SERCO contracts

Sarah Pitney made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Home Affairs

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

From: Sarah Pitney

Delivered

Dear Department of Immigration and Border Protection,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I request access to:

- The 2009-2014 contracts between the Department and SERCO
- Any tender bids by SERCO for future contracts between the Department and SERCO

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Pitney

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Alex Sadleir left an annotation ()

In relation to asylum seekers, details such as value and end date of these contracts are available at https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public... and https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public...

The full text of the Immigration Detention contract is available from New Matilda https://newmatilda.com/2011/11/09/exclus...

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Our references: FA 14/02/01094; ADF2014/6571

 

Dear Sarah Pitney

 

I am writing to you in response to your email dated 22 February 2014,
purportedly under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and asking
that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection provide you with
a copy of the following document:

 

- The 2009-2014 contracts between the Department and SERCO

- Any tender bids by SERCO for future contracts between the Department and
SERCO 

 

The purpose of this email is to advise you that I consider the request may
be invalid under the FOI Act.  I will explain my reasons in full below.

 

Requirements of the FOI Act

The requirements for a valid FOI request are set out in section 15(2) of
the Act, which provides that:

 

The request must:

 

(a)  be in writing; and

 

(aa) state that the request is an application for the purposes of this
Act; and

 

(b) provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably
necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister,
to identify it; and

 

(c) give details of how notices under this Act may be sent to the
applicant (for example, by providing an electronic address to which
notices may be sent by electronic communication).

 

The FOI Act envisages that an agency and the applicant will, where
necessary and appropriate, engage in dialogue about the request.  The FOI
Act also envisages that there may be instances when an agency will wish to
send a formal legal notice to an applicant, for example, when the agency
believes that it would be a substantial and unreasonable diversion of
resources to process the request or intends to charge the applicant for
processing the request.  In addition, the FOI Act provides applicants with
review rights which are activated by the act of the agency ‘notifying’ the
applicant of the decision.

 

In order to engage in this dialogue, the applicant must provide an address
through which the applicant intends to be contactable.  It should be an
address through which the agency will be able to write to the applicant
and receive a response to the communication. It must also be an address
through which the agency can reasonably assume that legal notices will be
received, read and responded to by the applicant.  This requirement has
been an element of a valid FOI request since the Act was first enacted in
1982.

 

Issues regarding your request

I am not satisfied that the email address you have provided meets the
requirement of ‘details of how notices under this Act may be sent to the
applicant’ (s.15(2)(b) of the FOI Act).  In particular, it does not appear
to be an address to which the agency could send a ‘notice’.  The address
you have provided appears to be an address for publication of
correspondence on the internet.

 

Next steps

Please confirm by writing to [DIBP request email] that the email address you
have provided is an address to which the Department can send you notices,
by close of business Friday 7 March 2014. 

The request will then be validated.

 

If you have not provided confirmation by that time, the request will be
closed as invalid.

 

Publically available information

The Immigration Detention Services contract with Serco is listed on the
department’s disclosure log for 2011.  These documents would be within the
scope of your request and can be provided to you outside the FOI Act.  The
size of the documents are too large to send to you via email.  Please
provide the department with a postal address where we can send you a copy
of the documents on CD you can provide these contact details by sending an
email to [1][email address].

 

You may find that there are additional documents listed on the
department’s disclosure log relevant to the subject matter of your
request.  You can seek access to these documents by writing to the
department at [2][email address].

See: [3]http://www.immi.gov.au/about/foi/foi-dis...

 

 

Yours sincerely

Janelle

__________________________________

Janelle Raineri

FOI Inbox Manager

FOI & Privacy Policy Section
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Email: [4][DIBP request email]

 

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