Dear Department of Immigration and Citizenship,
Under the FOI Act 1982 (Cth) I request datasets on the number of health appointments/consultations at each Immigration Detention Facility per quarter, month or week. Data should range from the time IHMS commenced operations until the most recent figures available. I also request any information that helps put these figures into context not be redacted on grounds of irrelevance.
Our references: FA 13/09/00188; ADF2013/28908
Good Afternoon Mr Bull,
I refer to your request for access to information, received on 3 September
Under the FOI Act 1982 (Cth) I request datasets on the number of health
appointments/consultations at each Immigration Detention Facility per
quarter, month or week. Data should range from the time IHMS commenced
operations until the most recent figures available. I also request any
information that helps put these figures into context not be redacted on
grounds of irrelevance.
This email is to advise you that the Department has closed your request as
invalid under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act). This is
because your request is for 'information' and not for a document in DIAC's
possession at the time of your request. I will outline more fully the
reasons for this below.
Access to Documents
The right to request documents under the Act is outlined in the Guidelines
published by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC):
Section 11(1) of the FOI Act gives every person a legally enforceable
right to obtain access to a document of an agency or an official document
of a minister, unless the document is exempt. [para 2.1]
The right of access enshrined in the FOI Act applies to ‘documents’. This
term is defined in s 4(1) to include maps, photographs, and any article
from which sounds, images or writing are capable of being reproduced (for
example, emails). There is no general obligation on agencies to reduce
information to written documentary form in order to facilitate an FOI
request, except in relation to information that is stored on a computer
tape or disk (s 17). [para 1.26]
The right of access is to existing documents, rather than to information.
The FOI Act does not require an agency or minister to create a new
document in response to a request for access, except in limited
circumstances where the applicant seeks access in a different format (see
Part 8 of these Guidelines) or where the information is stored in an
agency computer system rather than in discrete form.
The right of access applies to documents that exist at the time the FOI
request was made. [para 3.8]
Therefore, any general request for 'information' or 'data' that does not
already exist on the Department’s documents will be an invalid request.
The full Guidelines can be accessed on the OAIC's website at:
You may not be aware, but the Department publishes a range of statistical
information on its website at:
http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publication... . The information you are
seeking may be available in one of these publications.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Email: [email address]