Dear Australian Institute of Family Studies,
Under section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act, the principal officer or minister can make arrangements to give their decision making powers to others.
I'm hoping you can provide me with a copy of the current arrangements if possible.
If it helps, I'm happy for you to process this request under "administrative release" (https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...). This would reduce the cost and time required to make a formal decision.
That said, I understand sometimes you want the request to be formal. If you won't process it informally, please process my request for the document as a formal FOI Request.
Please note - While I volunteer for Right to Know, this request is made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of Right to Know.
Dear Mr Fairless,
Thank you for your email.
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 contains a requirement for each
government agency to publish an Information Publication Scheme, which
usually happens on an agency's website. The IPS page is meant to contain
information about the agency’s work, especially any section 23 decision
making powers it holds, which are in relation to members of the public.
AIFS does not have decision making powers that affect the public like
Medicare or the Department of Veterans Affairs as two examples. We just do
research and publish scholarly work. However, your email highlights that
we probably need to note this on the IPS page for clarity.
Other than that, what might otherwise be relevant is how we the personal
information of the public. I refer you to our Privacy Statement on our
I don’t mean to be unnecessarily bureaucratic, but if in future you would
like your emails to government agencies requesting documents to be treated
as formal FOI requests, agencies are not able to consider them as such
unless they follow a particular format, required by the Freedom of
Information Act 1982. That format can be found here:
I hope this is helpful, but if not, please reply to this address. Thanks
again for helping us to communicate what we do to the public and ensuring
open government, which is the purpose of the FOI Act.
Freedom of Information Officer
Australian Institute of Family Studies
Level 4, 40 City Road, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia | Entry via Southgate
Tel: +61 3 9214 7835
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the country where I work, the
Wurundjeri people. I would also like to acknowledge their traditional
neighbours the Kulin nation who formed part of a community bond that cared
for this country for thousands of generations and still do today. I would
like to acknowledge their Elders both past and present who carry the
traditions and knowledge today.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Ben Fairless <[FOI #5003 email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - FOI Delegations
Date: 14 November 2018 at 11:51:10 pm AEDT
To: FOI requests at AIFS <[AIFS request email]>
Dear Australian Institute of Family Studies,
Under section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act, the principal
officer or minister can make arrangements to give their decision
making powers to others.
I'm hoping you can provide me with a copy of the current arrangements
If it helps, I'm happy for you to process this request under
This would reduce the cost and time required to make a formal
That said, I understand sometimes you want the request to be formal.
If you won't process it informally, please process my request for the
document as a formal FOI Request.
Please note - While I volunteer for Right to Know, this request is
made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of Right to Know.
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #5003 email]
Is [AIFS request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Australian Institute of Family Studies? If so,
please contact us using this form:
This request has been made by an individual using Right to Know. This
message and any reply that you make will be published on the internet.
More information on how Right to Know works can be found at:
If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
Thanks for your reply, however I’m slightly confused by it. It appears that you’re suggesting that my request is not valid under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). I think you’ve also misunderstood the document I seek.
According to the link you provided, my request needs to have 4 things:
1. make the request in writing
2. state that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
3. provide information about the document(s) you want, to help the agency or minister identify them
give details about how notices can be sent to you (this can include an email address)
4. send your request to the agency or minister by either posting it or delivering to the address specified in the telephone directory, or sending it to the email or fax address.
On each of these 4 points:
1. This request is in writing
2. I say in my original request that if you aren’t willing to release my request informally then you should treat it as an FOI request. The subject also says “Freedom of Information Request”.
3. I’ve clearly stated the document I want - if you’re not sure, please let me know either informally or via a consultation notice so I can revise my request. I’ve also detailed it below).
4. This is the FOI email address of the authority.
Just to clarify the document I’m seeking, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) says that the only person who can make decisions under that Act is the principal officer of an agency (http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...). In AIFS’ case that would be Anne Hollonds.The only time someone other than Ms. Hollonds can make a decision under the FOI Act for AIFS is if she personally authorises them.
The document I seek is that authorisation.
The FOI Act and FOI Regulations discuss releasing information outside of the formal FOI process (https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...). I am happy for you to release the document I have asked for above under administrative release instead of the formal FOI process, however if you won’t consider it under administrative release then it should be treated as a formal FOI application from the original date it was made.
Thanks for your response. You were correct, your request was in line with
the FOI Act and we would like to release it to you via administrative
release. Thanks for pointing that out as an option. Please find it
Dear AIFS Freedom of Information,
Thanks for that, much appreciated!