Reports to the Office of the Australian Information Commission

Keith Owen made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

The request was refused by Department of Human Services.

From: Keith Owen

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I would like to access any reports made to the Office of the Australian Information Commission regarding any data breaches by the Department of Human Services from March 2018 when it became mandatory to report such breaches.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Owen

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


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Attachment LEX 39599 Registration Acknowledgement letter.pdf
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Dear Mr Owen

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your freedom of
information request.

 

Kind regards

 

Registration Officer

Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

Email: [1][email address]

[2]cid:image002.png@01CE578F.EEB98AC0

 

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX 39599 s24AB s 24AB letter.pdf
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Dear Mr Owen,

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Ellen

Authorised FOI Decision Maker

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

 

Email: [1][email address]

 

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

 

 

 

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From: Keith Owen

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I thank you for your 'response'.

It would appear that a distinct pattern is emerging regarding how the Department of Human Services responds to FOI requests, even when they are quite straight forward and simple.

Hopefully this will clarify what you are seeking from me regarding clarification:

1. The Office of the Australian Information Commission commenced mandatory reporting for all Government Departments for any data breach.

2. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has released policy and strategies for Open Government. It is part of the Partnership in Open Government that the Commonwealth Government has agreed to participate in. Hence, it is encouraged, as partly an anti-corruption and right to information strategy, to ensure the Australian Public have access to information to ensure the accountability and transparency of Australian Government Departments.

3. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has encouraged organisations and individuals to make submissions regarding these very issues.

4.The request made in this FOI request is simple, and the documents easily identified.

5. Data concerning this, and many other requests made of the Department of Human Services will be used to inform a submission regarding deliberate barriers to access information.

6. There for, no 'practical refusal reason' exists for this request.

7. Our advocacy group has evidence of several data breaches committed by the Department of Human Services since March 2018.

8. The time period in question for this request is very limited. From March 2018 to the date of this request.

9. To put it simply, I want access to any mandatory reports made by the Department of Human Services regarding data breaches by the Department of Human Services from March 2018 to present. Individual names may be redacted of course to protect the client's identity.

As an advocacy group, we shall be asking a Senator to ask some basic questions in Parliament regarding the conduct of the Department of Human Services in relation to the barriers it places to frustrate FOI requests. It appears that there is indeed a lack of transparency with the Department of Human Services.

I trust you will find my 'revision' sufficient to complete this request and no further clarification will be necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Owen

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


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Attachment LEX 39599 Decision Decision letter final.pdf
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Dear Mr Owen

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your freedom of
information request.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

Email: [1][email address]

[2]cid:image002.png@01CE578F.EEB98AC0

 

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From: Keith Owen

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Human Services's handling of my FOI request 'Reports to the Office of the Australian Information Commission'.

The response was either a deliberate attempt to avoid public scrutiny, or the Department has not carried out it's legislated responsibility to report data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

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

Yours faithfully,

Keith Owen

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


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Dear Mr Owen

 

I refer to your request for internal review of the Freedom of Information
(FOI) decision made by Bruce, an authorised FOI Decision Maker, dated
22 October 2018.

 

Under section 54B(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), a
request for internal review must be in writing and within 30 days after
the day that the original decision was notified to you. Information on how
to apply for an internal review, including the requirement that a request
must be made in writing and within 30 days, was provided to you in
Attachment B of the original decision.

 

You were notified of the original decision on 22 October 2018 and your
request for internal review was received by the department on 24 November
2018. Because there are 33 days between the day after you were notified of
the original decision and the date of your request for internal review,
you are outside of the 30 day period. Accordingly, you are unable to
request an internal review for this decision.

 

Kind regards

 

Alice

Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

Email: [1][email address]

[2]cid:image002.png@01CE578F.EEB98AC0

 

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I have looked at many requests that have been made to the Department of Human Services. In my opinion, the applicant is correct to say that a "distinct pattern" is apparent. The pattern is that if there is any possible way not to release documents or to delay the release of documents, or to discourage an applicant who is seeking the release of documents, then the Department of Human Services will do this. It is not a department where the public can have confidence that the objectives of the FOI Act are being treated with the respect that is due.

The solution for the applicant in this case, where the application for internal review was outside the allowed time (and refused), is simply to lodge exactly the same request again.

It is also proper to say that the agency decision maker was economical with her words when she said that "Under section 54B(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), a request for internal review must be in writing and within 30 days after the day that the original decision was notified to [the applicant]". In fact, section 54B(1) says, "An application for internal review must be in writing and must be made: (a) within 30 days, or such further period as the agency allows, after the day the decision is notified to the applicant for
internal review." Clearly the decision maker forgot to mention "or within such further period as the agency allows".

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