2016-17 Most Expensive Trip

Jackson Gothe-Snape made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

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

From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

This is a request under the 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.

Yours faithfully,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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UNCLASSIFIED

PM&C FOI Reference: FOI/2017/134

 

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

Thank you for your request, dated 8 August 2017, made under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for the following:

 

‘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.’

 

Publically available information

The Department of Finance (Finance) has various material 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...

 

Specifically in relation to your request, detailed expenditure reporting
for the Ministers in the Prime Minister’s portfolio, for the period July
to December 2016, is available here:

·         The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister:
[2]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs:
[3]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women, Minister
Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service:
[4]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice, Minister
Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism:
[5]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         Senator the Hon James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime
Minister:
[6]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Assistant Minister for Cities and
Digital Transformation:
[7]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Special Minister of State, Minister
Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet:
[8]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

·         The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Minister
for Defence Personnel Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the
Centenary of ANZAC, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber
Security:
[9]http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...

 

New independent body to oversee parliamentarians’ expenses - IPEA

From 3 April 2017, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA)
was established as an independent body to oversee parliamentarians’
expenses. In particular, IPEA has the following functions (our emphasis):

· Giving advice to parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act staff about travel
expenses and travel allowances.

· Monitoring the travel expenses and travel allowances of parliamentarian
and MOP(S) Act staff.

· Preparing regular reports relating to:

o all work expenses, travel expenses and travel allowances claimed by
parliamentarians

o travel expenses and travel allowances claimed by MOP(S) Act staff.

· Conducting audits relating to:

o all work expenses, travel expenses and travel allowances claimed by
parliamentarians

o travel expenses and travel allowances claimed by MOP(S) Act staff.

· Processing claims relating to travel expenses and travel allowances of
parliamentarians and their staff.

 

Since 3 April 2017, IPEA commenced responsibility for the reporting
functions of parliamentarians’ work expenses from Finance. You may be
aware that over time, 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.

 

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) acknowledges that
there is a public interest in obtaining information on parliamentarians’
travel expenses, which is consistent with the regime to publish this
material.

 

As the information is still being completed for the full 2016-17 financial
year, it is not possible to identify the ‘most expensive trip’ until the
reporting and acquittal processes are completed.

 

Suggested way forward

As IPEA performs the function for reporting on ministerial travel, PM&C
does not hold the information requested.

 

We suggest that you contact IPEA directly ([10][email address]) in
relation to your request for documents. We note that you may wish to amend
the scope of your request, following your review of the publicly available
information and the comments made on reporting, as set out above.

 

As IPEA would be the most appropriate agency to process your request, we
will consider your request withdrawn from PM&C unless you advise
otherwise, by Wednesday 13 September 2017.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review | Honours, Symbols and Legal Policy
Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. | [11][DPMC request email] | [12]www.dpmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

[13]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/p...
2. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
3. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
4. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
5. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
6. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
7. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
8. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
9. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/...
10. mailto:[email address]
11. mailto:[DPMC request email]
12. http://www.dpmc.gov.au/

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

Thank you for your email dated 31 August 2017, received by the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) in the following terms:

 

Can you please provide a list of the 29 members of the business
delegation, with all information redacted except company affiliations,
listed on p35 of this document:
[1]http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Committees...

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 31 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 30 September 2017. The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise
you if there is any extension of time.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[2]http://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/accountabilit...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [3][DPMC request email].  If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

·         any person’s signature;

·         the names and contact details of Australian Public Service
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);

·         the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;

·         the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level
below Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [4][DPMC 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 (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information.  Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner at
[5]http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_....

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Honours and Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. 02 6271 5849

e. [6][DPMC request email]

[7]www.pmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[8]Description: Description: Description: FOI design element

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Committees...
2. http://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/accountabilit...
3. mailto:[DPMC request email]
4. mailto:[DPMC request email]
5. http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_...
6. mailto:[DPMC request email]
7. http://www.pmc.gov.au/

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

 

I refer to your FOI request with the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet – ref: FOI/2017/143.

 

Notification of extension of processing period

 

On closer examination of the document, the Department has formed the view
that it is appropriate to consult relevant third party in respect of the
possible disclosure of the document. Under s15(8) of the FOI Act, the
statutory period for processing an FOI request is extended by 30 days in
these situations. We advise that the timeframe for processing this request
has been extended by 30 days in accordance with the provision and the date
by which we must give you a decision is now 30 October 2017.

 

Please be assured we are using our best endeavours to complete this FOI
request as soon as possible.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review | Honours, Symbols and Legal Policy
Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. | [1][DPMC request email] | [2]www.dpmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

[3]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DPMC request email]
2. http://www.dpmc.gov.au/

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet only: