Private use of social media advice provided to employees

James Smith made this Freedom of Information request to WA Department of Training and Workforce Development 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.

Dear WA Department of Training and Workforce Development,

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

FOI.coordinator, WA Department of Training and Workforce Development

Thankyou for your email.  Your request will be responded to within 2
working days.  If you wish to speak with the FOI Co-ordinator please
contact the Department on 65515000 

FOI.coordinator, WA Department of Training and Workforce Development

Dear Mr Smith

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request received on 8th August 2017 seeking access to information relating to Private use of social media advice provided to employees.

In order to process your request, a FOI application fee of $30.00 is required as per s12(1)(e) of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA). On receipt of the $30.00 application fee a formal acknowledgement of your application will be forwarded to you and the statutory time frame to process the application will commence.

Section 12. How the application is made
(1) The access application has to –
(e) be lodged at an office of the agency with any application
fee payable under the regulations.

We also seek clarification on what is meant by “ social media use in a private capacity”. Is this in relation to the use of a staff members personal social media account and what they may happen to say about the Department, or personal comments made on the Departmental social media account?

I await your response.

Sam D’Cruze
Records & Information Services Manager
ICT Service & Information Management
Department of Training and Workforce Development
1 Prospect Place
Postal Address: Locked Bag 16, OSBORNE PARK DC  6916
T: 6212 9821 | F: 6551 6307
E: [email address] | W:

Building the workforce to meet the economic and community needs of Western Australia

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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.