Emails containing legal advice authored/approved by Erin Higuchi

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources,

For the purposes of the FOI Act, I request email correspondence that contains legal advice authored/approved by Erin Higuchi as received by:
> Emma Greenwood on 7/7/2020 circa 11:20, and/or
> Incubator Support Programme Management on 16/1/2020 circa 17:37.

Please redact everything that would give rise to third-party consultation.

Yours faithfully,

Jeremy Ballard

Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Please don't be frustrated or upset if you don't get any documents from this request.

Documents containing legal advice (or more specifically documents subject to "legal professional privilege") have a hard exemption under the FOI Act (s 42 of the FOI Act if you're interested).

The Department would still need to find any relevant documents and make a decision, so they might still ask you for a deposit to locate the documents, review them and make the decision. But I would find it highly unlikely that you would get anything.

Jeremy Ballard left an annotation ()

Thanks Ben, I'm aware its a challenge - hoping to get the email itself too if they decline access under LPP.

Cheers.. J

Freedom of Information, Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources

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Dear Jeremy


The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (the department)
has received your Freedom of Information request of 9 January 2021


This email is to acknowledge receipt of your request. Currently a decision
is due to you by 8 February 2021. However, this timeline may be effected
by the requirement to undertake consultation with affected third parties
or if the department determines you are liable to pay a charge in relation
to your request. You will be notified by the department if charges are
liable or if third party consultation is required.


For your information, please be aware that in past FOI requests of a
similar nature, documents of the type you are seeking have been exempted
from disclosure under the FOI Act (ie. not released) on the basis of legal
professional privilege (section 42 of the FOI Act). Based on this, you may
wish to consider withdrawing or amending your request.


For documents that fall within the scope of the request, it is the
practice of the department to withhold:


·       the names, signatures and contact details of junior staff; That

o   Commonwealth staff who are not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);

o   Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff; and

·       the mobile phone numbers of SES officers.


The names and other details of SES officers will be released unless the
information is exempt from disclosure.


Confirmation from you that you are not seeking ‘personal information’ (ie.
the names and contact details of any individuals, or any information that
could reasonably identify an individual) may enable a more timely and cost
effective processing of your request.


Therefore, could you please clarify if you a seeking access to personal
information in the documents relating to:

·       third parties; and

·       Commonwealth staff.


If you are not seeking access to any personal information, you can simply
reply to this email with ‘no personal information requested’.


If you are seeking access to specific types of personal information, could
you please specify.


We look forward to your response at your earliest convenience but no later
than Friday 15 January 2021.


If you have any questions, please contact the FOI team.




FOI Team

Legal, Audit and Assurance | Corporate & Digital

GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601 | [1][Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources request email]

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