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Notice given 15 February 2013

*2853  Senator Cash: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—In regard to questions taken on notice during the 2012-13 Supplementary Budget estimates hearing of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, relating to the freedom of information (FOI) process:

(1) With reference to the answer provided to question no. SE12/078A, which asked how many times per financial year since 2007-08 individuals have used the FOI process to change personal details, including but not limited to their name, date of birth and/or place of birth:

(a) for the figures provided for each of those years, can the number of requests be provided, broken down by personal detail, including, for example, how many requested a change to their name and how many requested a change to their date of birth; and

(b) was any category of personal detail included in the total numbers provided by the department other than name, date of birth and place of birth.

(2) Can examples be provided of valid circumstances where a change would be made to personal details via the FOI process.

(3) Under what circumstances would someone be able to request a change to their date of birth via the FOI process.

(4) How many times have requests for change to an individual’s date of birth been received via the FOI process in each of the following financial years: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 (to date).

(5) Given that, in the past 5 years, the department has received over 19 000 requests to amend personal details via the FOI process:

(a) how many of the 19 226 requests to amend personal details were approved;

(b) how many were declined; and

(c) for those that were declined, what was the reason they were declined.

(6) Have there been any occurrences of individuals using the FOI process to change personal details that were revealed to be identity fraud.

(7) With reference to the answer provided to question no. SE12/0077A, which states ‘the department does not keep statistics on the number of documents identified as fraudulent that are submitted as evidence to support an application using Form 424C’, how can the department guarantee the integrity of this information.

(8) How confident can we be that people who enter Australia are who they say they are, if they are able to change key identity factors such as name and date of birth.

(9) With reference to the answer provided to question no. SE12/0078B, which states that ‘From 1 August 2009 to 30 June 2012, four individuals have had their date of birth amended twice under the FOI Act and five individuals have had their name amended twice under the FOI Act’, can further details be provided in relation to these instances, including:

(a) how is it possible for an individual to have their date of birth amended twice in a 3 year period; and

(b) under what circumstances can an individual have their name amended twice in a 3 year period.

(10) What progress has been made in relation to each of the recommendations made by the Australian Information Commissioner in his own motion investigation into the processing of non-routine FOI requests by the department, including:

(a) what changes have been made in relation to the consultation process with third parties; and

(b) what changes have been made in relation to the consultation process with the Minister’s office.

(11) With reference to the answer provided to question no. SE12/0071, which states ‘In 2011-12 the department had an average staffing level of 65.13 staff [assisting with FOI requests]’:

(a) how many of those staff are allocated to complex FOI processing; and

(b) how does this compare to the previous 4 years.

(12) With reference to the answer provided to question no. SE12/0068, which states ‘As at COB 30 September 2012, two [FOI] requests were with the Minister’s office past the date of release’:

(a) have the two requests now been released;

(b) what was the reason for the delay; and

(c) how many FOI requests are currently delayed because the department is awaiting a response from the Minister’s office.

(13) For the 2011-12 and the 2012-13 (to date) financial years, how many FOI requests has the department received; and of these, how many were completed within the timeframe stipulated in the FOI Act.

*2854  Senator Cash: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Status of Women—In regard to female genital mutilation (FGM):

(1) Given that the Prime Minister stated in a press release dated 11 December 2012, that the legal framework relating to FGM would be reviewed, what specific action has been taken to date in relation to this review and on what date or dates was this specific action taken.

(2) Has the $500 000 in grants been provided to fund organisations to run education and awareness activities and support change within communities, as promised in the Prime Minister’s press release; if not, why not; if so: (a) to which specific organisation(s) has the grant money been provided to date; (b) what was the specific criteria required to be met by these organisations; and (c) on what basis was this criteria decided.

(3) (a) What type of research and data collection is intended to be undertaken, and through which organisation; and (b) how will this research program be funded.

(4) (a) On which date/s and in which location is the national summit to be hosted by the Minister for Health (Ms Plibersek), to be held; (b) which organisations have been invited to attend; and (c) what was the criteria used to determine eligibility to attend.

(5) To date, what steps has the Attorney-General taken in reviewing the proposed framework to ensure the comprehensive protection against FGM for girls and women, in Australia and abroad.

(6) Has the Attorney-General considered legislation currently in force in the United States of America that makes it illegal to knowingly transport children abroad for the purpose of performing FGM.

(7) To date, what specific progress has the Gillard Government made in speaking with states and territories to seek their individual cooperation in working with the Federal Government, including on which dates meetings have been held and what outcomes have resulted from these meetings or arrangements.

(8) (a) How many prosecutions have been commenced in each of the past 4 years relating to incidents of FGM and in which states and territories did these prosecutions occur; and (b) what has been the outcome of these prosecutions.

(9) How many cases of FGM are known by the Government to have occurred in each of the past 5 years.