Senate debates

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Questions on Notice

Defence: Freedom of Information (Question Nos 1615 to 1617)

Photo of David JohnstonDavid Johnston (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

asked Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 5 March 2012:

For the period 1 July to 31 December 2011, in regard to the department and each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary:

(1) How many Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were received.

(2) How many FOI requests were granted or denied.

(3) How many conclusive certificates were issued in relation to FOI requests.

Photo of Chris EvansChris Evans (WA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

the Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) During the period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011, Defence received 157 FOI Requests.

(2) During the period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011, 173 FOI requests were finalised by Defence under section 15 and three under section 48 of the FOI Act. The following table provides a breakdown of these requests:

Section 15 requests Completed

Section 48 requests Completed

(3) Conclusive certificates no longer exist. They were abolished under the Freedom of Information (Removal of Conclusive Certificates and Other Measures) Act 2009.



1. Where a document is identified and exempted in full, access to the document can be denied, with reference to the relevant exemption provisions of the FOI Act. During the period in question, one denial related to documents to which section 47E certain operations of an agency provisions applied, two denials related to documents to which section 47C deliberative processes provisions applied.

2 Section 24A of the FOI Act provides for requests for access to documents to be refused if the documents cannot be found or do not exist. Access may also be refused if the work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert resources of an agency. For the period in question, all nine refusals related to documents that did not exist or could not be found.

3 In accordance with section 21 of the FOI Act, where a decision has been made to grant access, a decision maker may defer access to a document for a period of time. There were two such deferrals during this period.