Request for mobile communications via mobile applications

Ben Fairless made this Freedom of Information request to Minister for Education

The request was refused by Minister for Education.

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Minister for Education,

Can you please provide a copy of all inbound and outbound chats in the 7 days prior to this request that was sent or received from the minister using any of the below applications:
- WhatsApp
- Facebook Messneger
- Signal
- Telegram
- Grindr
- Scruff
- Tinder
- Email Accounts without a .gov.au email address?

Please initially process these requests informally. I understand the AG advised the senate that the communications were "trivial" so I don't anticipate any exemptions being applied. If the request can't be processed informally, please treat it as a formal FOI request.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Fairless

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From: Education - Minister for Education
Minister for Education

Thank you for your email to Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for
Education and Training. This is an automated reply to let you know your
email has been received.

 

We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback on our education
policies.

 

As the office receives a significant amount of correspondence, only emails
providing full contact details will be formally responded to.

 

Office of Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Education and Training

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 7350

 

 

Notice:
The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 566 046 during business hours (8am - 5pm Local time)
and delete all copies of this transmission together with any attachments. 

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From: Education - FOI
Minister for Education

Dear Mr Fairless,

We are responding on behalf of the Office of the Minister for Education and Training (Minister's Office). We acknowledge receipt of your FOI request by the Minister's Office, which will provide further correspondence on this matter in due course.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Education and Training

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From: Education - FOI
Minister for Education

Dear Mr Fairless,

On behalf of the Office of the Minister for Education and Training I am writing, in accordance with section 15AA of the FOI Act, to seek your written agreement to a 2 week extension to the processing time for this request.

Could you please advise whether this is acceptable to you?

Kind regards
FOI Team
Department of Education and Training

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Link to this

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Education - FOI,

2 weeks is fine. Is there a reason for the delay?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

Link to this

From: Education - FOI
Minister for Education

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for that. We will notify OAIC of the extension, on behalf of the Minister, in accordance with section 15AA(b) of the FOI Act.

Kind regards
FOI Team

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Link to this

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Education - FOI,

I asked for a reason the request is delayed. Could you advise where you're up to with this request?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

Link to this

From: Education - Minister for Education
Minister for Education


Attachment FAIRLESS Ben.pdf
252K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Please find attached with this email a response to your recent Freedom of
Information Request.

 

Regards,

 

Office of Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Education and Training

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 7350

 

Notice:
The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 566 046 during business hours (8am - 5pm Local time)
and delete all copies of this transmission together with any attachments. 

Link to this

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Education - Minister for Education,

I refer to your offer to consult with me as a practical refusal reason may exist under the Freedom of Information Act.

The process to determine if I have these apps installed on my mobile device took all of 5 minutes. This can be done (on an iPhone device) by acquiring the device, and swiping across each "home screen" on the device to determine if the relevant icon is present. With respect to the last item on my list, as someone in the Minister's office, I would assume you know if the Minister uses a private email server to conduct Government business. If it assists getting us over the line, we can strike that off?

The reason you say this is unreasonable is because you would need to assess each and every message. I note the OAIC Guidelines state that "Poor record keeping or an inefficient filing system would not of themselves provide grounds for a claim that identifying or locating documents would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources."

You have also not advised if the Minster A) uses any of the platforms listed or B) how many messages are there. If the Minister only used one of the platforms and sent 10 messages (for example) how in the world could this be considered an unreasonble diversion of resources?!

You seem to be implying that anything that requires the minister's personal direction could cause issues, however I note that it's sometimes possible to perform searches using specialised software without requiring the device to be present (except for a backup).

I'm confused about how I can limit the scope of my request. I've kept it to a very short time frame and limited the scope of applications. I also note that the Attorney-General says that communication would be "Unremarkable". Can you offer a suggestion about how this request can be narrowed?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

Link to this

From: Education - Minister for Education
Minister for Education

Thank you for your email to Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for
Education and Training. This is an automated reply to let you know your
email has been received.

 

We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback on our education
policies.

 

As the office receives a significant amount of correspondence, only emails
providing full contact details will be formally responded to.

 

Office of Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Education and Training

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 7350

 

 

Notice:
The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 566 046 during business hours (8am - 5pm Local time)
and delete all copies of this transmission together with any attachments. 

Link to this

From: Education - Minister for Education
Minister for Education


Attachment FAIRLESS Ben.pdf
86K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI Request.

 

Regards,

 

Office of Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Education and Training

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 7350

 

Notice:
The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 566 046 during business hours (8am - 5pm Local time)
and delete all copies of this transmission together with any attachments. 

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Minister for Education only: