ONE NATIONAL CIRCUIT
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982
DECISION BY: Peter Rush
Parliamentary and Government Branch
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr Unmeopa
I refer to your email of 16 October 2020 in which you made a request to the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department
) under the Freedom of Information Act
(the FOI Act
) in the following terms:
1. PM&C's Honours and Symbols Section duties, obligations and responsibilities
regarding the administration of the Australian honours system.
2. Regarding the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal(HOSM), I request the
delegated decision maker's duties, obligations and responsibilities.
3. The criteria applied by the Honours Section when assessing eligible operations for
4. Regulatory impact statements regarding the decision to declare commercial
organisations eligible organisations for the HOSM.
5. Australian AID's(AusAID) input into the Honours Section’s 2004 assessment of
service informing the HOSM (Iraq) declaration.
I am authorised to make this decision in accordance with arrangements approved by the
Department’s Secretary under section 23 of the Act.
Postal Address: PO Box 6500, CANBERRA ACT 2600
Telephone: +61 2 6271 5849 Fax: +61 2 6271 5776 www.pmc.gov.au ABN: 18 108 001 191
link to page 2 link to page 2
Documents meeting the terms of your request
The Department has found documents meeting the following parts of your request:
• Part 1: description of the role of the Honours and Symbols Section, Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet in administering Australia’s honours system, published on
the Department’s website.1
• Part 2: delegation under regulation 13 of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal
• Part 3: Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Regulations 2011
Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Regulations 2013 - Amendment
Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Regulations 2015 - Amendment
The Department has not found any documents meeting parts 4 and 5 of your request. Decision
My decision is as follows:
• in relation to the documents meeting parts 1 and 3 of your request, I have decided to
grant access in full;
• in relation to the document meeting part 2 of your request, I have decided to grant
access with irrelevant material deleted under section 22 of the FOI Act;
• in relation to part 4 of your request, I have decided to refuse access under section
24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act; and
• in relation to part 5 of your request, I have decided to refuse access under section
24A(1) of the FOI Act.
Copies of the documents for release are attached to my decision Reasons
Section 24A(1) of the FOI Act provides that:
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;
(b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document:
is in the agency’s or Minister’s possession but cannot be found; or
does not exist.
Part 4 of your request
The Department is not required to develop regulatory impact statements for decisions to
declare commercial organisations eligible organisations for the HOSM.
Accordingly, I am satisfied that no document exists meeting the terms of part 4 of your
1 See Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet web site, ‘Administering Honours’, https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/its-honour/administering-honours.
2 See also The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia web site, ‘Humanitarian Overseas Service
I have therefore decided to refuse part 4 of your request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the
Part 5 of your request
The Department has undertaken searches of relevant paper and electronic records and no
document has been found.
I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document meeting the
terms of part 5 of your request and the document cannot be found or does not exist.
I have therefore decided to refuse part 5 of your request under section 24A(1) of the FOI Act. Section 22 of the FOI Act - Deletion of exempt or irrelevant information
Section 22 of the FOI Act provides that exempt or irrelevant information may be deleted from
a copy of a document, and access granted to such an amended copy where it is reasonably
practicable to do so, unless it is apparent that the applicant would not wish to have access to
such a copy.
In accordance with the Department’s policy as advised to you on 30 October 2020, a signature
in Document 2 has been deleted as irrelevant material.
Processing and access charges
I have decided not to impose charges in respect of your request.
Publication of documents
Under section 11C of the FOI Act, the Department will arrange to publish the documents
released to you on the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log.
Information about your rights of review under the FOI Act is available at https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/reviews-and-complaints/.
You may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner about the Department’s actions
in relation to a request. Making a complaint about the way the Department has handled an
FOI request is a separate process to seeking review of the Department’s decision. Further
information about how to make a complaint is available at https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-
Parliamentary and Government Branch
16 November 2020