Private use of social media advice provided to employees

James Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Federal Court of Australia 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 Federal Court of Australia.

Dear Federal Court of Australia,

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

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Smith,

I attach my decision in regard to your request below and your identical request made to the Federal Circuit Court which was transferred to the Federal Court on 10 August 2017.

Your sincerely,

John Mathieson | Deputy Principal Registrar
Principal Registry | Federal Court of Australia
Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney NSW

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

The Federal Court do not have documents that answer the exact request so it is refused. In the letter of the decision, the Court also says:

Whilst, it is outside the scope of your request, the Federal Courts Information Technology Policy provides guidance and direction for the use of information technology, including social networking and online collaboration, in a private capacity. A copy of that internal policy was provided to you in response to a request under the FOI Act which was received by the Federal Court on 18 April 2016 and is available on the Court’s Disclosure Log at

The standard of behaviour expected of employees of the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court are otherwise set out in the APS Values and Code of Conduct. The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) publication Values and Code of Conduct in Practice includes commentary on making public comment, including online for all Australian Public Service employees: see Section 6.2. This publication can be downloaded at More recently and specifically, the APSC has published Making public comment on social media: A guide for employees which can be downloaded at