Information on all Privacy and IC review complaints currently open for 360 days or older

Verity Pane made this Freedom of Information request to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The request was successful.

From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

Following the refusal of the OAIC to release the information requested in FOIREQ17/00018, on its claimed grounds that it was unable to do so (which it took all of the statutory period to state), I therefore request the following information under FOI.

As you would be aware, s 17(1) of the FOI Act provides that where information requested is not available in discrete documentary form, and the agency could produce a written document containing that information sought from records ordinarily available to the agency, the agency must produce the document (except in very limited circumstances otherwise).

The OAIC has a case management system, that automatically records and generates certain statistics in relation to privacy complaints and Information Commissioner FOI reviews. While only the most basic statistics are published by the OAIC, the OAIC has much more detailed statistics generated by this case management system for internal reporting purposes. In FOIREQ16/00046 the OAIC demonstrated it could provide individual case summary statistics under FOI, without undue burden or unreasonable interference in its operational effectiveness.

I therefore seek for all privacy complaints and IC reviews currently open for 360 days or greater, the following specific data (for each case):
* The case number (the case number, while a record locator, is still de-identified data, as it does not by itself identify the parties, nor the contents of a case - it is simply an administrative record reference, akin to metadata which the AAT held was not PI)
* The number of days the privacy complaint/IC review has been open

I also seek the number of cases currently awaiting Determination decision (both awaiting for approval to proceed to Determination, and those pending Determination decision) currently.

Given the resourcing issues the OAIC has publicly spoken about, and the likely impact this has on the timely management of complaints/IC reviews, there is a public interest benefit in giving oversight into how many privacy complaints and Information Commissioner FOI reviews are currently languishing due to resourcing issues or other problems.

Given this information is the sort of reporting level data necessary for the public to understand the efficiencies and effectiveness of the OAIC in meeting certain legislated obligations, and by inference, whether it has been provided sufficient taxpayer resources to satisfy these, there is a significant public interest here.

That, and taking into account that the OAIC already compiles such information for internal reporting (which may only need modest reformatting for public release), I ask that the OAIC make this information freely available, as it has previously in FOIREQ16/00046.

It would have been unnecessary to make this FOI, but given the refusal of the OAIC in FOIREQ17/00018 (on the spurious grounds it is unable to do so, even though it retains the original report, which did have the case numbers), it leaves no option but to seek this information from a current statistics report.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

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From: Raewyn Harlock
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Our reference: FOIREQ17/00025

Dear Ms Pane

Your Freedom of Information request

I refer to your request, received on 21 April 2017, seeking access to
documents under s 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI
Act).

You sought access to:

… all privacy complaints and IC reviews currently open for 360 days or
greater, the following specific data (for each case):

* The case number (the case number, while a record locator, is still
de-identified data, as it does not by itself identify the parties, nor the
contents of a case - it is simply an administrative record reference, akin
to metadata which the AAT held was not PI)

* The number of days the privacy complaint/IC review has been open

I also seek the number of cases currently awaiting Determination decision
(both awaiting for approval to proceed to Determination, and those pending
Determination decision) currently.

Timeframes for dealing with your request

Section 15 of the FOI Act requires that we process your request no later
than 30 days after the day on which we received your request. However,
section 15(6) of the FOI Act allows us a further 30 days in situations
where we need to consult with third parties about certain information,
such as business documents or documents affecting their personal privacy.

As we received your request on 21 April 2017 and therefore we must process
your request by 19 May 2017. The processing period may be extended by a
further 30 days if we need to consult third parties or for other reasons.
We will advise you if this is necessary.

If you would like to discuss this matter please contact me on 1300 363 992
(local call) during business hours, by fax on (02) 9284 9666 or by email
at [1][email address].

 

Regards

 

 

Raewyn Harlock | Assistant Director | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

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

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9802 | Email: [3][email address]

 

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From: Raewyn Harlock
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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13K Download


Dear Ms Pane

 

As well as requesting access to specific data about privacy complaints and
IC reviews open for longer than 360 days you also sought access to:

 

… the number of cases currently awaiting Determination decision (both
awaiting for approval to proceed to Determination, and those pending
Determination decision) currently.

 

Under the Privacy Act 1988, after investigating a privacy complaint the
Commissioner can made a determination (s 52). As a result, the OAIC uses
the word ‘Determination’ to refer to the formal outcome of a privacy
complaint. The formal outcome of an IC review under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 is a ‘decision’. The OAIC therefore uses the term
‘decision’ when referring to the formal outcome of an IC review.

 

Can you confirm whether you are seeking access to:

 

1.      the current number of privacy cases awaiting Determination or

2.      the current number of both FOI and privacy cases awaiting
Determination/decision.

 

A response by close of business on Wednesday 10 May 2017 would be very
much appreciated.

 

Regards

 

Raewyn Harlock | Assistant Director | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

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

Phone: 1300 363 992 | Email: [2][email address]

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Raewyn Harlock,

I was only referring to Privacy Determination numbers currently awaiting finalisation (that is, those that awaiting a proceed to Determination decision, and those for which Determination has been approved but the Determination still has yet to be issued), but if the OAIC can also provide numbers of active IC Reviews awaiting decision too, I'll happily take that too.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Raewyn Harlock
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Thank you - I wasn't sure whether you were using the term thinking it applied to both.

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From: Raewyn Harlock
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Attachment FOIREQ17 00025 Pane Decision.pdf
400K Download View as HTML

Attachment IC Reviews over 360 days at 020517.pdf
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Attachment Privacy complaints over 360 days at 020517.pdf
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Dear Ms Pane

 

A decision and the documents you requested on 21 April 2017 are attached
to this email.

 

Regards

 

 

Raewyn Harlock | Assistant Director | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

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

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9802 | Email: [2][email address]

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Raewyn Harlock,

Thank you Ms Harlock for the professionalism shown in your response here. I am fully satisfied with this decision, and appreciate the assistance provided. This completes this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Raewyn Harlock
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Thank you for your email.

 

I am out of the office on Friday 19 May 2017 and will return on Monday 22
May 2017. I will respond to you then.

 

Your email has not been forwarded.

 

Regards

 

Raewyn Harlock | Assistant Director | FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

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

Phone:  +61 2 9284 9802 | Email: [2][email address]

 

Protecting information rights – advancing information policy

 

 

 

 

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner only: