Information regarding granting of 457 visas

Robert Hudson made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Home Affairs

The request was partially successful.

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear Department of Immigration and Border Protection,

With over 8000 members, the IT Professionals Association is the peak body representing Australian IT Support Technicians and systems Administrators. We have received a number of complaints from members about being displaced by lower priced workers being bought in on 457 Visas and we are also concerned about the growth in the number of 457 Visas being awarded for IT Support and System Administration roles.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, could we please be provided with details of the 457 Visas granted over the last 18 months for the following ANZSCO Unit Groups:
- 2621 - Database and Systems Administrators
- 2631 - Computer Network Professionals
- 2632 - ICT Support and Test Engineers
- 3131 – ICT Support Technicians

The details we are seeking are:
· Descriptions of the roles that were filled
· The wages that were / are being paid
· The market testing that was done to prove that local workers were not available to fill the roles
· The names of the Companies involved and the number of 457 Visas they were granted

Yours faithfully,

Robert Hudson
President, ITPA

Link to this

From: FOI

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Your email has been received by the Department of Immigration and Border
Protection’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Section. Please note that we
will only action and respond to FOI requests and other matters relating to
the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

If your email is a valid FOI request, the Department will contact you
shortly to acknowledge your request. Please be aware that there has been a
significant increase in the number of FOI requests received and that there
may be delays in the processing of your request. Please do not send
duplicate emails as this may also cause delays in processing times.

 

For matters not relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, your
email will not be actioned by the FOI Section. As a matter of guidance,
please refer to the information below to assist in the resolution of your
enquiry.

 

General information regarding travelling to Australia

Information for visitors to Australia can be found [1]here.

Information regarding potential visa options can be found [2]here.

 

Request for a copy of your Visa Refusal or Visa Grant letter

If you have lost or misplaced correspondence regarding your Visa Refusal
or Visa Grant, or you wish to confirm the authenticity of your Visa
Refusal or Visa Grant, you should contact the office where you lodged your
visa application. 

Details of our offices located around the world can be found [3]here.

 

Queries regarding your current Visa status

You can check your visa details and conditions on the Department’s Visa
Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) portal.  If you do not have the
necessary reference numbers to access the VEVO portal, please refer to the
online VEVO Request for Reference Number form, which is accessible at
[4]https://www.border.gov.au/about/corporat....

 

Refund of Visa fees

If you are seeking a refund of fees associated with your Visa, you should
contact the office where you lodged your visa application.  Details of our
offices located around the world can be found [5]here.

 

Making a Visa application

Registered migration agents are authorised to provide immigration advice
or assistance, including advice regarding the lodgement of visa
applications. Further information on migration agents may be found
[6]here.  Please note that the Department is unable to assist you in this
regard.

 

If you are experiencing technical difficulties in lodging your visa
application through ImmiAccount, you should submit your concerns through
the ImmiAccount Technical Support Form, which is accessible [7]here.

 

Australian Citizenship

If you are seeking evidence of your Australian Citizenship, you should
complete Form 119, which can be found [8]here.  Details on where to send
your completed form may be found on page 8 of the Form.  This form will
not be actioned by the FOI Section.

 

Information on how to apply for Australian citizenship, information for
Australian citizens and Australian Citizenship Day can be found [9]here.

 

Movement Records/Travel History

If you are seeking evidence of your own travel movements/history you
should complete Form 1359, which can be found [10]here. Details on where
to send your request may be found on page 1 and 2 of the Form. This
request will not be actioned by the FOI Section.

 

Superannuation – Evidence of Immigration Status

If you are seeking evidence of your own immigration status for
superannuation purposes, you should complete Form 1194, which can be found
[11]here. Details on where to send your completed form may be found on
page 1 of the Form. This request will not be actioned by the FOI Section.

 

Update Passport Details

Information on how to update your address or passport details can be found
[12]here.

 

Notification of Change in Circumstances

If you have lodged a visa application and your circumstances have changed,
you should submit [13]Form 1022 to the office where you lodged your visa
application. Details of our offices located around the world can be found
[14]here. The FOI Section does not process these forms. 

 

Notification of incorrect answers

If you wish to correct answers that you have provided to the Department
either:

·         in a visa application

·         on a passenger card or

·         in response to a notice given to you by the Department inviting
you to comment on possible non-compliance with an obligation to correct
incorrect information

you should submit [15]Form 1023 to the Department. Details of our offices
located around the world can be found [16]here. The FOI Section does not
process these forms. 

 

Duty Free concessions

Information relating to duty free concessions can be found [17]here.

 

General Enquiries

If you have a question, which has not been answered above, and which is
about visa, citizenship, travel or trade, including bringing goods in and
out of Australia, please refer to our general enquiries web form [18]here.

 

 

Yours Sincerely

FOI Helpdesk

Freedom of Information Section

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Information updated 16 December 2016

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
DIBP respects your privacy and has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.
 

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visi
2. http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1
3. http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/o...
4. https://www.border.gov.au/about/corporat...
5. http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/o...
6. https://www.mara.gov.au/
7. https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Immi...
8. http://www.border.gov.au/Forms/Documents...
9. http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Citi
10. http://www.border.gov.au/FormsAndDocumen...
11. http://www.border.gov.au/Forms/Documents...
12. http://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/...
13. http://www.border.gov.au/Forms/Documents...
14. http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/o...
15. http://www.border.gov.au/Forms/Documents...
16. http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/o...
17. http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Duty-...
18. http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/m...

Link to this

From: FOI


Attachment FA 17 04 00288 Acknowledgement Letter.pdf
206K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 17/04/00288; ADF2017/38167

 

Dear Mr Hudson

 

Please find attached the acknowledgement of receipt for your recent FOI
request. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss.

 

Regards

 

 

Freedom of Information Section

Freedom of Information, Privacy & Records Management Branch | Corporate
Services Division

Corporate Group

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E: [1][email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
DIBP respects your privacy and has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.
 

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: FOI

Good morning Mr Hudson

On 6 April 2017, the Department received a request from you for access to documents relating to 457 Visas under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

You may be aware that an announcement has been made this week in relation to the 457 Visa Program, details of which can be found here:
http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/457-a...

I also note that data relating to the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) Programme is publicly available at the following link:
http://www.data.gov.au/dataset/visa-temp...

This data relates to visas granted and visa holders, and includes instructions on using Pivot Tables. The data is available for the financial years 2010-2011 up to and including 31 December 2016.

In the circumstances, we would appreciate it if you could consider the above together with the publicly available information at data.gov.au, and confirm whether you wish to continue with your FOI request. If we do not hear from you by COB Friday 28 April 2017 we will consider your request to be withdrawn and closed.

If you wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email address].

With kind regards
Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy and Records Management Branch | Corporate Support Division
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E| [email address]
Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response.

We require more time to evaluate whether or not the information we seek is available elsewhere.

We will send further comment shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your earlier reply.

The data you have provided links to does not contain all of the information we have requested.

Specifically, although it includes the total number of people granted 457 visas, it does not include the following data that we detailed in our initial request:

The details we are seeking are:
· Descriptions of the roles that were filled
· The wages that were / are being paid
· The market testing that was done to prove that local workers were not available to fill the roles
· The names of the Companies involved and the number of 457 Visas they were granted

We look forward to receiving this data.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson

Link to this

From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED
Our references: FA 17/04/00288; ADF2017/38167
 
Dear Mr Hudson
 
Thank you for your email. The Department will continue processing your
request as iterated in your email of 6 April 2017.
 
Request for an extension of time
 
Please be aware that the Department has seen a significant increase in the
number of FOI requests received by this agency. As a result there are
expected delays involved with the processing of FOI requests at the
present time. Generally, requests will be processed in the order that they
are received. The Department will endeavour to finalise your request as
quickly as possible.
 
For this reason the Department seeks your agreement under section 15AA of
the FOI Act to extend the timeframe for the processing of your request by
30 days.
 
It would assist the Department in managing its FOI caseload if you could
provide a response to this request by close of business, Thursday 4 May
2017.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss.
 
Regards
 
 
Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy & Records Management Branch | Corporate
Services Division
Corporate Group
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E: [1][email address]
UNCLASSIFIED
 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your continuing cooperation on this matter.

We are happy to agree to your request for N additional 30 days as allowed under Section 15AA of the FOI act.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson
President, ITPA

Link to this

From: FOI


Attachment FA170400288 charges notice.pdf
98K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 17/04/00288; ADF2017/38167

 

Dear Mr Hudson

 

I write in respect of your FOI request of 6 April 2017.

 

This email is to advise you of my decision that you are liable to pay a
charge in respect of the processing of your FOI request in accordance with
section 29 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). Please
see the attached notice for further information.  

 

Timeframe to respond

The FOI Act provides you with 30 days to respond, in writing, to this
notice, which is Thursday, 15 June 2017.

 

The current statutory due date for your FOI request is 5 June 2017. In
accordance with section 31 of the FOI Act the legislated processing time
for your request is suspended from the date that you are deemed to have
been notified of the charge. Please refer to the attached notice for
further details, including advice on when the processing period for your
request would resume.

 

How to pay

Details on how to make a payment to the Department are included in the
notice. Please ensure that you include your FA reference number and advise
whether you wish to pay the deposit or the full amount. If this
information is not included with your payment details it may delay the
processing of your request.

 

The deposit or full payment can be paid by cheque, money order, credit
card or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If you choose to pay via EFT or
send your payment via post, please notify the FOI Section at
[email address].

 

Please do not send your credit card details to us via email.

 

Regards

 

 

Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy & Records Management Branch | Corporate
Services Division
Corporate Group
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E: [1][email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
DIBP respects your privacy and has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.
 

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

ITPA has deposited $75 into the nominated bank account as per your instructions.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

As per your finding, ITPA has paid the required amount of money to cover the processing fee as per your determination.

Please confirm receipt of these funds, as well as a timeline for further responses to our request.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson

Link to this

From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mr Hudson

Thank you for your email. I confirm the Department has received your payment.

Your correspondence through Right to Know is publicly accessible. The Department will not release your receipt to you at this email address in order to protect your personal privacy. Given this, could you please advise where you wish for the Department to send your receipt.

The current statutory due date for your FOI request is 6 June 2017. At this stage I am finalising consultations with relevant Departmental business areas and hope to provide you with a response in due course.

Regards

Julien Chadwick
Freedom of Information Officer | Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy & Records Management Branch | Corporate Services Division
Corporate Group
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E: [email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Robert Hudson

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I'm happy to simply be told "yes, we received the funds" or "no, we haven't seen them yet."

A formal receipt is not required, though if you wish to provide one, please send to [email address]

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hudson

Link to this

From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mr Hudson

Thank you - a receipt has been sent to [email address].

Regards

Julien Chadwick
Freedom of Information Officer | Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy & Records Management Branch | Corporate Services Division
Corporate Group
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E: [email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI


Attachment FA170400288 document released.pdf
685K Download View as HTML

Attachment FA170400288 decision record.pdf
2.0M Download View as HTML


Good morning Mr Hudson

I refer to your request dated 6 April 2017 for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Please find attached the Department's decision in relation to this request, together with the relevant documents.

This request is now closed.

With kind regards
Alison Smith
FOI Officer | Freedom of Information Section
Freedom of Information, Privacy and Records Management Branch | Corporate Support Division
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
E| [email address]
Please consider the environment before printing this email

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and attachments immediately. This email, including attachments, may contain confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. DIBP respects your privacy and has obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this email.

Link to this

Verity Pane left an annotation ()

The agency's decision here raises some issues worth commenting on.

Parts 1 and 3 of the Applicant's FOI request were given a practical refusal reason by the agency s 24AA(1)(a)(i) - would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations [it is disappointing the agency started that practical refusal opening with the phrase "unreasonable interference" which has a special adverse meaning in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) in s 89L(4) and should be used carefully by agency staff in correspondence].

Where a practical refusal reason is given, there are a couple of things an agency must have done beforehand, which on the face of it, does not seemed to have occurred here. These are:
* Consulted with the applicant first, before making such a decision (known as the "request consultation process"); and
* As part of the request consultation process, have provided the Applicant a breakdown of the time estimated for each stage in processing that aspect of the request (such by having an appropriate person sample a reasonable selection of relevant documents to give an accurate indication of the complexity and volume of activity required).

The resource impact of processing that aspect of the request would need to be substantial and unreasonable. While the FOI Act allows agencies to reasonably refuse "burdensome" elements, it is implicit in the objectives of the FOI Act that agencies must ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to dealing with FOI matters. This may include assigning additional temporary resources to handle a peak in the number or complexity of requests or to overcome inadequate administrative procedures. Poor record keeping or an inefficient filing system would not of themselves provide grounds for a claim that identifying or locating documents would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources. Similarly, although a broadly worded request is more likely to constitute an unreasonable diversion of resources than a request that is narrowly focused, the fact that a large number of documents lies within the scope of a request may not be determinative if the documents can be easily identified, collated and assessed.

What is particularly confusing is that despite these claims made by the agency, the refusal is completed by making reference to s 24A(1) - Document does not exist. An agency may refuse a request if it has taken ‘all reasonable steps’ to find the document requested, and is satisfied that the document cannot be found or does not exist. This however directly contradicts the claim of the agency that "the data you have requested may exist within the Deoartment's computer systems".

It is important, when agencies are making FOI decisions, to give clear and unambiguous reasons, to justify their decisions. In this case, the agency has failed that requirement, and has clearly inferred multiple exemption reasons in a hasty grab-bag of a decision, in a way that is contrary to the FOI Act and its aims and objects.

On these grounds the refusal of Parts 1 and 3 of the Applicant's FOI request appear to be somewhat lacking. In giving reasons, agency staff such be careful on relying on claim alone, with substantive evidence of the reasonableness of such claims.

Parts 2 and 4 of the Applicant's FOI request were partially exempted on s 47E(d) - Certain Operations of an Agency. Section 47E(d) conditionally exempts documents where disclosure would, or could reasonably be expected to, prejudice or have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency. This exemption claim often seems most abused by agencies.

The term ‘substantial adverse effect’ requires an adverse effect which is sufficiently serious or significant to cause concern to a properly concerned reasonable person. The word ‘substantial’, taken in the context of substantial loss or damage, has been interpreted as ‘loss or damage that is, in the circumstances, real or of substance and not insubstantial or nominal’. There must be ‘real’ and ‘substantial’ grounds for expecting the damage to occur which can be supported by evidence or reasoning. A mere allegation or mere possibility of damage is insufficient to meet the ‘reasonable expectation’ test

Agencies should clearly describe the expected effect and its impact on the usual operations of the agency in the statement of reasons in order to show their deliberations in determining the extent of the expected effect. In this case, while there is some merit to the agency's position, its reasoning seems to lack some realistic proportionality.

DIBP has something of a checkered history with FOI. Instead of repeating past mistakes, it would be beneficial to ensure it's FOI management is improved.

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Home Affairs only: