External consultants

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Home Affairs, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Home Affairs,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), I am seeking access to documents regarding the use of external contractors engaged by the Department of Home Affairs since 1 June 2022 to present.

The specific documents I am after will cover:
names of organisations engaged, employed, etc,
nature of the work (ie work provided/ project description),
duration of engagement/project length,
justification for why this work could not be done internally and
cost of external contractors engaged - budget of Home Affairs and payment made to external contractor

All correspodence can be made through this email address

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Smith

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

** This is an automated response. Please do not reply to this email **

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

Your email has been received by the Department of Home Affairs Freedom of
Information (FOI) Section.

 

The FOI section only responds to valid FOI requests and other matters
relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act).  Visit the
FOI Information on our Website for more information on what [1]information
can be accessed under the FOI Act 1982.

 

What is a valid FOI request?

 

A valid FOI request may be for:

- documents you previously provided to the Department as part of a visa
application

- a copy of a decision record made by the Department

- statistical information held by the Department

- papers or briefings the Department prepared.

 

If your email is a valid FOI request, the Department will contact you
shortly to acknowledge your request.

 

A valid FOI request must:

o Be in writing and state the request is for consideration under the FOI
Act.
o Have enough information for us to be able to identify the documents
you are seeking.
o Provide a physical or electronic address where we can send our
decision.

 

Do not send duplicate emails as this may cause longer delays in processing
times.

 

What is an invalid FOI request?

 

Invalid FOI requests may include:

- Making a visa application

- Seeking evidence of your Australian Citizenship

- Seeking information about traveling to or departing Australia.

 

If your email is not specific an FOI request or FOI related matter, the
FOI section will not respond.

 

What happens next?

Once we receive and have registered your FOI request, we will send you an
acknowledgment letter by email. Read the acknowledgment letter carefully
for further instructions.

 

FOI requests are generally processed in the order they are received.

 

We will contact you as soon as the Department has assessed your request
under the FOI Act.

 

We’re responding to a large volume of requests

Due to the current high volume of requests, we will not provide progress
up-dates on current FOI requests.  This is to ensure we are able to
process as many requests as possible, including yours.

 

If processing your request is going to take us a lot of time and because
it is large or unspecific, it may be refused.  

 

Still have a question or request?

If you still have a question, which has not been answered above, and which
is about the work of the Department, use our general enquiries web page

[2]https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-sup...

 

You may be able to resolve your enquiry faster using these other resources

 

We only action and respond to FOI requests that are valid under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982. You may be able to resolve your enquiry
faster by using these resources:

 

General information about travelling to Australia:

 

The Department of Home Affairs, “Entering Australia” site
[3]https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering...

 

·       For visa and our requirements for entry to Australia
[4]https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/ge...

For a copy of your visa refusal or visa grant letter you should contact
the office where you lodged your visa application. 

·       To check your current visa details and conditions use the
Department’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) portal which can
be accessed [5]here

·       If you are experiencing technical difficulties in lodging your
visa application through ImmiAccount, submit your concerns through the
ImmiAccount Technical Support Form, which is accessible [6]here.

·       For evidence of your Australian Citizenship please refer [7]here.
The FOI Section does not process these requests.

·       For movement records or travel history complete the online
International Movement Records form [8]here. The FOI Section does not
process these requests.

·       To update your details, including your Passport details, you can
notify the Department [9]here. The FOI Section does not process these
requests.

 

 

We appreciate your feedback         

We appreciate your feedback to help improve our services.

 

If you would like to provide feedback to us please use our Compliments,
complaints and suggestions form.
[10]https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-...

 

 

Thank you

Information updated 11 January 2022

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
The Department of Home Affairs and ABF respect your privacy and have
obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/access-an...
2. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-sup...
3. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering...
4. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/ge...
5. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/al...
6. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-sup...
7. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizens...
8. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering...
9. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/change-i...
10. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-...

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL: Sensitive
Personal-Privacy

In reply please quote:
FOI Request: FA 22/11/01096
File Number: FA22/11/01096

Dear Oliver Smith

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Access request

This letter acknowledges that on 21 December 2022 the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) received your request to access documents held by the Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). This letter also provides important information about your request.

Scope of request

You have requested access to the following:

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), I am seeking access to documents regarding the use of external contractors engaged by the Department of Home Affairs since 1 June 2022 to present.

The specific documents I am after will cover:
names of organisations engaged, employed, etc, nature of the work (ie work provided/ project description), duration of engagement/project length, justification for why this work could not be done internally and cost of external contractors engaged - budget of Home Affairs and payment made to external contractor

Your request has been allocated FOI request number FA 22/11/01096. Please include your FOI request number in all correspondence with the Freedom of Information Section.

Timeframe

The timeframe for processing a request is 30 days from the day we receive your request, as set out in the FOI Act.

Your review rights in relation to your request are available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Fees and Charges

Charges do not apply to requests from individuals seeking access to documents about themselves. However, a charge may apply to all other requests for access to documents.

Charges are based on the amount of time the Department spends on your request. Charges can range from $10 to over $1,000 depending on the complexity and scope of your request. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner reported that across the public service, the average charge notified was $335.50 in 2020-21.
If a charge applies, you will be issued with a Notice of Charge that explains the charge and your options.

Detailed information about FOI charges that may apply to your FOI request is available on the Department’s website.

We do not provide personal details of staff

The Department’s practice is to exclude the personal details of staff not in the Senior Executive Service (SES), as well as the direct contact details of SES staff, contained in documents that fall within scope of an FOI request. If you require personal details of non-SES officers, or direct contact details of SES staff, please inform us so the decision maker may consider your request. Otherwise we will take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope of your request. However names of staff that have previously been released in departmental correspondence may be disclosed.

We do not provide duplicated documents

If the FOI decision-maker deems a document to be a duplicate, they will not assess those pages as part of your FOI request. This means that if a there is a decision to release the document to you, you will receive only one copy, even if multiple copies of that document exist.

Publication of document

Released documents you request may be published to our website

Where documents are released to you in response to your request, the Department may be required to publish these documents on its website within 10 working days in accordance with section 11C of the FOI Act. Publication will not be required where the documents contain personal or business affairs information.

How to reduce or withdraw your request

Reducing the scope of your request can reduce the time and charges associated with processing your FOI request.

To reduce or withdraw your request, contact the FOI section at [Department of Home Affairs request email] and include your FOI request number.

Contacting the FOI Section

Should you wish to discuss your request you may contact the FOI Section at [Department of Home Affairs request email].

Kind regards

FOI Officer - Jade
Freedom of Information
Department of Home Affairs
E: [Department of Home Affairs request email]

Personal-Privacy
OFFICIAL: Sensitive

show quoted sections

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL: Sensitive
Personal-Privacy

24 November 2022

Oliver Smith

BY EMAIL:  [FOI #9591 email]

In reply please quote:

FOI Request:         FA 22/11/01096

File Number:          FA22/11/01096

 

Dear Oliver Smith

I refer to your email dated 21 December 2022, in which you requested
access to documents held by the Department of Home Affairs (the
Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act).

You have requested access to the following:

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), I am seeking access
to documents regarding the use of external contractors engaged by the
Department of Home Affairs since 1 June 2022 to present.

The specific documents I am after will cover:
names of organisations engaged, employed, etc, nature of the work (ie work
provided/ project description), duration of engagement/project length,
justification for why this work could not be done internally and cost of
external contractors engaged - budget of Home Affairs and payment made to
external contractor

Intention to refuse request

I am writing to advise you that I intend to refuse your request on the
basis that a practical refusal reason exists. However, before I make a
final decision to do this, you have an opportunity to revise your request
to remove the practical refusal reason. This is called a ‘request
consultation process’. You have 14 days to respond to this notice in one
of the ways set out below.

Power to refuse request

Section 24 of the FOI Act provides that if the Department is satisfied
that a practical refusal reason exists in relation to a request, the
Department must undertake a consultation process with you, and if, after
that consultation process, the Department remains satisfied that the
practical refusal reason still exists, the Department may refuse to give
you access to the documents subject to the request.

Practical refusal

A practical refusal reason exists under section 24AA of the FOI Act if
either (or both) of the following applies:

(1)(a)(i) the work involved in the processing of the request would
substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the Department from
its other operations

(1)(b)      the request does not satisfy the requirement in section
15(2)(b) of the FOI Act, which requires you to provide such information
concerning the document you are seeking access to, to enable the
Department to be able to identify it.

I consider that the request does not satisfy the requirements of section
15(2)(b) of the FOI Act, and accordingly that practical refusal reasons
exist under section 24AA(1)(b) of the FOI Act.

 

Reasons for practical refusal

 

The Department has considered the scope of this request and its capacity
to conduct searches of relevance based on the current scope. The Freedom
of Information Act 1982 provides a right to obtain access to “a document
of an agency”. It is my preliminary view that your request, in its current
form, does not satisfy the requirement in section 15(2)(b) of the FOI Act
and is therefore not valid.

 

To enable effective searches, the business areas have asked for
clarification on the following parts of your request;

 

·         external contractors

·         engaged

·         employed

·         budget

 

Please note the Department’s budget is available at the webpage:
[1]Budgets (homeaffairs.gov.au)

 

The following will not be processed as part of this request, below are the
reasons.

 

·         justification for why this work could not be done internally

 

The FOI Act provides a right to obtain access to “a document of an
agency”.  As such, it is not possible for the Department to provide
responses to questions under the FOI Act.

 

In consideration of the above, I am satisfied that the Department is
currently unable to identify documents of relevance based on the
information provided in scope. I consider that this would result in the
decision maker being unable to certify that all relevant documents have
been provided and considered in the assessment of this request and that a
practical refusal reason exists in relation to this request.

 

As such, I am satisfied that your request is not valid and a practical
refusal reason exists in this request.

 

Request Consultation Process

 

To enable the Department to consider your request for access under the FOI
Act, the Department will require sufficient information concerning the
specific existing documents you are seeking access to, so as to enable the
Department to identify those documents. 

 

You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to
proceed.

 

To assist with searches, please the clarify following terms:

·         contractors.

·         external contractors.

·         engaged.

·         employed

·         budget

 

Please also specify the type or category of external contractors. For
example, labour hire companies.

 

Your request is currently not a valid request for the purposes of section
15(2)(b) of the FOI Act. As part of this practical refusal consultation,
you have 14 days to do one of the following:

 

·         withdraw your request;

·         make a revised request;

·         indicate that you do not wish to revise your request.

 

If you do not do one of the three things listed above during the
consultation period (14 days) or you do not consult the contact person
listed below during this period, the Department will take no further
action with your request.

Contact

Should you wish to revise your request or have any questions in relation
to this process, please do not hesitate to contact
[2][Department of Home Affairs request email]. 

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Officer - Jade

Freedom of Information

Department of Home Affairs

E: [3][Department of Home Affairs request email]

 

 

Personal-Privacy
OFFICIAL: Sensitive

 

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
The Department of Home Affairs and ABF respect your privacy and have
obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-a...
2. mailto:[Department of Home Affairs request email]
3. mailto:[Department of Home Affairs request email]

Dear FOI,

Thank-you for your letter asking me to clarify my request.

I am seeking information in relation to:
* any new contractual arrangement entered into by the department in the time frame out lined. To clarify, if an contractual already existed for the previous three years and has merely rolled over, you can exclude from the request, except the below:
* any existing contractual arrangement where the terms have been substantially altered and/or that has increased more than 25 per cent in value on a previous.
* With regards to definitions - please exclude individual work contracts where one person is doing temporary work. However a contract or agreement with a labour hire company to provide services would be within scope.
* Budget refers to money paid by the department or provisioned for that purpose within the time period specificed.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Smith