2016-17 Most Expensive Event

Jackson Gothe-Snape made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Treasury

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of the Treasury should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Dear Department of the Treasury,

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 the Treasury

Dear Mr Goethe-Snape

We would like to acknowledge receipt of your FOI request to this department, seeking the following documents:

"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."

Your request was received by the department on 8 August 2017 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 7 September 2017. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties or for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

The department will advise you if a charge is payable to process your request and the amount of any such charge as soon as possible.
Unless we hear from you, we will assume that you are not seeking staff names and contact details as part of your request. Where applicable, these details will be redacted under section 22 of the Act.
If you have any questions in relation to your application, please contact the FOI Team on 02 6263 2800.

Kind regards

FOI Team
Parliamentary and Legal Services Division The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6263 2800
Email: [email address]

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From: FOI
Department of the Treasury

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

I refer to your request, dated 8 August 2017, for the following documents
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act):

 

‘Can you please provide the travel expenses, invoices, receipts, credit
card statements and reimbursements for the most expensive trip taken 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.’

 

The documents you have sought align more closely with the functions of the
Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA). Please see below for
further information.

 

Publically available information

The Department of Finance (Finance) has various material in relation to
parliamentary travel publicly available on its website. In particular,
reporting of parliamentarian’s work expenses has been published since
2008-09, please see here:
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/p...

 

New independent body to oversee parliamentarians’ expenses - IPEA

However, please note that from 3 April 2017, the Independent Parliamentary
Expenses Authority (IPEA) was established as an independent body to
oversee parliamentarians’ expenses. In particular, IPEA has responsibility
for preparing regular reports relating to all work expenses, travel
expenses and travel allowances claim by parliamentarians.

 

Since 3 April 2017, IPEA commenced responsibility for the reporting
functions of parliamentarians’ work expenses from Finance. Reporting by
IPEA will transition from six-monthly reporting to a quarterly and then to
a monthly reporting basis, to improve transparency and accountability for
parliamentarians’ work expenses.

 

Reporting for January to June 2017

We note that you have requested information for the 2016-17 financial
year. Reporting for the period January to June 2017 is currently being
compiled by IPEA. We understand that reporting for the period January to
March 2017 will be available towards the end of quarter 3 in 2017.
Reporting for April to June 2017 will be available towards the end of
quarter 4 in 2017. Please note, as the information is still being
completed for the full 2016-17 financial year, it will not be possible to
identify the ‘most expensive trip’ until the reporting and acquittal
processes are completed.

 

Suggested way forward

As IPEA would be the most appropriate agency to process your request, we
suggest that you contact the IPEA FOI Team via [2][email address].

 

We note that you may wish to revise the scope of your request after
consideration of the publicly available material as set out above.

 

On this basis, the Treasury will consider your request withdrawn unless
you advise otherwise, by Wednesday 16 August 2017.

 

If you have any questions about your request, please contact the FOI Team.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Parliamentary and Legal Services Division

Corporate Services and Business Strategy Group

The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600

 

Phone:  (02) 6263 2800

Email:  [3][email address]

 

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/p...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Please amend my request:

Can you please provide the travel expenses, invoices, receipts, credit card statements and reimbursements for the trip involving either the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer with the largest number of staff travelling in 2016-17.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of the Treasury

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

I refer to your above FOI request to this department dated 8 August 2017.
Your revised request reads as follows:

 

‘Can you please provide the travel expenses, invoices, receipts, credit
card statements and reimbursements for the trip involving either the
Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer with the largest number of staff
travelling in 2016-17.’

 

We write to seek from you an extension of time within which to process
your request. The 30 day period, within an agency is required to take all
reasonable steps to process a request, currently expires on 7 September
2017. We would be grateful, however, if you could kindly agree to extend
that deadline by 30 days. Should you agree to our request the new deadline
will be 9 October 2017.

 

We would be grateful for your response by 23 August 2017.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Parliamentary and Legal Services Division

The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600

 

Phone:  (02) 6263 2800

Email:  [1][email address]

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Thank you for the reply.

Why does the Department need the additional time?

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Treasury

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

Thank you for your email. In response to your query, the department is asking for an extension of time to given the number and types of documents covered by the request. The additional time will allow for the department to thoroughly identify and retrieve all relevant documents that may fall within scope of your request.

If you are agreeable to an extension of time, it will assist the department in processing your request.

Regards,

FOI Team
Parliamentary and Legal Services Division The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6263 2800
Email: [email address]

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From: FOI
Department of the Treasury


Attachment FOI Request 2176 SEC UNCLASSIFIED.html
6K Download


Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

I refer to your two recent requests to the department for documents under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

On 8 August  2017 you requested (our reference: FOI 2176):

 

‘Can you please provide the travel expenses, invoices, receipts, credit
card statements and reimbursements for the most expensive trip taken 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.’

 

On 11 August 2017, the department wrote to you (see attached) advising
that the documents you are requesting align more closely with the
functions of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA). On
16 August 2017, you revised the scope of your request to be:

 

‘Can you please provide the travel expenses, invoices, receipts, credit 
card statements and reimbursements for the trip involving either
the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer with the largest number of staff 
travelling in 2016-17.’

 

Also on 8 August 2017 you requested (our reference: FOI 2177)

 

‘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.’

 

FOI 2176: ‘trip involving Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer with the
largest number of staff’

We seek confirmation that the reference to staff is a reference the
minister’s personal staff. Also, does your request refer to domestic or
overseas travel? If it is the former, there is an issue about whether the
resource impact of processing the request would be substantial and
unreasonable.

 

FOI 2177: ‘most expensive event’

The types of documents you are seeking imply that the event you are
contemplating is one that has been organised and paid for by the
department.  Ministers are likely to have attended a significant number of
events of which the department has no visibility. Can you please confirm
that that scope of the request is for an event organised and acquitted for
by the department.

 

We would be grateful for your clarification by cob 1 September 2017.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

Parliamentary and Legal Services Division

Corporate Services and Business Strategy Group

The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes ACT 2600

 

Phone:  (02) 6263 2800

Email:  [1][email address]

 

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Thanks for this email, and appreciate you bringing my two requests into the same email.

Re "Staff"
The use of "staff" refers to the number of Department staff.

Re event
Please consider the scope of the request as you set out.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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