This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Seeking legal instrument excluding department's duty to accord procedural fairness'.

Trav S 
DECISION BY:  Mr Peter Rush 
Assistant Secretary 
Parliamentary and Government Branch 

By email:   
Dear Trav S 
I refer to your email of 1 August 2021 in which you made a request, under the Freedom of 
Information Act
 1982 (the FOI Act) to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the 
Department) in the following terms: 
Please provide the legal instrument that excludes your department from according 
procedural fairness in administration decision-making related to the Humanitarian 
Overseas Service Medal.    
I understand the duty may be excluded by legislation.  The HOSM letters patent, 
regulations and declaration do not prescribe such exclusions.    
The  Australian High Court opines “ in the absence of a clear, contrary legislative 
intention administrative decision-makers must accord procedural fairness to those 
affected by their decisions."   
Your department's Statement of Ministerial Standards "Ministers must be able to 
demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to observe relevant standards of 
procedural fairness and good decision making application to decision made by them".  

Authorised decision-maker 
I am authorised to make this decision in accordance with arrangements approved by the 
Department’s Secretary under section 23 of the FOI Act.  
I have decided to refuse your request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act, on the basis 
that the Department has taken all reasonable steps to locate the documents you have 
requested, and those documents do not exist. 
Postal Address:  PO Box 6500, CANBERRA ACT 2600 
Telephone: +61 2 6271 5849   Fax: +61 2 6271 5776   ABN:  18 108 001 191 

In making this decision, I have had regard to the following material: 
  the terms of your request; 
  the FOI Act; and 
  the ‘Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under section 93A 
of the Freedom of Information Act 1982’ (the FOI Guidelines). 
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. 
The Department’s Parliamentary and Government Branch is the relevant line area responsible 
for the administration of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. Having regard to the 
terms of your FOI request and my knowledge of the subject matter of your request, I am 
satisfied that there are no documents that meet the terms of your FOI request. 
I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to find documents relevant to your 
request, and that the requested documents do not exist. I have therefore decided to refuse your 
request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act. 
Processing and access charges 
I have decided not to impose processing charges in respect of your request. 
Review rights 
Information about your rights of review under the FOI Act is available at 
Complaint rights  
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 a 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
Yours sincerely 
Peter Rush 
Assistant Secretary 
Parliamentary and Government Branch  
30 August 2021