2016-17 Most Expensive Trip

Jackson Gothe-Snape made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The request was refused by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

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 Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape

We refer to your email dated 8 August 2017 in which you sought “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”.

The Department of Finance has published information since 2008 on its website regarding parliamentarians’ work expenses. This information, including details of expenditure by the Ministers and Assistant Ministers in the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, can be found on that website.

From April 2017, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) was established as an independent body to oversee parliamentarians’ expenses and has responsibility for the reporting functions regarding parliamentarians’ work expenses. Reporting by IPEA will transition from six-monthly reporting to quarterly reporting and then to a monthly reporting basis, to improve transparency and accountability for parliamentarians’ work expenses.

You have requested information for the 2016-17 financial year. As the information is still being completed by IPEA 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.

In view of the above, this Department does not perform the function for reporting on Ministerial travel and does not hold the information you have requested. We also note the Department is a separate entity from the offices of its portfolio Ministers and Assistant Ministers for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. The Department is therefore unable to satisfy your request.

Given the publicly available information, as outlined above, should you wish to obtain information relevant to your request you should contact IPEA directly. You may wish to amend the scope of what you are seeking to obtain information or documents on, following your review of the publicly available information and the comments made on reporting, as set out above.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will consider your request withdrawn unless you advise otherwise by oob Wednesday 23 August 2017.

DFAT FOI Team

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From: Jackson Gothe-Snape

Delivered

Hello,

Please amend my request as follows:

Please provide an itemised summary of all trips booked with your travel provider for 2016-17 in a spreadsheet format.

Yours sincerely,

Jackson Gothe-Snape

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Gothe Snape Trip 8 September 2017.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

 

Dear Mr Gothe-Snape,

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

DFAT FOI Team

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Refused on the ground of s 24A(1) of the Act:
24A Requests may be refused if documents cannot be found, do not
exist or have not been received

Document lost or non-existent
(1) An agency or Minister may refuse a request for access to a
document if:
(a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document;
and
(b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document:
(i) is in the agency’s or Minister’s possession but cannot be
found; or
(ii) does not exist.

It is interesting that this agency was able to interpret the request and then refuse it but other agencies like the SBS said that they could not understand the request properly!

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade only: