Terrorist Vicken Hovsepian's Entry to Australia

Pinar Yilmaz made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Border Force

The request was refused by Australian Border Force.

From: Pinar Yilmaz

Delivered

Dear Australian Customs and Border Protection Service,

In May 2014, convicted Terrorist Vicken Hovsepian has entered Australia (most probably) via Sydney International Airport from Los Angeles to give lectures to the Armenian Youth about a "united Armenian agenda". He has departed on June 2014 to Los Angeles.

This terrorist was convicted 5 years in jail in 1980s for masterminding a terrorist bomb plot, which FBI estimates would result in the death of over 3000 people. (https://law.resource.org/pub/us/case/rep... As a result he was not only jailed for 5 years but also the US Immigration department cancelled his US Citizenship, which was later overturned by a court.

I am asking the department if this terrorist has informed the Border Protection Officer on the arrival card he presented to the officer, that he has "criminal convictions". Whether or not he has ticked "Yes" to the question : "Do you have any criminal conviction/s?"

Yours faithfully,

Pinar Yilmaz

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From: FOI Coordinator

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that your email has been received by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's FOI Coordinator.

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to access.

Further details on how to make a valid FOI request can be found on the agency’s website at: http://www.customs.gov.au/foi/requesting....

The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

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From: FOI Coordinator

Dear Pinar

Request for access to documents – Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act)

I refer to your email dated 25 February 2015 in which you have sought access to documents held by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

You have requested access to:

'the Incoming Passenger Card presented by Vicken Hovsepian upon his arrival at Sydney International Airport from Los Angeles in May 2014.'

The subject matter of the documents requested by you is more closely connected with the functions of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection than the functions of ACBPS. As such, your request was transferred to Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 26 February 2015 under section 16 of the FOI Act so that that agency can make a decision on your request for access to their documents.

Your application was received on 25 February 2015, and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request will commence from that date.

The FOI officer at Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be writing to you directly concerning your request.

With kind regards
FOI Coordinator
P| 02 6275 5621
E| [Customs request email]

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Pinar Yilmaz

 

Thank you for your enquiry dated 25 February 2015, for:

 

I am asking the department if this terrorist has informed the Border
Protection Officer on the arrival card he presented to the officer, that
he has "criminal convictions". Whether or not he has ticked "Yes" to the
question : "Do you have any criminal conviction/s?"

 

This email is to advise that the department has not accepted your request
as valid under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). This is
because your request is for 'information' and not for a document in the
department's possession at the time of your request.

 

Should you wish to submit an FOI request, you may wish to complete form
424A at the following web address. The questions on this form will prompt
you to provide all the information necessary for the processing your
request.

 

See: 424A  [1]http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/424a...

 

Where to send your request

You may return the completed form and attachments (if relevant) to the
department either by mail; or email. Please refer to page 2 of the form
for details on where to send your request.

 

Please note that currently your enquiry has not met the requirements of
s.15 of the FOI Act. Therefore, the department has not yet registered your
enquiry as a new FOI request. Please complete the form and return to the
department to commence the processing of your request.

 

I hope this information is of assistance to you.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Beth Morrison

 

FOI Coordinator

Freedom of Information Section - Department of Immigration and Border
Protection
Email: [2][email address]

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

Important Notice: If you have received this email by mistake, please
advise
the sender and delete the message and attachments immediately.  This
email,
including attachments, may contain confidential, sensitive, legally
privileged
and/or copyright information.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination
or other use of this information by persons or entities other than the
intended recipient is prohibited.  DIBP respects your privacy and has
obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  The official departmental privacy
policy can be viewed on the department's website at www.immi.gov.au.  See:
http://www.immi.gov.au/functional/privac...

References

Visible links
1. http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/424a...
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: Pinar Yilmaz

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I hereby change my request to the following :

I kindly ask the department to release all documents related to terrorist Vicken Hovsepian's entry into Australia in June 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Pinar Yilmaz

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

There is ZERO obligation to complete a form for an FOI request at the Federal Level. In fact, Right to Know is specifically mentioned under the Information Commissioner's FOI Guidelines (see http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform... as meeting the requirements of the FOI Act.

In this case, the request could have asked for "A copy of the Incoming Passenger Card for Vicken Hovsepian" and it would have been a valid request under the FOI Act.

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From: FOI

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Pinar Yilmaz

Thank you for your e-mail. I apologise if my email to you of 27 February 2015 (below) was not clear. The request that you made on 25 February 2015 was determined to be invalid and was closed on that basis. As it was closed, you are unable to 'change' your request.

You will need to submit a fresh application under the FOI Act if there are documents that you wish to access from the department. If you do not wish to use form 424A, please ensure that your request meets the following criteria:

The requirements for a valid FOI request are set out in section 15(2) of the FOI 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).

Yours sincerely,
Beth Morrison

FOI Coordinator
Freedom of Information Section - Department of Immigration and Border Protection
email: [email address]

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Daniel O'Connor left an annotation ()

Relevant other extracts:

http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

The request must provide such information as is reasonably necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency or the minister to identify the document that is requested (s 15(2)(b)) (see [3.97]). Before refusing a request for failing to meet this requirement an agency or minister must undertake a ‘request consultation process’ (see [3.111]–[3.115]).

and

3.49 An agency or minister may refuse a request that does not meet the formal requirements set out in s 15 (subject to conducting a request consultation process before basing a decision on s 15(2)(b)). However, an agency also has a duty to take reasonable steps to assist a person to make a request that complies with the formal requirements of the FOI Act (s 15(3)). This duty applies both when a person wishes to make a request and when they have made a request that does not meet the formal requirements. While the Act places an obligation only on agencies, ministers’ offices may adopt a similar approach to assisting applicants.

and

3.53 An agency or minister should also be flexible in assisting an applicant to provide the details necessary for a request to fulfil the formal requirements of the FOI Act (for example, notifying the applicant of a missing detail by telephone or email). This contact can be made either before or after a request is formally acknowledged. It should rarely be necessary to require the submission of a fresh written FOI request if only a minor detail, such as a date relevant to a particular document or the applicant’s return address, has been omitted from the access request. Once the further information is provided, the agency or minister’s office should inform the applicant that their request meets the statutory requirements and that the timeframe for deciding the request has commenced. It is important to keep good records of contact with applicants, such as file notes of conversations, so that an agency can demonstrate if required that it has taken reasonable steps in accordance with s 15(3) or (4).

I would strongly encourage you to highlight this lack of process; as well as point to other examples where the DIBP has adhered properly spirit of the act.

IE:
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/r...

I note that this is the second attempt to get similar information (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/t... so I would recommend that in any new request you link to the previous ones; and very clearly/carefully explain the documents you seek; how it differs from previous requests, etc.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Border Force only: