• Legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department to the Federal Government related to both the closure and the subsequent re-opening of Australia's International borders

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

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

RE; FOI Act Request

Dear Sir, Please consider this request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
Based on information contained in the Australian Government Attorney-General's website the departments role is stated to be :-
“...We deliver programs and policies to maintain and improve Australia's law and justice framework, and to facilitate jobs growth through policies that promote fair, productive, flexible and safe workplaces. Through the Australian Government Solicitor, we also provide legal services to the Commonwealth, including legal advice and representation....”

In accordance with this it would be appreciated if you would please provide the following specific documentation:
• Legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department to the Federal Government related to both the closure and the subsequent re-opening of Australia's International borders from the period between March 2020 until January 2022
• Specifically any legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department to the Federal Government related to the Western Australian state border closures from the period between March 2020 until January 2022.

Thank you.
Yours Sincerely
Dominic Manganaro

2nd March 2022

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

 

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act) received by the Attorney-General's Department for access to the
following documents.

 

•       ‘Legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department to the
Federal Government related to both the closure and the subsequent
re-opening of Australia's International borders from the period between
March 2020 until January 2022

•       Specifically any legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals
Department to the Federal Government related to the Western Australian
state border closures from the period between March 2020 until January
2022.’

 

The purpose of this email is to advise you the department considers that a
practical refusal reason exists under s24 of the FOI Act in relation to
your request in its current form.

 

Preliminary searches undertaken of the department records have indicated
that the terms of your request in its current form is broad and complex
and would require extensive search of the department’s holdings. The terms
of your request encompasses two separate requests for documents for
specific timeframes relating to the closure and subsequent reopening of
Australia’s international border, and the closure of Western Australia’s
state border. These terms contain their own complexity and produce a large
number of documents. Given this, your requests would substantially and
unreasonably divert the resources of this department from its other
operations due to their size, complexity and broadness of scope.

 

We also note, documents specific to these terms may contain material that
would be exempt or documents that may be exempt in full from the operation
of the FOI Act. If the scope of your request includes or specifically
seeks Commonwealth legal advice, these documents are exempt from release
on the basis of section 42 of the FOI Act. This section exempts documents
covered by legal professional privilege. In addition, documents of this
nature may also attract a number of other exemptions of the FOI Act.

 

Before the department considers undertaking formal consultation with you
under s24AA, the department would like to give you the opportunity to
consider the terms of your request. You may consider revising your request
for example, by:

 

•             limiting the terms to a one part of the request, to
specifically international or alternatively Western Australian state
borders 

•             limiting the terms to a reduced timeframe

•             specifying a certain document(s) or a certain type(s) of
documents (e.g. only final documents and only final email chains) specific
to a part of the request

•             excluding certain types of documents (e.g. drafts and
duplicate documents/attachments/email chains/ministerial briefings).

 

Please provide your response to the department as soon as possible but no
later than Wednesday, 30 March 2022.

 

Should you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 6141 6666 or at
[1][AGD request email]

 

Regards

 

Fiona

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [2][AGD request email]

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear Attorney Generals Department,

I wish to modify my original request in accordance with the advice that you have provided above dated 24th March 2022. In this regard and in accordance with this FOI request please provide :-

The final documents and email chains , excluding any drafts or duplicate documents/attachments/email chains/ministerial briefings etc, that were created by the Attorney Generals Department in March 2020 containing formal legal advice that was subsequently relied upon by the Federal Government for the closure of Australia's International borders in March 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - Request consultation process

Attached is a notice of intention to practically refuse in respect of your
Freedom of Information request made to the Attorney-General's Department
(the department).

Before the department makes a decision, 24AB of the FOI Act provides for a
‘request consultation process'. This means you have 14 days in which to
respond to this notice revising your request in one of the ways described
in the attached letter. We expect to hear from you by Wednesday, 13 April
2022.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Fiona Eldridge

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [2][AGD request email]

[3]AG1

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

Dominic & Elaine Manganaro,

1 Attachment

Dear Fiona, I am reaching out to you in accordance with the attached response and advice regarding MY FOI request your reference no: FOI22/043; CM22/3292. In this regard I would appreciate your assistance to structure the request to comply with the requirements enabling a meaningful response from the Australian Attorney Generals Department on this matter.

My request is simple and straight forward as follows;

In March 2020 the Federal Government announced their decision to close the Australian International Border. I am simply asking for the definitive legal advice ( a single report or memorandum or email will suffice) provided by the Australian Attorney Generals Department that the Australian Government relied upon to finalise this decision.

Your assistance in modifying this request to meet the Departments requirements for a meaningful response would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Dominic Manganaro

show quoted sections

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear Attorney Generals Department,

Dear Fiona, I am reaching out to you in accordance with the attached response and advice regarding MY FOI request your reference no: FOI22/043; CM22/3292. In this regard I would appreciate your assistance to structure the request to comply with the requirements enabling a meaningful response from the Australian Attorney Generals Department on this matter.

My request is simple and straight forward as follows;

In March 2020 the Federal Government announced their decision to close the Australian International Border. I am simply asking for the definitive legal advice ( a single report or memorandum or email will suffice) provided by the Australian Attorney Generals Department that the Australian Government relied upon to finalise this decision.

Your assistance in modifying this request to meet the Departments requirements for a meaningful response would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Dominic Manganaro

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

OFFICIALOFFICIAL

 

Good afternoon Mr Manganaro

 

Thank you for your response of 30 March 2022 to the Attorney-General's
Department's (the department) notice of intention to practically refuse
your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

The department is currently considering your revised terms of your request
to determine whether the practical refusal reason still exists.

 

A response will be provided to you by the department no later than Friday
22 April 2022. Please note that the time taken to consult you about the
scope of your request is not included in the 30 day time limit for
processing your request.

 

Should you have any questions, please contact the department on 02 6141
6666 or by email at [1][email address].

 

Kind regards

 

Fiona

FOI Case Officer

 

OFFICIAL

From: FOI Requests
Sent: Wednesday, 30 March 2022 5:30 PM
To: [2][FOI #8537 email]
Cc: FOI Requests <[3][AGD request email]>
Subject: CM: Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - s 24AB request
consultation process - Attorney-General's Department [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - Request consultation process

Attached is a notice of intention to practically refuse in respect of your
Freedom of Information request made to the Attorney-General's Department
(the department).

Before the department makes a decision, 24AB of the FOI Act provides for a
‘request consultation process'. This means you have 14 days in which to
respond to this notice revising your request in one of the ways described
in the attached letter. We expect to hear from you by Wednesday, 13 April
2022.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [4][AGD request email].

 

Fiona Eldridge

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [5][AGD request email]

[6]AG1

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[FOI #8537 email]
3. mailto:[AGD request email]
4. mailto:[AGD request email]
5. mailto:[AGD request email]

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

OFFICIALOFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

 

I refer to your response of 31 March 2022 to the department’s section 24AB
practical refusal notice in relation to your request for certain documents
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

 

You proposed the following:

 

‘…the definitive legal advice ( a single report or memorandum or email
will suffice) provided by the Australian Attorney Generals Department that
the Australian Government relied upon to finalise this decision.’

 

The department has considered the revised scope of your request and
considers that a practical refusal reason no longer exists. Accordingly,
the department will continue to process your request under these revised
terms in accordance with the FOI Act.

 

We note that where the documents within the scope of an FOI request
include the personal information of junior officers of the department or
other government authorities, the department’s practice is to not disclose
that information (e.g., names, contact details). The names of senior
officers will generally be disclosed. In addition, duplicates and
incomplete email chains within the scope of the FOI request will be
excluded.

 

Extension of Time Request

 

Under section 15AA of the FOI Act, an agency may extend the initial
processing period for dealing with a request by a further period of no
more than 30 days if the applicant agrees in writing to the extension and
the agency gives written notice of the extension to the Information
Commissioner as soon as practicable after the agreement is made.

 

I seek your agreement to extend the processing period for your request by
30 days. I am requesting this extension of time from you to ensure the
department has sufficient time to process and finalise your request in
accordance with the FOI Act. Noting the complexity and sensitivities
involved with this matter, documents subject to your request require
consultation. Given the recent public holidays and current factors
affecting the availability of staff with expertise to conduct the
assessment and consultation of the material in scope of your request, a
further period of time is required for the decision-maker to thoroughly
consider and make a decision in response to this request.

If you agree to the requested extension of 30 days, please let me know in
writing as soon as possible but no later than Thursday, 5 May 2022.

 

If you agree to the requested extension, the new due date will be 4 June
2022. However, the department will make every effort to provide a decision
to you as soon as possible.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Kind regards

 

Fiona

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [2][AGD request email]

[3]AG1

 

 

OFFICIAL

From: FOI Requests <[4][AGD request email]>
Sent: Monday, 11 April 2022 4:08 PM
To: [5][FOI #8537 email]
Cc: FOI Requests <[6][AGD request email]>
Subject: CM: Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - s 24AB request
consultation process - Attorney-General's Department [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIALOFFICIAL

 

Good afternoon Mr Manganaro

 

Thank you for your response of 30 March 2022 to the Attorney-General's
Department's (the department) notice of intention to practically refuse
your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

The department is currently considering your revised terms of your request
to determine whether the practical refusal reason still exists.

 

A response will be provided to you by the department no later than Friday
22 April 2022. Please note that the time taken to consult you about the
scope of your request is not included in the 30 day time limit for
processing your request.

 

Should you have any questions, please contact the department on 02 6141
6666 or by email at [7][email address].

 

Kind regards

 

Fiona

FOI Case Officer

 

OFFICIAL

From: FOI Requests
Sent: Wednesday, 30 March 2022 5:30 PM
To: [8][FOI #8537 email]
Cc: FOI Requests <[9][AGD request email]>
Subject: CM: Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - s 24AB request
consultation process - Attorney-General's Department [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 - Request consultation process

Attached is a notice of intention to practically refuse in respect of your
Freedom of Information request made to the Attorney-General's Department
(the department).

Before the department makes a decision, 24AB of the FOI Act provides for a
‘request consultation process'. This means you have 14 days in which to
respond to this notice revising your request in one of the ways described
in the attached letter. We expect to hear from you by Wednesday, 13 April
2022.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [10][AGD request email].

 

Fiona Eldridge

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [11][AGD request email]

[12]AG1

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]
4. mailto:[AGD request email]
5. mailto:[FOI #8537 email]
6. mailto:[AGD request email]
7. mailto:[email address]
8. mailto:[FOI #8537 email]
9. mailto:[AGD request email]
10. mailto:[AGD request email]
11. mailto:[AGD request email]

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear FOI Requests,

This is a follow up to request that you respond to the original FOI request that I have made as normally required by law. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear FOI Requests,

Dear Fiona, This is to confirm that I approve the extension of time request made in your correspondence dated 3rd March 2022. Thank you again for your consideration of this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear FOI Requests,
In accordance with the Attorney-General’s Departments previous request ( 3rd May 2022) for an extension has now exceeded the previously agreed date for a reply , I would appreciate it if you would now kindly respond to my Initial FOI Request.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

Your email has been received by the Freedom of Information and Privacy
Section of the Attorney-General's Department. Please note that we will
only action and respond to FOI requests and other matters relating to the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). For information on how to
make an FOI request please refer to the FOI page on the department's
website at:
[1]https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protect....

 

If your email relates to the FOI Act, we will contact you shortly to
acknowledge and/or respond to your request. Please do not send duplicate
emails as this may cause delays in response time-frames.

For matters not relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, please
refer to the 'Contact us' page on the department's website at:
[2]https://www.ag.gov.au/about-us/connect-u...

If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protect...
2. https://www.ag.gov.au/about-us/connect-u...

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Manganaro

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents. 

 

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a decision in response to
that request. 

 

Please find attached:

 

·       decision letter, including:

o review rights,
o schedule of documents, and
o statement of reasons.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Fiona

FOI Case Officer

 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Governance
Branch

Attorney-General’s Department

T: 02 6141 6666| E: [2][AGD request email]

[3]AG1

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

Dominic Peter Manganaro

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Attorney-General's Department's(AGD) handling of my FOI request '• Legal advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department to the Federal Government related to both the closure and the subsequent re-opening of Australia's International borders'. - Request FOI22/043

I am dissatisfied with the response and the decision the AGD has made to reject my FOI 22/043 request and I am seeking an internal review of this matter for the following reasons:-

1. The Attorney Generals Department (AGD) in its decision to reject the FOI Request has provided a disappointing reply advancing at least 6 major exemption clauses from the FOI Act with the ultimate conclusion that it is "not in the public interest" to provide any of the information it identified at all.

2. The FOI request I have made is simple, concise and clear and simply seeking clarity on the justification for the publicly announced Australian International Border closures. In an attempt to obtain a sensible response the original FOI request was modified several times in accordance with specific advice provided by the Attorney Generals Department. The reason provided by the AGD for non release of this information is because it has decided that it is not in the public interest, is short sighted and simply incorrect. How can something related to public health be keep secret from Australian Citizens without inviting speculation about the real reason why the actual advice provided can not be made public, despite the extraordinary impact the International Border closures have had on the many Australians that were directly and adversely affected by these decisions.

3. The reason for the rejection based on the fact that the release of these documents are "not in the public interest" and not available for public release is also not entirely consistent with the FOI Act specifically Part IV ,Division 2, section 34 (5) on the basis that they are directly related to a decision that has been officially disclosed and published and is now a historical fact. In any event this lack of transparency and failure to provide any convincing arguments to justify the restrictions imposed on Australian citizens creates the impression that the restrictions were arbitrary and excessive as information supporting the proportionality of the restrictions is not provided but cloaked as “confidential” and " not in the public interest " instead.

On this basis I will ask for your favourable and kind reconsideration of the original decision.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/l...

Yours faithfully,

Dominic Peter Manganaro

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

Dear Mr Manganaro 

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/043 – Internal review

I refer to your request for an Internal Review of FOI22/043.

 

The department received your request for review on 7 June 2022 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 7 July
2022.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email [1][AGD request email].

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dana

FOI and Privacy Section

Enabling Services Group

Attorney-General’s Department

E: [2][AGD request email] P: 02 6141 6666

 

 

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. file:///C:/Users/brownfr/AppData/Local/Hewlett-Packard/HP%20TRIM/TEMP/HPTRIM.5568/[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]