IC reviews

Nil made this Freedom of Information request to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The request was successful.

From: Nil

Delivered

Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

I'm a Commonwealth public servant who has worked for a number of Government agencies (including central agencies). Much of my work has involved processing FOI applications.

It's been my relatively recent experience that wherever applicants seek documents that might embarrass the Government, a Minister or SES staff, SES will tell me to draft up a decision that relies on any and every exception (even though they don't honestly apply), or instead to make up an exorbitant charge, or lie about the existence/non-existence of documents, in order to avoid providing access to the documents, despite that the documents are clearly in the public interest.

Whenever I've raised concerns about the decision I've drafted for the decision-maker being improper and subject to review, the response I receive is that the OAIC has a huge backlog of IC review matters and even if the decision was overturned, that outcome would take at least 12-18 months to come about by which time the political risk would have subsided.

I've been instructed by MOs to simply ignore certain FOI requests relating to documents held by a Minister and SES often tell me to ignore the statutory deadlines in the FOI Act because they're never enforced - and to be fair, from my experience, they're correct.
I'm sure it's not news to your office that the FOI Act is widely abused.

My experience has been that this attitude has really become embedded in the last few years under the current Government . I understand that the current Government has sought to cut the funding/resources of the OAIC which I assume has had some effect on your ability to process Information Commissioner review applications in a timely manner and so I'm interested in the number and age of outstanding IC review applications your office is sitting on.

My FOI request is for a document, perhaps prepared under s.17 of the FOI Act, that details the number of outstanding IC review applications made of the IC and the amount of time those review applications have been outstanding.

Link to this

From: Brandon Chen
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Attachment FW Freedom of Information request IC reviews SEC UNCLASSIFIED.txt
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Dear FOI applicant

 

Freedom of Information request

 

I refer to your request for access to documents, made under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act), and received by the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) on 9 February 2018.

 

Scope of your request

 

In your email you seek access to:

 

… a document, perhaps prepared under s.17 of the FOI Act, that details the
number of outstanding IC review applications made of the IC and the amount
of time those review applications have been outstanding.

 

I have interpreted your request to be for a document containing the number
of open IC review applications with the OAIC and the average time these IC
review applications have been with the OAIC.

 

Please contact me by close of business on Wednesday 14 February 2018 if I
have not accurately interpreted your request.

 

Timeframe for dealing with your request

 

Section 15 of the FOI Act requires this office to process your request no
later than 30 days after the day we receive it.

 

We received your request on 9 February 2018 and therefore must process it
by Monday 12 March 2018 (the 30-day processing period ends on Sunday 11
March 2018, however due to the operation of s 36 of the Acts
Interpretation Act 1901, the due date is the next working day).

 

Disclosure Log

 

Documents released under the FOI Act must be published online on our
disclosure log, unless they contain personal or business information that
it would be unreasonable to publish.

 

If you would like to discuss this matter please contact me on (02) 9284
9726 during business hours or by email at [1][email address].

 

Kind regards

Brandon

 

Brandon Chen | Investigation and Review Officer | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 SYDNEY NSW 2001 | [2]www.oaic.gov.au

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9726 | Email: [3][email address]

 

Protecting information rights – advancing information policy

[4]OAIC banner for email sig

 

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References

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2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: Nil

Delivered

Hi

If possible, my request relates to a document that sets out the total number of outstanding IC review applications but that groups the those outstanding IC review applications according to how long they have been outstanding with the OAIC.

I'm not sure what your systems can produce but the end result might look something like this, for example:

Example document:

Total number of open IC review applications = 10

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 0-30 days = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 30-60 days = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 60-90 days = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 90-120 days = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 6 months - 9 months = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 9 months - 12 months = 2

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 12 months - 18 months = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for 18 months - 24 months = 1

Number of IC review applications that have been with the OAIC for in excess of 24 months = 1

Thank you.

Link to this

From: Brandon Chen
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Attachment FOIREQ1800014 Decision.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ1800014 Document for release.pdf
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Dear FOI applicant

 

I refer to your request for access to documents under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act), received by the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) on 9 February 2018.

 

A decision on your request and the document you requested are attached.

 

Kind regards

Brandon

 

Brandon Chen | Investigation and Review Officer | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 SYDNEY NSW 2001 | [1]www.oaic.gov.au

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9726 | Email: [2][email address]

 

Protecting information rights – advancing information policy

[3]OAIC banner for email sig

 

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References

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1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: Nil

Delivered

Thank you.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
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