answer the questions I posed when I requested an internal review.

You point out that you performed searches using the search terms in my original request and those searches identified too many documents as one of the terms was the word "review" (singular) which is contained in standard email footers.

I subsequently responded to your request that I revise the search terms so as to avoid using terms contained in the standard email footer. I then provided some revised search terms.

Neither your original decision or your internal review indicate that you actually performed the search using the search terms in my revised request.

In my request for an internal review, I specifically asked:

"Was a search conducted using the search terms in my revised scope (using only the plural form of the word "reviews" so as not to include emails with the standard email footer)?
If such a search was performed, did it identify any documents?
If such a search was not performed then does this constitute "all reasonable steps" and was the decision maker correct that "no documents exist"?

Before I request a review from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner could you please clarify this for me?

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

I can confirm that all reasonable steps were taken to identify the requested documents and that no documents were found relating to the scope of your request.

Based on your internal review request (email) and as outlined in the internal review decision (paragraphs 9 and 10) it is apparent that the reason why DTA is unable to locate the documents is because the documents you seek are related to the App Store. DTA has no control over these ratings, nor do we hold information in relation to App Store ratings.

If in future, you would like to submit another FOI request please feel free to contact me directly to see how DTA can better assist you with your request. My contact details are provided below for your convenience.

Thanks
Suzie Sazdanovic
Privacy and FOI Manager
Digital Transformation Agency
PH:02 6210 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections

Dear DTA FOI,

Sorry, but this is still somewhat ambiguous. For the avoidance of doubt did you perform a search using the revised search terms (with the term “reviews” rather than “review”)?

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Citizen

DTA FOI, Digital Transformation Agency

OFFICIAL

Dear Concern Citizen

The search terms used was based on the scope of your request. The scope of your request included the terms review and reviews along with other parameters. For example, COVIDsafe, rating, date range etc.

So, yes both terms were used, in conjunction with the other parameters, in searching for the relevant documents across all DTA systems. As mentioned in the decision letter, we also double checked with the Business Unit to confirm our findings.

I hope this eases your concerns

Thanks

Suzie Sazdanovic

Privacy and FOI Manager

Digital Transformation Agency

PH:02 6210 8595

OFFICIAL

show quoted sections