Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
I hereby request access, under the Freedom of Information Act
Copies of all briefings, communications, forms, reports or notes from the calendar year 2013-2014, which mention
or discuss Gamma International’s FinFisher suite of software.
I wish to exclude from the scope of my request:
1) Duplicates of documents and drafts;
2) The personal information of any individuals contained in the
3) Documents which are already publicly known or accessible.
I suggest these exclusions to make the process more practical, and
would therefore be happy to further reframe my request if it is
helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me by reply email if I
may be of further assistance.
I request that all costs for all aspects of the processing of this
request be waived on the grounds that the release of this
information is in the public interest.
Our Ref: 1502F1081
Dear Mr Palmer
Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
Thank you for your email dated 15 February 2015 in which you seek access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:
“Copies of all briefings, communications, forms, reports or notes from the calendar year 2013-2014, which mention or discuss Gamma International’s FinFisher suite of software.”
Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for documents relevant to your request. I will contact you again once the searches have been completed.
Timeframe for receiving your decision:
We received your request on 15 February 2015 and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 18 March 2015. The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise you if there is any extension of time.
Scope of request:
If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the request.
Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details:
It is the Department’s policy to withhold the names and contact details of officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) within the Department and other agencies contained within documents that fall within scope of the request. If you require the names and contact details of non-SES officers please let us know at [DFAT request email] so the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope of your request.
Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI requests. We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position to estimate the resources required to process your request.
Timing of release:
As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, I take this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload released documents within one business day of your receipt of the documents.
Please note that if we need to consult with other people regarding release of the documents you have requested, we may need to disclose your personal information. When we consult with other people about a request you have made, it may be apparent to those people that you have made a request, even if we do not disclose your identity. If you have concerns about the Department consulting with other people about your request, please let us know your concerns.
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on (02) 6261 1701, or by return email.
Please note a copy of this email has been sent to Ms Indra McCormick, Director, Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section, for her information.
Assistant Director– FOI and Privacy Law Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Corporate Legal Branch E | [email address]
Legal Division T | +61 2 6261 1701
I note that the 30 day statutory period for processing my request expires today. Would you please provide me with an update on the status of my request?