2016-17 Most Expensive Event

Jackson Gothe-Snape made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

The request was refused by Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Dear Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development,

This is a request under the FOI Act.

Can you please provide the budgets, menus, expenses, invoices, receipts, credit card statements and reimbursements for the most expensive event attended by a Minister or Assistant Minister in your Department's portfolio area in 2016-17.

I request that any fees arising in relation to this request be waived as the information is in the public interest, as it helps inform the public about how the government is spending public revenue.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape,

 

Thank you for your email. The Department does not hold documents belonging
to any of our Ministers, and is thus not able to provide access to any of
the requested documents. Each of our three Ministers is a separate body
for the purposes of the FOI Act (and each is separate from the
Department), so if you are seeking specific documents belonging to one of
our Ministers, then you’ll need to lodge a request specifically addressed
to that office. I’m able to forward any FOI requests intended for our
Ministers to the relevant office.

 

Section 15 of the FOI Act states that a valid FOI request is required to
"provide such information concerning the document as is reasonably
necessary to enable a responsible officer of the agency, or the Minister,
to identify it". Given that the Department has no access to the documents
you’ve requested and it’s not clear to which Minister you’re referring, I
do not consider that your request meets this criteria, and so is not a
valid FOI request. If you still wish for one of our Ministers’ Offices to
process your request, then you are welcome to resubmit your request taking
the above into account.

 

If you’re considering resubmitting your request, then I would encourage
you to consider whether the documents that you’ve requested would actually
be in the possession of the Minister. If a Minister attends an event (as
opposed to hosting it), then I would expect that they would not be aware
of the total cost of hosting the event (and thus not able to identify “the
most expensive event”). Additionally, if they merely attended the event
(particularly if they did not pay to do so) then I would not expect them
to possess any invoices, budgets, menus etc. relating to the event.

 

Regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer | Governance Section

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601

e [1][Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development request email] | w [2]www.infrastructure.gov.au

 

 

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I am particularly interested in events managed by the Department, attended by the one of the Ministers.

Does the Department have records of costs relating to the most expensive of these events for 2016-17?

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape,

The Department doesn't have a centralised events coordination area, meaning that functions and events are hosted and paid for by individual business areas. Any financial recording systems also won't record attendees. This means that in order to identify the documents you mentioned we would need to perform searches in every section of the Department, search these documents to identify which of the events were attended by Ministers, and then compile the documents to identify which of the events was most expensive to host. I don't believe that there would be a single document (or single set of documents) that would contain this information, nor would we be able to run a report to create a document that met your requirements.

If you're able to identify a specific event that was of interest to you, then it's likely that this information would be specific enough to identify relevant documents.

Regards,

Freedom of Information Officer | Governance Section
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
e [Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development request email] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Thank you for this information, much appreciated.

Please amend the request to:

Can you please provide the guest list, budgets, menus, expenses (including travel), invoices, receipts, credit card statements and reimbursements for the 2017 United Nations Global Road Safety Week Launch and any Norfolk Island events attended by a Minister in 2016-17.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape,

If you're looking for information about the Sydney Road Safety Week Launch that was hosted by Minister Chester (as opposed to the broader event, which is run by the United Nations), this was an event hosted by the Department, so we will be able to process a request for documents relating to this event. When framing this request, you should consider documents that the Department is likely to hold, the likely provisions of the FOI Act that are likely to apply to certain documents (such as privacy provisions to any guest lists), and the utility of documents that you're likely to gain access to.

"Any Norfolk Island events" is still too broad of a phrase for me to properly interpret - it could apply to events held by Norfolk Island, events held on Norfolk Island, or events held outside of Norfolk Island but relating to Norfolk Island. In order to properly identify a relevant event (or series of events), you would need to provide far more specific parameters to your request.

Regards,

Freedom of Information Officer | Governance Section
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
e [Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development request email] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

Thank you for this information, much appreciated.

Please amend the request to:

Can you please provide the guest list, budgets, menus, expenses (including travel), invoices, receipts, credit card statements and reimbursements for the 2017 United Nations Global Road Safety Week Launch and any Norfolk Island events attended by a Minister in 2016-17.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Please proceed based on the following:
-the Sydney Road Safety Week Launch you discussed, and
-events held on Norfolk Island organised by the Department.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape,

I think those categories are discrete enough to process. I'd appreciate if you could now frame this in the form of an FOI request, including relevant time frames and categories of document that you're seeking. It's worth keeping in mind that if there are multiple events in the second category, then a broad sweep of documents may result in practical refusal reasons.

Regards,

Freedom of Information Officer | Governance Section
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601
e [Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development request email] | w www.infrastructure.gov.au

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Verity Pane left an annotation ()

This application has been treated as withdrawn by the agency following non-response in the practical refusal consultation period

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development only: