Request for Public Waitlist Management data file names for years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

Mr Liddiard made this Freedom of Information request to WA Department of Health

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From: Mr Liddiard


Dear WA Department of Health,

I am requesting the file names of Public Hospital data sets which are annually released by the Department of Health WA.

Last year I attended Regional Hospital where they kindly presented data from a Department of Health data file. Only data specific to the specialist I attended with was displayed at a specialist specific level as is in keeping with confidentiality. Although, more macro data was presented by specialty, hospital, post code/town, procedure and so on.

Therefore I know this data is release at least annually to the hospitals in WA, whether as a waitlist specific file or as a more global file.

I am requesting the file names only for the years: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

I am currently in discussion with the Freedom of information Commission over access to this data and request that this information is provided as soon as is practicably possible.

Yours faithfully,
Mr Liddiard

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From: Mullan, Georgia
WA Department of Health

Attachment FOI Application Form.pdf
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Dear Mr Liddiard,

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, there is not enough information to determine what data you viewed when visiting the regional hospital. Was the data specifically shown to you in a presentation, on a notice board, slideshow etc. It is possible that the date file could have been prepared by that hospital, or region or area office.

If these documents are available publicly, this would not fall under a Freedom of Information request.

There are public reports about the Elective Surgery Wait List, produced by the Department of Health WA on a monthly basis:

Should you wish to proceed as a Freedom of Information request, please complete the attached application.

Please contact me should you have any queries.

Kind regards,

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Often I read statements from FOI officers that say something that is in the correct direction but is not correct in all the details. The officer who has replied to this request says about the documents that the applicant wants, "If these documents are available publicly, this would not fall under a Freedom of Information request." This is not exactly true or maybe I should say that it might be true depending on what the officer thinks she means by "available publicly".

The test is in s 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) and it is more specific. It says that the access rights described in the Act do not apply to documents that are---
(a) available for purchase by the public or free distribution to the public; or
(b) available for inspection (whether for a fee or charge or not) under Part 5 or another enactment; or
(c) State archives to which a person has a right to be given access under Part 6 of the State Records Act 2000 despite this Act; or
(d) publicly available library material held by agencies for reference purposes; or
(e) made or acquired by an art gallery, museum or library and preserved for public reference or exhibition purposes.

I believe that the officer is referring in some way to sub-ss 6(a), 6(b) or 6(d) but they have very more specific requirements that the loose words "available publicly". I am not sure that a document that is published only on the internet will satisfy the test.

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Things to do with this request

WA Department of Health only: