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'Treatment of returnees' sections of Sri Lanka 2019 country report

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Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Please provide all communications, documents, email correspondences and minutes of discussions used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include materials used to produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013.

Yours faithfully,

Elias Ross

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

OFFICIAL
FOI Reference: LEX 2698
 
Dear Mr Ross
 
Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
 
Thank you for your e-mail dated 24 September 2020 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:
 
“Provide all communications, documents, email correspondences and minutes
of discussions used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the
latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include materials used to
produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013.”
 
This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
 
Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.
 
Scope of request:
If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.
 
Timeframe for receiving our decision:
We received your request on 24 September 2020 and the 30-day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that
date.  You should therefore expect a decision from us by 26 October 2020. 
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.
 
Charges:
Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.
 
Timing of release:
As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.
 
Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:
It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[1][DFAT request email] so the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will
take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope
of your request.
 
Personal Information:
If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at [2]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.
 
Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [3][DFAT request email]
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
DFAT FOI Team
___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch
Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[4]www.dfat.gov.au
 
 
 

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FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

3 Attachments

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: LEX 2698

 

Dear Mr Ross,

 

Please see attached correspondence relating to your FOI request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

[1]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[2]DFAT.GOV.AU | [3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Flickr | [6]YouTube

 

 

 

_____________________________________________

From: FOI

Sent: Friday, 25 September 2020 3:50 PM

To: 'Elias Ross' <[FOI #6751 email]>

Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - 'Treatment of returnees'
sections of Sri Lanka 2019 country report - Acknowledgement [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

 

FOI Reference: LEX 2698

 

Dear Mr Ross

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 24 September 2020 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“Provide all communications, documents, email correspondences and minutes
of discussions used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the
latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include materials used to
produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013.”

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 24 September 2020 and the 30-day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that
date.  You should therefore expect a decision from us by 26 October 2020. 
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[7][DFAT request email] so the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will
take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope
of your request.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at [8]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [9][DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[10]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response. Acknowledging the practical refusal letter, I would like to revise my request to the following:

Provide all communications, email correspondences and minutes
of discussions used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the
latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include communications used to
produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013. Please limit the communications, email correspondences and minutes of discussions to those between DFAT and the Sri Lankan Government (including from the Sri Lankan Attorney General's Department, the Sri Lankan Navy, Department of Immigration and Emigration, the State Intelligence Service, the Criminal Investigation Department or the Terrorism Investigation Division). Please also include communications, email correspondences and minutes of discussions between DFAT and the International Organisation for Migration.

Many thanks in advance

Yours sincerely,

Elias Ross

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Mr Ross,
 
Thank you for sending through your revised scope.
 
On close consideration, I think your revised request can be read a number
of ways.  This is what I understand your request to be seeking:
 
“Please provide all communications, email correspondence and minutes of
discussions between DFAT and the Sri Lankan Government (including from the
Sri Lankan Attorney General's Department, the Sri Lankan Navy, Department
of Immigration and Emigration, the State Intelligence Service, the
Criminal Investigation Department or the Terrorism Investigation
Division), and between DFAT and the International Organisation for
Migration, used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the
latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include communications
used to produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013.”
 
Can you please confirm whether the wording above captures the essence of
what you are seeking to obtain through this request?  Alternatively, if I
have not captured your request, could you please resubmit it?
 
Thank you in advance,
Kind regards
Alison
 
 
DFAT FOI Team
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[1]DFAT.GOV.AU | [2]Twitter | [3]Facebook | [4]Flickr | [5]YouTube
 
 

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Dear Alison,

Yes, thank you that reading is correct. Apologies.

Yours sincerely,

Elias Ross

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: LEX2698

 

Dear Mr Ross

I refer to your request seeking access under the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 to:

" Please provide all communications, email correspondence and minutes of
discussions between DFAT and the Sri Lankan Government (including from the
Sri Lankan Attorney General's Department, the Sri Lankan Navy, Department
of Immigration and Emigration, the State Intelligence Service, the
Criminal Investigation Department or the Terrorism Investigation
Division), and between DFAT and the International Organisation for
Migration, used to compile the 'treatment of returnees' section of the
latest 2019 Sri Lankan country report. This may include communications
used to produce previous iterations of the report back to 2013.”

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is seeking your
agreement to an extension of 30 days to process your FOI request in
accordance with  section 15AA of the FOI Act. If you agree to the
extension, the revised due date for the request will be Monday, 30
November 2020. DFAT will endeavour to provide you with a decision in
response to the request by that date.

 

Although the department is endeavouring to process this request as soon as
possible, it is unable to meet the timelines imposed under the FOI Act.

I would be most grateful if you could please confirm that you agree to the
extension of time by 12pm Tuesday, 27 October 2020.

If we are not in receipt of your response, we intend to seek an extension
of time from the OAIC under section 15AB of the FOI Act.

Kind regards

 

DFAT FOI Team

[1]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[2]DFAT.GOV.AU | [3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Flickr | [6]YouTube

 

 

 

 

References

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Dear FOI,

Thank you. I agree to the request for an extension

Yours sincerely,

Elias Ross

Dear FOI,

Just hoping to request an update on this FOI request as it is now 30 days since I granted an extension.

Many thanks in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Elias Ross

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Ross,

 

Please find correspondence in relation to your FOI request attached.

 

Kind regards,

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

DFAT FOI Team

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[2]DFAT.GOV.AU | [3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Flickr | [6]YouTube

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of
the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

 

References

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2. http://dfat.gov.au/pages/default.aspx
3. https://twitter.com/dfat
4. https://www.facebook.com/dfat.gov.au
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6. https://www.youtube.com/user/dfat

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's handling of my FOI request ''Treatment of returnees' sections of Sri Lanka 2019 country report'.

In the first notice I was given about intentions to refuse for practical reasons, I was told that my request captured 1300 pages, and I understood that this request represented a substantial diversion of DFAT resources. I revised my request to include only communications and email correspondences between DFAT and two bodies (the Sri Lankan government and IOM). This should have drastically constrained the scope of the request. I was not given any indication in my refusal of how many documents this revised request captures. I therefore cannot determine whether the exemption used to withhold information was correctly applied.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/t...

Yours faithfully,

Elias Ross

Dear FOI,

I am writing to request an update on this request for review. Many thanks in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Elias Ross

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

OFFICIAL
DFAT FOI reference LEX3080

Dear Mr Ross,

Thank you for your email. Apologies for the delay in our response.

The department is processing your request for internal review of the decision in LEX2698, and we will write to you providing a decision once available.

Kind regards,

DFAT FOI Team
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DFAT.GOV.AU | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed. Such privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in your handling of the advice, you avoid waiving privilege. Please consult the author of the advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Elias Ross please sign in and let everyone know.