Dear Department of Health,
I request any documents pertaining to the introduction of an alert process advising senior department officials and or Ministers Offices of the impending release of documents under FOI.
Dear Interested Person,
I am writing to notify you that on 17 December 2022 the Department of
Health and Aged Care (the department) received your request for access to
documents. You have requested:
I request any documents pertaining to the introduction of an alert process
advising senior department officials and or Ministers Offices of the
impending release of documents under FOI.
Administrative response to request
The Corporate Business Rules of the department outlines the department’s
dealings with Freedom of Information requests. This document does not
specifically contain information relating to the “introduction of an alert
process”, however it does specify that for non-personal FOI requests, we
must notify the Ministers’ Offices and the department’s Executive of the
FOI decision and any documents to be released (if any) three calendar days
prior to issuing the Notice of Decision to the applicant.
Further, if the department is within caretaker period, it does not notify
the Minister’s Office and notifies the departmental executive only.
A request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (the FOI Act) must provide sufficient information as is reasonably
necessary to enable a responsible officer in the department to identify
the documents requested.
Your reference to “any document pertaining to…” in the scope of your
request is very broad and does not provide enough information for a
responsible officer within the department to reasonably locate the
document you are looking for.
On that basis, your request has the possibility to capture a large number
of documents that may be irrelevant to what you are actually seeking.
Where a request does not satisfy the validity requirements of the FOI Act,
for example if it is too vague, the department must undertake a request
consultation process with you.
Request consultation process
The department is providing you with a reasonable opportunity to take
steps to provide sufficient information that would enable the department
to identify the specific documents you are seeking access to, and to
submit a request that is valid for the purposes of section 15 of the FOI
Reframing your request
Should the above information not provide enough context, you may wish to
reframe your request by eliminating broad statements and providing more
key words that will narrow the scope of your request significantly.
o a copy of a document that demonstrates the process of the department
notifying the Minister’s Office and Departmental executive of FOI
decisions and documents.
As this is not currently a valid request, the statutory processing
timeframes have not commenced.
The consultation period during which you may revise the scope of your
request is 14 days from the date of this email. If the department does not
hear from you before the end of the 14-day consultation period, your
request will be regarded as an invalid request and no further action will
be taken by the department.
Alternatively, if you are satisfied with the administrative response to
your request above, we would be grateful if you can confirm whether you
wish to close off this FOI request.
If you require assistance to modify your request to ensure that is a valid
request or wish to discuss anything further, you may contact the FOI team
on (02) 6289 1666 or by email at [Health request email].
FOI Officer – Freedom of Information Section
Legal Advice and Legislation
Legal and Assurance Division | Corporate Operations Group
Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care
T: 02 6289 1666 | E: [email address]
PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges the traditional owners
of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land,
sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to
elders both past and present