Private use of social media advice provided to employees

James Smith made this Freedom of Information request to WA Department of Lands as part of a batch sent to 204 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by WA Department of Lands.

Dear WA Department of Lands,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I request documents related to the ten most recent instances where an employee has sought information, advice, guidance, or opinion on their social media use in a private capacity.

I limit the scope of documents to:
- the original request from the employee
- the agency/department's response
- any follow-up questions and response
- only those sent to a relevant HR / conduct / social media (or similar) team (rather than managers across all areas of the organisation)
- where the original request was created in the last 2 years

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

James Smith

DOLMPS, WA Department of Lands

Good morning Mr Smith

I refer to the Freedom of Information (FOI) request below regarding private use of social media.

Please note on 1 July 2017 the Western Australian Departments of Lands, Planning, State Heritage and the Aboriginal heritage and land functions of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs have been amalgamated to form the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

As required under s12 of the Western Australian Freedom of Information Act 1992, please note in order to lodge an FOI application, a residential address in Australia must be provided and payment of the $30 application fee finalised. Payment can be made via cheque forwarded to PO Box 1221, West Perth WA 6872.


Barbara Witon | Ministerial Liaison Officer | Executive Services
Level 2, 140 William Street, Perth WA 6000

The department acknowledges the Aboriginal peoples of Western Australia as the traditional custodians of this land and we pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

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Note 1: Mostly I classify a response like this one to say "clarification requested" because the agency has told the applicant that some more information (or money!) is needed before the request will be processed. This time, I have put the response in the category of "refused" because it is more than 1 year since the agency responded and the applicant has not made a follow-up. This does not mean that the agency will refuse the request when an application is made in the correct (required).

Note 2: Although an application under the Freedom of Information Act 1983 of the Commonwealth of Australia does not require an application fee, this is not the case with applications in the states and territories of Australia. Then an applicant must usually pay a fee, or the request is not valid. Also, the Commonwealth agencies might demand payment of a fee to cover extra processing costs. If the fee is not paid, the request will not be processed.

Note 2: It can be a problem when an applicant sends out a very large bulk request. Although it is convenient for the applicant, very often the application will not be valid. This is usually the fact when an applicant uses Right to Know to apply to an agency of a state or territory; see Note 2. When so many responses are received it is inconvenient to work out how to continue ... or even to classify the responses and often an applicant does not classify the responses so they create a backlog of unclassified responses on Right to Know.