Individual Submissions to the Copyright Discussion Paper

Geordie Guy made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was refused by Attorney-General's Department.

From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I am writing to request under the Freedom of Information Act, copies of all individual submissions to the recent Online Copyright Infringement consultation, submissions for which closed on the 1st of September 2014.

Please note the scope of this request is limited to individual, not institutional, submissions.

Yours faithfully,

Geordie Guy

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that
your email has been received by the Attorney-General's Department's FOI
Coordinator.

 

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in
writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to
access. The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section.

 

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Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy

Freedom of Information Request no. 14/195

 

I refer to your request for access to documents relating to copyright
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. I have taken your request to be
for:

copies of all individual submissions to the recent Online Copyright
Infringement consultation, submissions for which closed on the 1st of
September 2014.

 

I note that your request excluded institutional submissions.

If you disagree with our interpretation of your request, please let me
know as soon as possible.

We received your request on 17 September 2014 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 17 October 2014. The
period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties or
for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

It is the usual practice of the Department to not release the names and
contact details of junior officers of the Department and other government
agencies, where that personal information is contained in documents within
scope of a request.  The names and contact details of senior officers will
generally be released.  We will take it that you agree to the removal of
junior officers’ personal information unless you advise that you would
like us to consider releasing that information as part of the documents
you have requested.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...,
subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not
be published where this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if
you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact. If you have
any questions, please contact Jo Burley, FOI case officer, on 02 6141 6666
or by email [2][AGD request email].

Regards

Jo

 

FOI Contact Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
*: [3][AGD request email]

 

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Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...
2. file:///tmp/[AGD request email]
3. mailto:[AGD request email]

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Guy

 

Freedom of Information request no. FOI14/195

 

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 for the
following:

                copies of all individual submissions to the recent Online
Copyright Infringement consultation.

 

I have been advised that the Department is prepared to release the
submissions to you outside of FOI with the personal details of those who
made submissions edited (this is mainly names and personal email
addresses). It is estimated that it will take approximately 2 weeks for
the information to be collated to a CD as there were a large number of
individual submissions.

 

In light of this, can you please advise whether you would agree to the
withdrawal of your FOI request? I note that if you withdraw your current
request, and later decide that you would like for the matter to be handled
under the FOI Act, it would be open to you to put in a new FOI request.

 

Due to the large number of documents involved, and the additional work
required to process this information under FOI, if you would prefer to
have your current request managed under FOI, the Department may need to
undertake a request consultation process with you in the future in
accordance with s24AB.

 

Regards

Jo

 

FOI Contact Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
*: [1][AGD request email]

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

References

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Jo,

Thanks for your response in which you advised me of the department's offer to provide documents that fall within the scope of my FOI request, outside of the FOI process.

Before I make a decision on whether to take that offer up I'd like to understand a few things, mostly about whether doing so means surrendering the rights that I am afforded under the act. In particular I'm keen to understand;

1) Whether the department's intended time frame for providing the documents is on or before the 17th of October, the current latest date by which my FOI is required to be dealt with

2) Whether the documents that I would be provided under the FOI process would be different to those the department intends to volunteer outside it

3) Whether I am waiving my rights to submit this voluntary document disclosure process by the department to an internal review, or (and this isn't highly relevant given the date but still) the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

4) Whether the same conditions exist for any associated costs with these processes. I continue to assume that the cost for handling the matter both inside and outside the FOI process is nil, because the identification and processing of the documents is an activity that is being performed as part of the department's remit and in no way diverts it from what it would be doing otherwise. Further each respondent to the discussion paper was instructed to identify whether they wished to remain anonymous or private through that process and so do not require consultation about whether their responses can be disclosed on a case-by-case basis.

In summary, I'm afforded certain rights and promises under the act, and I'm not clear why I would choose to accept a department offer to forfeit them. Can you shed some light?

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Jo,

I have received a second email which is identical to your last. Did you mean to resend this email? Did you intend to send another response?

My last email to you advised that I was seeking assistance to understand why the department wants to release the documents within scope of the FOI request outside of the FOI process. In particular, because the FOI act affords me certain rights which agreeing to have the request handled outside the process surrenders. To clarify that email (in case you have not received it and resent your email as a prompt);

- Does the department intent to otherwise contend that a practical refusal reason exists based on the volume of documents that fall within the scope of the request?

- Does the department consider that it would be able to comply with the request but not within the timeframe or within some other constraint that the act provides and is the department therefore asking for me to waive those constraints so the department can comply with the spirit of the request without sanction from the technicalities of the act?

- If neither of these are the case, why is the department seeking to have the matter dealt with outside the FOI process?

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment FOI 14 195 Section 24 AB notice signed.pdf
578K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED
Good afternoon Mr Guy

Please find attached a section 24AB Notice from the Department, for your consideration.

Kind regards

FOI Case Manager
FOI and Privacy Section

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Geordie Guy left an annotation ()

Sent outside of Right to Know;

Dear Meagan,

My name is Geordie Guy and I am the requester in request 14/195 seeking the individual public submissions into the recently completed online copyright infringement discussion paper.

On October 10th I received a response from "Jo", an FOI Contact Officer, advising the following;

I have been advised that the Department is prepared to release the
submissions to you outside of FOI with the personal details of those who
made submissions edited (this is mainly names and personal email
addresses). It is estimated that it will take approximately 2 weeks for
the information to be collated to a CD as there were a large number of
individual submissions.

I asked in response to that email some further questions about whether some of the rights under the FOI act that are afforded to requesters would be surrendered by agreeing to this. I received a repeat copy of her original email, and responded in clarification.

Today I have received a notice under 24AB from Carmen Miragaya (per 23(1)) that the request is intended to be refused and we now find ourselves in the process of an intent to refuse notice.

Could you please clarify the following;

- If I were to consent to the matter being handled outside of the FOI process, does this alleviate the department's concern that the effort involved in collating the documents is unduly arduous? Specifically, is it an unreasonable diversion from the department's duties only when viewed as something that must be done within the provisions of the FOI act?

- Can you shed any light on the effort described in that notice (81 hours) to collate and understand the documents' suitability for publishing when a reasonable person might expect that this process was undertaken as part of the public solicitation of opinions within the department's duties? The notice I have seems to be an objection to the department being reasonably able to do something which any observer of the process of public consultations would expect had already been done. Or is it simply a case of statutory time frames as per the above point (is the department still undertaking this process and it would be unreasonable for me to expect it to be done again, in parallel, for my own request?)

Regards,

Geordie

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Daniel Black left an annotation ()

Good work Geordie.

You may have noticed "All submissions, other than those provided on a confidential basis, are published below." http://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages...

Obviously not. Sad to see 31 representations are listed as more important than ~630 individual submissions.

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Daniel Black left an annotation ()

Wrong link on previous, to much copyright talk and review http://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages...

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear FOI Case Manager,

Could you please reply to my previous correspondence? I am concerned that the department has established a 14 day consultation period in which to discuss the intent to refuse my request, and we are now two days from the end of that process and the department is yet to respond to any attempt to engage.

Surely the fourteen day period is intended to contain discussion about the request scope and the effort required by the department to release the requested information, and not intended to merely serve as a countdown timer until which the department can dispose the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

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Matthew Landauer left an annotation ()

This request is referenced in this article on zdnet: http://www.zdnet.com/au/attorney-general...

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear FOI Case Manager,

Attn: Megan Wilson

The fourteen day consultation period subsequent to your notice under section 24AB will shortly expire. Having not resolved the matter about the scope of the request being unreasonably diversionary - due to the department not responding to correspondence under the process - I would like to request the following;

1) That the process to review the effort involved in providing the information requested under the act be extended for an additional fourteen days

2) That during those fourteen days the department undertake to respond to correspondence within four days of receiving it such that the matter can be genuinely explored

Please note that under 24AB's provisions, I am deemed to have withdrawn my request if I do not engage with the process. I would like to explicitly assert that I am not withdrawing my request, and am either making a revised request (in soliciting further information about the offer to provide documents outside the FOI process) or declining to withdraw it (and asserting that the effort involved to process it cannot unreasonably divert the department from its duties because a reasonable person would not take the processing of documents received to a departmental inquiry as outside of the department's duties).

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
Good morning Mr Guy

My apologies for the late replay this has been partly due to staff illness and a large work load.

The Department does have the ability to extend the 14 day consultation period, which of course we will extend in this matter for a further 14 days.

In response to your email dated 16 October 2014 I can confirm that under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Department has certain requirements and obligations which need to be met. One such requirement is the need to consult with individuals with regard to their private information, as they may wish such information to be exempt under s47F of the FOI Act.

As explained in the Departments section 24AB Notice, there are approximately 630 individual submissions that fall within the scope of your request. Due to our obligations under the FOI Act it is necessary for the Department to process each document and where necessary consult with those individuals who have not consented to the publication of their submissions. It has been estimated that it will take approximately 81 hours to process your request with its current scope, which has been explained to you is a unreasonable diversion of the Department's Resources as determined under the FOI Act.

You asked in a previous email if your review rights would be effected should you request the information outside of the FOI Act. If you request this information outside of the FOI Act the legislative requirements of the FOI Act will not apply, which does include any review rights.

I am more than happy to discuss with you a revised scope so as to remove the unreasonable diversion.

Kind regards

Meagan Wilson
Attorney General’s Department
Office of Corporate Counsel
Tel: 02 6141 4311
Email: [email address]

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From: Geordie Guy

Delivered

Dear Ms Wilson,

I hope your colleagues are not too unwell and recovering well.

Candidly I'm looking for other options than adjusting the scope of my request. The purpose of requesting the information is to make public the public consultation the department has conducted.

Does the department intend to process the submissions as part of its ordinary operation, and if so, would consenting to handling the matter outside of FOI and on a much longer timeframe than the act provides resolve the unreasonable diversion?

Yours sincerely,

Geordie Guy

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
Good afternoon Mr Guy

My understanding is that the Department does expect to make some of the submission available outside of the FOI process.

If you do not wish to reduce the size of your request one option is that to wait and see which documents become available and then if need be make a new FOI request. This of course will then provide you with new review rights.

If you wish to wait and make a new request can you confirm that you wish your current request to be withdrawn.

Kind regards

FOI Case Manager
FOI and Privacy Section

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Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment FOI14 195 Statement of reasons.pdf
934K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Guy

 

Freedom of Information request – FOI14/195

 

Please find attached a statement of reasons in relation to your FOI
request.

 

While the Department has refused your request for access to the documents
under FOI, a copy of the submissions will be provided to you outside of
the FOI Act. Due to the number of documents, this information will need to
be posted to you so can you please provide me with your postal address and
I will arrange for the documents to be sent to you as soon as possible.

 

Regards

Jo

 

FOI Contact Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
*: [1][AGD request email]

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s Department will only collect your personal
information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to,
our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act
1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that
we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to,
or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your
request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum
amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your
personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy
policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem....
If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the
Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address].

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Matthew Landauer left an annotation ()

Apparently Senator Ludlam has sourced the documents from the department and they are available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/p8jfl8lmfmur7j... for download.

This was announced on Twitter by @renailemay at https://twitter.com/renailemay/status/53...

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Attorney-General's Department only: