International aid and development expended from 2010-2015

Samantha Besgrove made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The request was refused by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

From: Samantha Besgrove

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
This is a request made under the Freedom Of Information Act

I seek to retrieve the data of the top 5 countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the years 2010-2015. I am also seeking to retrieve any correspondence regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts.

Yours faithfully,

Samantha Besgrove

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED
 
Our Ref: 1602-FOIR1393L
File: 16/7266
 
Dear Ms Besgrove
 
Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
 
Thank you for your email dated 25 February 2016 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:
 
“the data of the top 5 countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the
years 2010-2015. I am also seeking to retrieve any correspondence
regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.
 
With regard to the first part of your request for “the data of the top 5
countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the years 2010-2015” please
note that the information you have requested is publicly available
information which you can access on the Department’s website via the link
below:
 
[1]http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications...
 
With regard to the second part of your request, I can advise that searches
are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for documents
relevant to your request.  I will contact you again once the searches have
been completed.
 
Timeframe for receiving your decision:
We received your request on 25 February 2016 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 27 March 2016. 
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if there is any extension of time.
 
Scope of request:
If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.
 
Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:
It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES).  If you require the
mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and contact
details of non-SES officials, please let us know at [2][DFAT request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request.
 
Charges:
Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.
 
Timing of release:
As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, I take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you. 
 
Personal Information:
Your personal information has been collected by the Department as a result
of your correspondence, and will be used in order to process your FOI
request.  Your personal information is protected by law, including the
Privacy Act 1988.  The Department’s privacy policy is available at
[3]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html and contains information about access to or
correction of your personal information, and how you may complain about a
breach of your privacy.
Please note that if we need to consult with other people regarding release
of the documents you have requested, we may need to disclose your personal
information. When we consult with other people about a request you have
made, it may be apparent to those people that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity. If you have concerns about the
Department consulting with other people about your request, please let us
know your concerns.
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact me on (02) 6261 1419, or by return email.
 
Please note a copy of this email has been sent to Marie-Charlotte McKenna,
Director, Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section, for her
information.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Felicia Nevins
_______________________________
Legal Officer | Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch | Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Phone +61 2 6261 1419
[4]www.dfat.gov.au
Web | [5]Twitter | [6]YouTube | [7]Flickr
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications...
2. mailto:[DFAT request email]
3. http://dfat.gov.au/privacy.html
4. http://www.dfat.gov.au/
5. https://twitter.com/DFAT
6. http://www.youtube.com/user/dfat
7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfataustra...

Link to this

From: Mckenna, Marie-Charlotte
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 SECTIONS 24 24AA AND 24AB.pdf
134K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

 

Our Ref: 1602-FOIR1393L

File: 16/7266

 

Dear Ms Besgrove

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request – Notice of practical refusal

 

Thank you for your email dated 25 February 2016 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:

 

“the data of the top 5 countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the
years 2010-2015. I am also seeking to retrieve any correspondence
regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.

 

On 26 February we advised you that the “the data of the top 5 countries
Australia expended foreign aid to in the years 2010-2015” is publicly
available information which you can access on the Department’s website via
the link below:

 

[1]http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications...

 

Practical refusal reason

 

With regard to the second part of your request to “retrieve any
correspondence regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”,
notice is hereby given under section 24AB(2) of the FOI Act of an
intention to refuse to grant access to the documents sought.  The reason
for my practical refusal decision is that the work involved in processing
the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of
DFAT from its other operations.

 

In deciding that these practical refusal reasons exist, I have given
consideration to how DFAT could proceed to process your request, and the
time and resources that would be involved in doing so. A preliminary
search of the electronic records held by one line area alone has resulted
in 2600 documents which potentially fall within the broad and ambiguous
scope of your request for “any correspondence regarding the reasoning
behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.  The only way to ascertain whether
these documents are relevant would be to check each one individually.  I
am therefore of the opinion that processing your request in its current
form would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of DFAT’s resources
within the meaning of section 24AA(1). 

Consultation process

 

In accordance with section 24AB(2)(e), the consultation period during
which you may consult with me to revise the scope of your request is 14
days after the day you are given this notice. Please note that if you do
not take this opportunity to consult, in accordance with section
24AB(7)(a), your request will be taken to have been withdrawn under
section 24AB(6).

I am the DFAT officer with whom you may consult if you wish to revise the
request to a narrower scope such that it could in fact be processed. I may
be contacted by email at: [2][DFAT request email] and I am happy to take any
reasonable steps, so far as is reasonably practicable, to assist you in
amending your request to comply with the requirements of the FOI Act.

Please note that during this period of consultation, the statutory
timeframe under section 15(5) of the FOI Act for the processing of your
request is on hold (see section 24AB(8) for details).

I have attached a copy of sections 24, 24AA and 24AB of the FOI Act for
your information.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Marie-Charlotte McKenna
 
Director, Legal
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
FOI and Privacy Law Section T |  +61 2 6261 9852
Corporate Legal Branch W|  [3]www.dfat.gov.au
Legal Division

 

  Please note that I work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays.

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 SECTIONS 24 24AA AND 24AB.pdf
134K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

 

 

Our Ref: 1602-FOIR1393L

File: 16/7266

 

Dear Ms Besgrove

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request – Notice of deemed withdrawal of
request

 

Thank you for your email dated 25 February 2016 seeking access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:

 

“the data of the top 5 countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the
years 2010-2015. I am also seeking to retrieve any correspondence
regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.

 

On 26 February we advised you that the “the data of the top 5 countries
Australia expended foreign aid to in the years 2010-2015” is publicly
available information which you can access on the Department’s website via
the link below:

 

[1]http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications...

 

With regard to the second part of your request to “retrieve any
correspondence regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”,
we note that on 11 March 2016, the Department provided notice under
section 24AB(2) of the FOI Act of an intention to refuse to grant access
to the documents sought. 

 

Provision of the notice on 11 March commenced the 14 day consultation
request process provided for under section 24AB(2)(e) of the FOI Act. The
consultation period expired on 25 March 2016.

 

The notice is provided to inform you that as you have not proposed a
refined scope which would be able to be processed by the Department and
the consultation period has now expired, in accordance with section
24AB(7) of the FOI Act, your request is deemed to have been withdrawn
under section 24AB(6) of the FOI Act.

 

I have included the information below on how you can apply for a review of
the deemed withdrawal of your request, should this be of interest.

 

Internal review

Please note that under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you
are entitled to request a review of my access decision.  Your request in
writing within 30 days of the date of this letter should be directed to:

Director

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

R G Casey Building

John McEwen Crescent

Barton  ACT  0221

Australian Information Commissioner

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you are entitled to
request a review by the Australian Information Commissioner of my access
decision.  You may also make a complaint to the Australian Information
Commissioner under section 70 on the Department’s performance of its
functions or the exercise of power under the FOI Act.

Your request for review or complaint should be directed to:

GPO Box 5218

Sydney NSW 2001

Telephone: 1300 363 992

Fax: (02) 9284 9666

Email: [2][email address]

Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

You may complain to the Ombudsman concerning actions taken by an agency in
the exercise of its powers or, more specifically, the performance of its
functions under the FOI Act.  There is no fee for making a complaint. The
Ombudsman will conduct an independent investigation of your complaint.

You may complain to the Ombudsman by calling or writing to:

Commonwealth Ombudsman  

GPO Box 442

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 1300 362 072

Fax: (02) 6249 7829

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Marie-Charlotte McKenna | |
| |  |
|Director, Legal | |
|Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade | |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|FOI and Privacy Law Section |T |  +61 2 6261 1111 |
|-----------------------------------------+------------------------------|
|Corporate Legal Branch |W|  [3]www.dfat.gov.au |
|-----------------------------------------+------------------------------|
|Legal Division | |
|-----------------------------------------+------------------------------|
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

  Please note that I work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays.

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

 

 

From: Mckenna, Marie-Charlotte
Sent: Friday, 11 March 2016 4:49 PM
To: '[FOI #1607 email]'
Cc: FOI
Subject: FOI Request - Notice of practical refusal [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

Our Ref: 1602-FOIR1393L

File: 16/7266

 

Dear Ms Besgrove

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request – Notice of practical refusal

 

Thank you for your email dated 25 February 2016 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:

 

“the data of the top 5 countries Australia expended foreign aid to in the
years 2010-2015. I am also seeking to retrieve any correspondence
regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.

 

On 26 February we advised you that the “the data of the top 5 countries
Australia expended foreign aid to in the years 2010-2015” is publicly
available information which you can access on the Department’s website via
the link below:

 

[4]http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications...

 

Practical refusal reason

 

With regard to the second part of your request to “retrieve any
correspondence regarding the reasoning behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”,
notice is hereby given under section 24AB(2) of the FOI Act of an
intention to refuse to grant access to the documents sought.  The reason
for my practical refusal decision is that the work involved in processing
the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of
DFAT from its other operations.

 

In deciding that these practical refusal reasons exist, I have given
consideration to how DFAT could proceed to process your request, and the
time and resources that would be involved in doing so. A preliminary
search of the electronic records held by one line area alone has resulted
in 2600 documents which potentially fall within the broad and ambiguous
scope of your request for “any correspondence regarding the reasoning
behind the 2015 foreign aid cuts”.  The only way to ascertain whether
these documents are relevant would be to check each one individually.  I
am therefore of the opinion that processing your request in its current
form would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of DFAT’s resources
within the meaning of section 24AA(1). 

Consultation process

 

In accordance with section 24AB(2)(e), the consultation period during
which you may consult with me to revise the scope of your request is 14
days after the day you are given this notice. Please note that if you do
not take this opportunity to consult, in accordance with section
24AB(7)(a), your request will be taken to have been withdrawn under
section 24AB(6).

I am the DFAT officer with whom you may consult if you wish to revise the
request to a narrower scope such that it could in fact be processed. I may
be contacted by email at: [5][DFAT request email] and I am happy to take any
reasonable steps, so far as is reasonably practicable, to assist you in
amending your request to comply with the requirements of the FOI Act.

Please note that during this period of consultation, the statutory
timeframe under section 15(5) of the FOI Act for the processing of your
request is on hold (see section 24AB(8) for details).

I have attached a copy of sections 24, 24AA and 24AB of the FOI Act for
your information.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Marie-Charlotte McKenna
 
Director, Legal
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
FOI and Privacy Law Section T |  +61 2 6261 9852
Corporate Legal Branch W|  [6]www.dfat.gov.au
Legal Division

 

  Please note that I work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays.

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

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