s 54W records

Julie made this Freedom of Information request to Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

The request was partially successful.

From: Julie

Delivered

Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

Under s 15(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), I make a s 15(2) compliant request for access for the following scope below.

This request is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and notices under the FOI Act are to be sent to email address this request came from.

This application is in two parts:

Firstly, copy of any record/document use by officers of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to guide them in any exercise (intention or otherwise) of s 54W of the Freedom of Information Act (only that part of the document or record that pertains to s 54W if it also extends to other matters).

Secondly, a s 17 produced document is sought, being a statistical report, covering the last year (365 days, or as near as to), totalling the number of IC Review not withdrawn after a s 55G substitution occurred, and the number of those that subsequently received a notice of intention (s 54W) letter from the OAIC.

Ciao,

Julie

Link to this

From: Salma Aly
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Our reference: FOIREQ19/00219

Dear Julie

Freedom of Information request

I refer to your request for access to documents made under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act) and received by the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) on 6 October 2019.

Scope of your request

In your email you seek access to the following:

 

Firstly, copy of any record/document use by officers of the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to guide them in any exercise
(intention or otherwise)  of s 54W of the Freedom of Information Act (only
that part of the document or record that pertains to s 54W if it also
extends to other matters).

 

Secondly, a s 17 produced document is sought, being a statistical report,
covering the last year (365 days, or as near as to), totalling the number
of IC Review not withdrawn after a s 55G substitution occurred, and the
number of those that subsequently received a notice of intention (s 54W)
letter from the OAIC.

 

Timeframes for dealing with your request

Section 15 of the FOI Act requires this office to process your request no
later than 30 days after the day we receive it. However, section 15(6) of
the FOI Act allows us a further 30 days in situations where we need to
consult with third parties about certain information, such as business
documents or documents affecting their personal privacy.

As we received your request on 6 October 2019, we must process your
request by 5 November 2019.

Disclosure Log

Documents released under the FOI Act may be published online on our
disclosure log, unless they contain personal or business information that
would be unreasonable to publish.

If you would like to discuss this matter please contact me on my contact
details set out below.

Regards

[1]O A I C logo   Salma Aly  |  Lawyer (Graduate)

Legal Services

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9864  | 
[2][email address]
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From: Megan McKenna
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Dear Julie

 

I refer to your freedom of information request FOIREQ19/00219.

 

In relation to part 2 of your request, I have conducted preliminary
inquiries with the relevant line area and have been informed that the
OAIC’s case management system is unable to generate the requested
information.

 

However, I am able to generate a report which identifies the number of IC
reviews finalised under s 54W of the FOI Act within the past year. The
line area can then manually review the files to determine whether they
were finalised subsequent to a 55G decision being issued.

 

The outcome would be a document with 2 lines as follows:

 

Number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W in past 12 months: XX

Number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W in past 12 months that were
subject to a s 55G decision prior to finalisation: XX

 

Can you please confirm whether you agree to the revised scope?

 

Kind regards

 

[1][IMG]   Megan McKenna |  FOI Officer/Paralegal

Legal Services

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

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

+61 2 8231 4292  | 
[3][email address]
[4][IMG] | [5][IMG] | [6][IMG] |   [7]Subscribe to Information
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From: Julie

Delivered

Dear Megan,

You have proposed that the scope of Part 2 of this FOI be varied to:
_______
Number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W in past 12 months: XX

Number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W in past 12 months that were
subject to a s 55G decision prior to finalisation: XX
——————

Original Part 2 scope
——————————-
Secondly, a s 17 produced document is sought, being a statistical report, covering the last year (365 days, or as near as to), totalling the number of IC Review not withdrawn after a s 55G substitution occurred, and the number of those that subsequently received a notice of intention (s 54W) letter from the OAIC.
____________

You have stated that whether under the proposed revision of scope for Part 2, or the original scope for Part 2, the RESOLVE system cannot automatically produce all of the statistics involved, and would require the line area to manually review the RESOLVE file history of those files that had a s 54W decision made within them, to produce part of those statistics.

From the information you have provided, it appears that RESOLVE can “generate a report which identifies the number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W of the FOI Act within the past year”.

It would be beneficial to identify, before proceeding further, the number of “number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W of the FOI Act within the past year” to understand the number of RESOLVE file histories that may need to be manually reviewed. Can you provide that number, given it can be produced on demand from RESOLVE (as a scoping of the number of RESOLVE files that may be involved)?

Ciao,

Julie

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From: Delaney Smith
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Dear Julie

Many thanks for your email below.

I can advise that the number of IC reviews finalised under s 54W of the
FOI Act within the past year is 370. This means that the line area will
need to manually review 370 files to determine how many of those files
were subject to a s 55G decision.

Please advise me whether you would like to proceed with the revised
request.

Kind regards

Delaney

[1]O A I C logo   Delaney Smith  |  Legal
Services Officer

Legal Services

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

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

+61 2 9284 9606  |  
[3][email address]
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From: Julie

Delivered

Dear Delaney,

370 forced closures via s 54W is a surprisingly large number for the year!

Obviously when we are talking about “files” we are referring to the case history on RESOLVE (the OAIC computerised information system that records and tracks FOI and Privacy complaints made to the Commissioner).

Can you provide me with an estimate of how many minutes it would take to skim the last couple of entries (given it would be unnecessary to read the whole history, as any s 55G substitution and s 54W closure would be in the last couple of entries of the history log) in the summary, to see if a s 55G substitution had occurred prior to a s 54W closure.

Under s 15AA of the Freedom of Information Act 1982, I also extend the statutory deadline for this FOI to 12 November 2019.

Ciao,

Julie

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Chen_F left an annotation ()

What a joke - 370 IC reviews closed because the Information Commissioner didn't have the courage to make a decision that might upset/embarass her political masters in the Liberal Party. At least former IC Tim Pilgrim possessed a skerrick of integrity. I reckon this IC was gifted the IC role in return for her promise to go slow on her IC review decisions/or otherwise refuse to make the politically uncomfortable ones on 370 occasions annually! This is corruption - pure and simple.

Link to this

From: Delaney Smith
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Dear Julie

Many thanks for your email below and for the extension of time to process
your request.

The report actually had some duplicates in it as it reports on issues of a
matter and some matters may have more than one issue. After removing the
duplicate data there are 219 files to review and each file takes
approximately one minute to review. You are correct, I am looking for
whether a s 55G document is on the file and this is usually
straightforward.

I am happy to continue to review all 219.

Kind regards

Delaney

[1]O A I C logo   Delaney Smith  |  Legal
Services Officer

Legal Services

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

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

+61 2 9284 9606  |  
[3][email address]
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From: Julie

Delivered

Hi Delaney,

In previous IC review decisions, the Information Commissioner has upheld their consistent accepted view that between 30 seconds per page to 5 minutes per page is a reasonable estimate of the time required for an agency to read, assess and redact a document (except where the documents contain a substantial amount of very technical or sensitive information).

In her recent decision, the Information Commissioner in 'QO' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 46 (24 June 2019) at [58] held that reading and examination of one page of full text would take only one minute.

In this case, the reading of the last few entries in the RESOLVE case history for the 219 files you have identified only involves skimming for mention of a s 55G substitution preceding a s 54W notice of intent to close, and increasing the count if it is there. There is no assessing nor editing nor reading of the full page required.

This puts the task closer to the 30 second standard accepted by the Information Commissioner in ‘FF’ and Australian Taxation Office [2015] AICmr 25 (27 March 2015), but for the sake of allowing some variance, lets say 45 seconds.

So that would make it 2.75hrs (lets say 3 hrs for some comfort) for skimming that relevant section of the 219 files and tallying the count.

No redactions would be involved for Part 2, and therefore no consideration really as a result (given its just statistics)

Thank you for indicating your willingness to skim the amended 219 number of files. The additional time provided should mean you don’t have to rush.

Ciao,

Julie

Link to this

From: Delaney Smith
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner


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Attachment FOIREQ19 00219 FOI request decision sent to A.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ19 00219 Schedule of documents.pdf
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Attachment FOIREQ19 00219 Documents released to A.pdf
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Dear Julie

Please find attached correspondence relating to your FOI request.

Kind regards

Delaney

[1]O A I C logo   Delaney Smith  |  Legal
Services Officer

Legal Services

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

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

+61 2 9284 9606  |  
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 

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From: Julie

Delivered

Dear Delaney,

Thanks. Thirty-seven s 52W dismissals after a s 55G substitution occurred seems very high for just one calendar year, but then over 200 (or over 300, if using the original total) s 52W dismissals for just one calendar year is quite large too (so may have scaled).

I know Office of the Information Commissioner practice is to send out redacted documents with full page count, but when for each document there are just multiple fully redacted pages, it might be worth considering putting a single page in lieu stating pages X to XX are redacted under s XX, just to reduce multiple pages of fully blacked-out (and somewhat redundant) pages. It’ll keep the file size smaller and save people’s toner cartridges.

Ciao,

Julie

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