Inquiry about contact tracing app: QR-code vs Bluetooth beacon

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Victorian Department of Health and Human Services,

First of all congratulations to you and your ministry on your stellar response to COVID.

I would like to know if you have any available statistics on either the number of notifications, number of tests and/or number of cases found that are attributable in your region to contact tracing apps, as well as a breakdown of each of those due to the QR-code or the Bluetooth channels.

I am particularly interested in comparing between the utility of each of those two channels in any way possible.

My motivation, living in Switzerland, is that we currently have an app deployed here that exclusively uses Bluetooth, and little traction for a QR-code based system. The theory says such a system would be much more effective than Bluetooth. Due to your low number of cases, I expect you might only have anecdotal evidence but this would still give tangible data to share here.

Thank you very much for your help,

Yours faithfully,

Pau-Olivier Dehaye

FOI Health (HEALTH),

Good afternoon.

 

I refer to your application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
Act) requesting access to:

 

"I would like to know if you have any available statistics on either the
number of notifications, number of tests and/or number of cases found that
are attributable in your region to contact tracing apps, as well as a
breakdown of each of those due to the QR‐code or the Bluetooth channels.

I am particularly interested in comparing between the utility of each of
those two channels in any way possible."

 

Your application was received on 1 March 2021.

 

The Act provides that an application fee of $29.60 must accompany each
request. In the current circumstances, the department's preferred method
of payment is via the Victorian Government's online FOI portal at the
below link (please direct the request to the Department of Health and
Human Services):

[1]https://online.foi.vic.gov.au/foi/reques...

Please quote your reference number (F21/0352) in the "Request Details"
section of the online form. You do not need to provide the wording of your
request again.

The Act also provides that the application fee may be waived or reduced if
payment of the fee would cause financial hardship. If you consider this to
be the case the fee may be waived or reduced on production of evidence of
how the payment of the application fee would cause you hardship. 

As stated on the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner’s
website, an applicant should provide evidence of hardship when they are
requesting an agency to waive or reduce the application fee:

‘If you request the application fee to be waived or reduced, you should
provide evidence of hardship – for example, a concession or health care
card, a bank statement, or statutory declaration outlining why payment
would cause you hardship.’

Please note your request cannot proceed until the application fee or
evidence of hardship has been received as it is not a valid request.

Please also note that, due to a high volume of requests, we are currently
experiencing significant delays in processing times. You may be contacted
in the course of processing your request to seek an extension of time for
providing a decision on your request.

I would appreciate it if you would respond by 31 March 2021, otherwise I
will assume that you do not wish to proceed and no further action will be
taken by the department.

Please direct all correspondence relating to your request to
[2][email address].

Kind regards,

Authorised Officer | Freedom of Information unit 
Legal, Privacy and Integrity 
Department of Health 

[3]www.health.vic.gov.au 

 

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References

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1. https://online.foi.vic.gov.au/foi/reques...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.health.vic.gov.au/
4. https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/protective-m...