Properties rented in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Edward Kerrigan made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I am seeking copies of the following documents:

- Rental agreements or leases in respect of properties rented or leased by DFAT in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 - 2016;
- Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of such properties during the period 2013- 2016

Yours faithfully,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX 393

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 20 August 2019 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“- Rental agreements or leases in respect of properties rented or leased
by DFAT in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 - 2016;

- Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of
such properties during the period 2013- 2016”.

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

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.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 20 August 2019 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 25 September 2019.  The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

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, we 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.

 

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) or equivalent.  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
[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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________

FOI and Privacy Law Section

Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

www.dfat.gov.au

 

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Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED
 
FOI Ref: LEX 393
Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
 
I refer to your current FOI request seeking:
 
- Rental agreements or leases in respect of properties rented or leased by
DFAT in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 - 2016;
- Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of
such properties during the period 2013- 2016
 
I am writing to inform you that the Department needs to consult with the
Australian Embassy in Honiara on documents authored by them.  To allow the
Department sufficient time to review the documents relevant to your
request, I would be grateful for your agreement to extend the processing
period by 30 days until 25 October 2019, as allowed for under section
15AA of the FOI Act. 
 
If we are not in receipt of your response by cob 17 September 2019, we
intend to seek an extension of time from the OAIC under section 15AB of
the FOI Act.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DFAT FOI TEAM
 

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Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear DFAT FOI Team,

Thank you for you email.

I note that you have provided no explanation as to why my request is either complex or voluminous within the meaning of section 15AB. It is difficult to see how the need for internal consultations renders it so.

Accordingly, I do not agree to your request for an extension.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Thank you for your email.

 

To clarify, the Department has sought an extension of time from you under
section 15AA of the FOI. This extension is sought to facilitate
consultations with our Australian Embassy in Honiara. The FOI Act does not
require the Department to set out reasons regarding complexity or volume
in seeking such an extension.

 

If you do not agree to an extension under s 15AA of the FOI Act by COB
Thursday 19 September 2019, the Department will seek an extension of time
from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner under s 15AB of
the FOI Act on the basis of complexity.

 

The material captured by your request directly engages the interests of
the Australian Embassy in Honiara. It is therefore necessary for the
Department to consult with the Embassy to understand sensitivities and
identify relevant documents. Further, your request has captured third
party information which requires careful consideration in regards to
personal privacy. Your request also requires the Department to identify
properties rented by the Department and consider associated sensitivities.

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________

FOI and Privacy Law Section

Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

www.dfat.gov.au

 

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From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear DFAT FOI Team,

Thank you for your message.

By way of clarification of my request, please note that I do not require the names of the landlords of the relevant properties, nor do I require personal information of the landlords (e.g. their bank details, should they be contained in rental receipts). However, I do require information concerning the amount of rent paid.

I remain of the view that my request is not a complex one, but am prepared to agree to an extension of three weeks until 16 October 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear DFAT FOI Team,

By way of further clarification, please also note that I do not require the addresses of the properties if that is sensitive.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Charges letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Ref: LEX 393

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Please find attached the charges letter in relation to your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

DFAT FOI Team.

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Monday, 26 August 2019 8:35 AM
To: 'Edward Kerrigan' <[FOI #5587 email]>
Subject: Acknowledgement: Freedom of Information request - Properties
rented in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX 393

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 20 August 2019 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“- Rental agreements or leases in respect of properties rented or leased
by DFAT in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 - 2016;

- Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of
such properties during the period 2013- 2016”.

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

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.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 20 August 2019 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 25 September 2019.  The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

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, we 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.

 

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) or equivalent.  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
[1][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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [2][DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________

FOI and Privacy Law Section

Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[3]www.dfat.gov.au

 

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Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear DFAT FOI Team,

I have paid the $54.45 deposit by direct debit.

In order to narrow the scope of my request and reduce charges, for 'Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of such properties during the period 2013- 2016' I only require the first and last such documents by date in respect of each rental agreement or lease.

For clarity, I still require all documents covered by the first dot point of my request.

Please contact me if you require further clarification.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

FOI Reference: LEX 393

Dear Mr Kerrigan

Thank you for your payment of deposit of the charges levied under the FOI Act, receipted by the Department's accounts on 9 Oct. SAP reference number is 26758378.

As noted in our earlier charges letter to you, your FOI request was put on hold until payment has been made. The revised due dates for your FOI decision is 21 October 2019.

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team
___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch | Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
www.dfat.gov.au
Web | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr

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Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED
 
FOI Reference LEX393
 
Dear Mr Kerrigan
 
Thank you for your email of 4 October 2019 advising that you wish to
revise the scope of your request to:
 
'Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of
such properties during the period 2013- 2016' I only require the first and
last such documents by date in respect of each rental agreement or lease.
 
For your information, your original request captured 10 documents,
comprising of rental agreements and rent/lease payments paid by DFAT in
Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 – 2016. Based on
this information, we issued FOI processing charges on 4 October 2019.
 
Please note that your revised request does not contain sufficient
information for us now to identify exactly which documents you are
seeking.  Section 15(2) of the FOI Act,  requires that the applicant must
provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably
necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency to identify the
document that is being requested. 
 
We would be most grateful if you could elaborate further on your revised
request so we are able to process your FOI request.
 
We would like to take this opportunity to advise you that that the right
of access under the FOI Act is to existing documents held in the agency’s
possession at the time of your FOI request.  The FOI Act does not require
an agency to create a new document to satisfy an FOI request. (Section
2.35 of the OAIC Guidelines refer)
 
We would be grateful for your response by COB 28 October 2019. If we do
not hear back from you, we will continue to process your FOI request based
on the original terms of your request.
 
 
FOI Consultation
 
I am also writing to let you know that the Department’s preliminary
examination of the documents relevant to your original request has
determined that consultations are required as provided for in section 27A
of the FOI Act, as the documents contain third party information. 
 
The third parties may contend that the disclosure of information relating
to them would be an unreasonable disclosure of their business information,
as defined in section 47G of the FOI Act.  For your information, please
find attached copies of sections 27A, and s 47G of the FOI Act at the
following links, s [1]27A, and s [2]47G. 
 
To allow the other parties a reasonable opportunity to consider whether to
contend that their information should be exempt from disclosure, the
statutory 30-day time limit for processing your request is extended by
another 30 days, as provided for in section 15 of the FOI Act. 
Accordingly, the 30 day time limit, which was due to expire on 21 October
2019, will now expire on 20 November 2019.
 
I will endeavour to ensure that the consultations are concluded as quickly
as possible.  While consultation with third parties whose information
appears in the documents is required by the FOI Act, this does not confer
a right of veto on the release of this information or the documents as a
whole.  The Department’s decision-maker will, however, have regard to any
submissions put forward by the individuals concerned.
 
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by email to: [3][DFAT request email] 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DFAT FOI Team
______________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch | Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[4]www.dfat.gov.au
 

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Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear DFAT FOI Team,

Please continue to process my FOI request based on the original terms of my request.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI ref: LEX393

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

With reference to your FOI request LEX393, the Department is seeking
further 30 days extension of time from the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (OAIC) under the provisions of section15AB of the
FOI Act.

 

If granted, the due date would be 20 December 2019.

 

The Department requires this further time to finalise the decision due to
difficulty undertaking the third party consultations. This additional time
will allow us to complete our administrative processes prior to release. 

 

We will however, endeavour to provide you with a decision prior to that
date.

 

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team

 

 

Link to this

From: FOIDR


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Our reference: RQ19/03020

Agency reference: LEX 393

Mr Edward Kerrigan

Sent by email: [1][FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time application by the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

I write to advise that on 18 November 2019, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the Department) for an extension
of time to process your FOI request.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act) because your request
is considered to be complex.

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

 

o on 16 September 2019, the Department obtained your agreement under s
15AA of the FOI Act for a 21 day extension of time to 16 October 2019
o the statutory timeframe was suspended under s 31 of the FOI Act
between 4 October 2019 and 9 October 2019
o on 21 October 2019, the Department notified you that the statutory
timeframe had also been extended to allow for consultation in
accordance with s 15(6) of the FOI Act
o considerable time was spent on the search and retrieval of documents
relevant to the scope of your request, including with an overseas
mission
o the Department has experienced delays with receiving responses to
consultations with third parties
o further time is required for the Department to receive third party
consultation responses, process the request and obtain relevant
clearances.

 

The Department has requested an extension of 30 days to 20 December 2019.
I will take any comments you may have to make into account when deciding
the application.

 

Please respond to this email by 2:00PM on 25 November 2019. If I do not
hear from you by this date, I will proceed to make a decision on the basis
of the information provided to me by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [2]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9686 or via
email [3][email address]. In all correspondence please include reference
number at the top of this email.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[4]O A I C logo   Adie Chang  |  Review and
Investigation Adviser (Legal)

Freedom of Information Dispute
Resolution

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [5]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9686  |  
[6][email address]
[10]Subscribe [11]Subscribe to
[7]Facebook | [8]LinkedIn | [9]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

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From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear Ms Chang,

I am opposed to granting DFAT a further extension of time.

Most of the enquiries that DFAT appears to have been conducting consecutively could in fact have been undertaken in parallel. The fact that an overseas post is involved is irrelevant. DFAT posts are well connected to Canberra and equipped to undertake searches and enquires in much the same way as they may be conducted in Canberra. The fact that responses have not been received from third parties may simply signify that those third parties are not interested or have no concerns with my FOI request. That is particularly so given that the documents I seek are simple rent/ lease agreements from some years ago. It is difficult to understand how disclosure of these documents could be considered in any way sensitive, even if the relevant third parties did object - which they apparently do not. It is unclear what further (unspecified) processing and clearances DFAT could possibly need to undertake at this stage of the process, that could not have been at least partially in train before now.

Whilst I do not wish to be unfair, it feels very much like DFAT is looking for ways to refuse this application rather than looking for a way to assist with my request, consistent with the objectives of the FOI legislation. I've been happy to be reasonable in granting an extension earlier in the process, but am of the view that DFAT has now had more than ample time to deal with what is a relatively straight-forward request.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOIDR

Thank you for your email.

This is an automated response to confirm that your email was received by
the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) Freedom
of Information Dispute Resolution (FOIDR) mailbox. Please note this
mailbox is monitored between 9 am to 5 pm on Monday to Friday, excluding
public holidays and shutdown periods.

New Information Commissioner review applications and FOI complaints

If you are seeking to lodge an application for review of an FOI decision
or a complaint about an agency’s processing of an FOI request, the OAIC
will write to you shortly.

Information regarding the IC review process can be found at:
[1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
and in [2]Part 10 of the [3]FOI Guidelines.

Information regarding the FOI complaints process can be found at:
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
and in [5]Part 11 of the [6]FOI Guidelines.

Submissions for existing Information Commissioner review applications and FOI
complaints

If you have provided submissions for a matter currently with the OAIC,
your correspondence will be attached to the relevant file. The review
adviser responsible for the matter will contact you should further
information regarding the submissions be required.

Extensions of time for processing FOI requests

Where an agency in unable to make a decision on an FOI request within the
timeframes for processing FOI requests, the agency can seek an extension
to time to process the FOI request, either from the FOI applicant or from
the OAIC.

Information for FOI applicant regarding extensions of time under the FOI
Act can be found at:
[7]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

Information for agencies regarding the extension of time provisions in the
FOI Act and how to apply to the OAIC for an extension of time can be found
at:
[8]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

Requests for documents of other agencies

Please note that the OAIC does not hold records of other government
agencies. If you wish to request access to documents of another agency,
you will need to make a request to that agency under the FOI Act.
Information about [9]how to make an FOI request is available on the OAIC
website.

Kind regards

 

Intake and Early Resolution Team

Freedom of Information Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |  [10]oaic.gov.au

1300 363 992   |  [11][email address]

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From: FOIDR


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Attachment Decision Letter 15AB to Request Relating To RQ19 03020 1.pdf
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Our reference: RQ19/03020

Agency reference:  LEX 393

 

Mr Edward Kerrigan

Sent by email: [1][FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Mr Kerrigan

Please find attached correspondence in relation to the processing of your
FOI request.

Kind regards

[2]O A I C logo   Adie Chang  |  Review and
Investigation Adviser (Legal)

Freedom of Information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9686  |  
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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From: Adie Chang


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Our reference: RQ19/03622

Agency reference: LEX 393

Mr Edward Kerrigan

Sent by email: [1][FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time application by the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

I write to advise that on 20 December 2019, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the Department) for an extension
of time to process your FOI request.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is considered
to be complex.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

 

o the request is highly complex and engages issues related to the
Department’s position on the employee superannuation matters. The
Department’s decision maker is reviewing the matter which necessitates
careful consideration of the material captured by this request
o the documents captured by this request contain sensitive personal
information. This required a line by line review to ensure that
material is not inappropriately released contrary to the Department’s
privacy obligations
o the Department has a shutdown period between 23 December 2019 and 2
January 2020. Due to the significant loss of working days over the
forthcoming Christmas/New Year period the Department will not be in a
position to deliver outcome due to lack of staffing resources

 

The Department has further advised that since its earlier request under
s 15AB of the FOI Act to the OAIC (OAIC reference: RQ19/03020), the
Department:

 

o has conducted  third party consultation which has been time
consuming.  After several reminders, the Department received a
consultation response from one of the third parties
o requires further time to consider the consultation response and the
relevant material
o the decision pack has been prepared and the decision maker is
currently undertaking final review of the material

 

I also note the FOI Guidelines[2][1], in particular [3.149] which states:

Staff absences due to public holidays or agency shutdown periods may be
relevant to whether an extension should be granted, if the particular
staff members have skills or knowledge that may be required to process the
request in the normal statutory timeframe. On the other hand, lack of
staff because of inadequate allocation of resources to FOI processing or
failure to assign additional temporary resources to FOI processing at peak
times will not normally justify an extension in the absence of other
extenuating circumstances.

The Department has requested an extension of 20 days to to 9 January
2020. I will take any comments you may have to make into account when
deciding the application.

 

Please respond to this email by 12:00PM on 24 December 2019. Please do not
hesitate to contact us before this date should you require further time to
provide your response. If I do not hear from you by this date, I will
proceed to make a decision on the basis of the information provided to me
by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [3]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9686 or via
email [email address]. In all correspondence please include
reference number at the top of this email.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[4]O A I C logo   Adie Chang  |  Review and
Investigation Adviser (Legal)

Freedom of Information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [5]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9686  |  
[6][email address]
[10]Subscribe [11]Subscribe to
[7]Facebook | [8]LinkedIn | [9]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

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From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear Ms Chang,

Thank you for your email of 23 December.

It has now been over four months since I made my initial request. DFAT has already been granted two extensions of time (one by me and one by the OAIC) and made use of other time extensions available under the FOI legislation. In the circumstances, I think it is reasonable to expect DFAT to make a decision before the extended due date of 20 December and I oppose a further extension of time.

With respect to the points raised to support the request for a further extension:

- The Christmas shutdown falls after the due date of 20 December, so cannot be a basis for requiring an extension of time beyond that date;
- My request makes no reference to DFAT's position on employee superannuation matters. As such, DFAT's apparent assessment that my request 'engages issues related to the Department’s position on the employee superannuation matters' is irrelevant - except to the extent that it suggests that matters extraneous to the content of my request appear to be being taken into account in its processing. These extraneous matters also appear to inform, at least in part, DFAT's assessment that my request is complex.
- DFAT's correspondence makes clear the Department had identified the documents relevant to my request by 21 October. It has had ample time to review them to ensure sensitive personal information is deleted.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: Adie Chang


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Attachment RQ19 03622 15AB letter to A DFAT and Kerrigan.pdf
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Our reference: RQ19/03622

Agency reference: LEX 393

Mr Edward Kerrigan

 

Sent by email: [1][FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Mr Kerrigan

Thank you for your response to my earlier email of today’s date.

Please find attached correspondence in relation to the processing of your
FOI request.

Kind regards

[2]O A I C logo   Adie Chang  |  Review and
Investigation Adviser (Legal)

Freedom of Information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9686  |  
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

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6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
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Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Vendor Creation Form Domestic.pdf
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Attachment Statement by Supplier.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

We are writing as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is seeking
an extension of 30 days under section 15AC of the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to allow the Department to finalise this request.

We are continuing to process your FOI request and will provide you with
the final outcome as soon as possible. This delay is due to the
significant loss of working days over the forthcoming Christmas/New Year
period.

Due to the delay in processing your request, and expiry of the statutory
deadline, the Department is required under the FOI Act to refund the
deposit of charges paid ($54.45).

We would be grateful if you could please return the completed forms
attached to this email address so that your refund may be processed.

 

If you have any questions, please contact [1][DFAT request email]

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

DFAT FOI Team
______________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch | Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[2]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Monday, 26 August 2019 8:35 AM
To: 'Edward Kerrigan' <[FOI #5587 email]>
Subject: Acknowledgement: Freedom of Information request - Properties
rented in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX 393

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 20 August 2019 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“- Rental agreements or leases in respect of properties rented or leased
by DFAT in Tandai, Honiara, Solomon Islands in calendar years 2013 - 2016;

- Documents evidencing rent or lease payments paid by DFAT in respect of
such properties during the period 2013- 2016”.

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

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.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 20 August 2019 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 25 September 2019.  The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

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, we 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.

 

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) or equivalent.  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
[3][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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [4][DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________

FOI and Privacy Law Section

Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[5]www.dfat.gov.au

 

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Link to this

From: Shelley Napper


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Our reference: RQ19/03665

Agency reference: LEX 393

Mr Edward Kerrigan

Sent by email: [1][FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time application by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

I write to advise that today, 24 December 2019, the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application
from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the Department) for an
extension of time, to process your FOI request.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AC of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because it has been unable to
finalise your request within the initial decision period.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

 

o Due to an administrative oversight the applicant’s payment of FOI
deposit was not duly processed. As a result the FOI clock was
inadvertently on hold for additional 12 days. 
o The documents contain material of a sensitive nature which require
careful consideration and analysis.
o The Director FPL is reviewing the documents in scope and assessing
what material can be released to Mr Kerrigan.
o The decision-maker requires this additional time to finalise his
decision and prepare a decision letter to Mr Kerrigan.
o Due to the significant loss of working days over the forthcoming
Christmas/New Year period the Department will not be in a position to
deliver outcome due to lack of staffing resources. This has resulted
in requesting additional 10 days to what we had originally proposed in
our s15AB extension request.
o The extension will allow the FOI Section additional time to prepare
the documents for release for Mr Kerrigan.
o The Department advised you that the department will be refunding the
FOI processing charges.

 

The Department has requested an extension of 30 days to 20 January 2020.
I will take any comments you may have to make into account when deciding
the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 2 January 2020. If I do
not hear from you by this date, I will proceed to make a decision on the
basis of the information provided to me by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [2]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9721 or via
email [3][email address]. In all correspondence please include
reference number at the top of this email.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

[4]OAIC   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director (A/g)

Freedom of information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [5]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[6][email address]
[10]Subscribe [11]Subscribe to
[7]Facebook | [8]LinkedIn | [9]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
5. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
6. mailto:[email address]
7. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
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9. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
11. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear Ms Napper,

I oppose the further extension requested by DFAT. In support of my position I note that:
- The latest request for extension comes just four days after the the Department's request for an extension under s15AB, which was refused by the OAIC;
- The reasons DFAT offers in support of its request for an extension under s15AC are in substance the same as those it provided when requesting an extension under s15AB four days before. To the extent that the reasons for the latest request differ, they consist of matters that were or should have been known by DFAT when it made its earlier request for an extension;
- As a matter of policy, agencies should be discouraged from lodging repeat extension requests under different provisions of the FOI Act where the requests are based on on similar grounds and made within a short space of time of each other. This is particularly so when the second request seeks an even longer delay than the first;
- DFAT was well aware of the 20 December time limit: it explicitly referred to 20 December as the revised due date in its message to me of 18 November;
- The sensitivity DFAT references concerns matters extraneous to the documents themselves, namely DFAT's concerns that they 'engage(s) issues related to the Department’s position on the employee superannuation matters';
- It has now been over four months since I made my initial request. DFAT has already been granted two extensions of time (one by me and one by the OAIC) and made use of other time extensions available under the FOI legislation. In the circumstances, I think it is reasonable to expect DFAT to have made a decision before the extended due date of 20 December.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: Shelley Napper

Thank you for your email.

The OAIC is closed 25 December 2019 - 1 January 2020 (inclusive).

 

I will respond to your email upon my return on 2 January 2020.

 

If urgent please contact [email address] from 2 January 2020.

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Link to this

From: Shelley Napper


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Our reference: RQ19/03665

Agency reference: LEX 393

 

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

Thank you for your response of 27 December 2019, which will be taken into
consideration before a decision is made.

 

I will provide you with my decision regarding the Department’s extension
of time request shortly.

 

Kind regards

 

[1]OAIC   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director (A/g)

Freedom of information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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Link to this

From: Shelley Napper


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Attachment 20200106 RQ1903665 Letter to FOIA.pdf
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Our reference: RQ19/03665

Agency reference: LEX393

Mr Edward Kerrigan

 

Sent by email: [FOI #5587 email]

Extension of time under s 15AC

Dear Mr Kerrigan

 

I refer to previous correspondence in relation to this matter.

 

Please find attached my decision of today’s date in relation to the
Department’s request for an extension of time under s 15AC of the FOI Act.

 

I note that it is open to you to seek Information Commissioner review (IC
review) of the Department’s deemed decision. Please contact
[1][email address] for further information.

 

Kind regards

 

[2]OAIC   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director (A/g)

Freedom of information

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

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References

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Link to this

From: Edward Kerrigan

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I note that you are now deemed to have refused my FOI application. I will be seeking review by the OAIC.

My application fee can be refunded to the account is was paid from.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Kerrigan

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Vendor Creation Form Domestic.pdf
381K Download View as HTML

Attachment Statement by Supplier.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mr Kerrigan

Thank you for your email.

We wish to confirm that your FOI request is at the final stages of decision making. Notwithstanding the statutory timeframe for processing your FOI request has elapsed, we endeavour to provide you an outcome no later than COB 29 January 2020.

Due to the delay in processing your request, the Department is refunding the deposit of charges paid ($54.45).

We would be grateful if you could please return the completed forms attached to this email address so that your refund may be processed.

We apologise for the delay in processing your FOI requests.

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team
___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch | Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
www.dfat.gov.au
Web | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade only: