This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application'.

Attachment A
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me on s22

Yours sincerely 
John Reid PSM 
First Assistant Secretary 
Government Division 
July 2021  

Attachment A
Attachment A 
Section 89L of the FOI Act sets out the grounds on which a declaration can be made: 
  (1)  The Information Commissioner may make a vexatious applicant declaration in relation 
to a person only if the Information Commissioner is satisfied of any of the 

                     (a)  that: 
                              (i)  the person has repeatedly engaged in access actions; and 
                             (ii)  the repeated engagement involves an abuse of the process for the 

access action; 
                     (b)  a particular access action in which the person engages involves, or would 
involve, an abuse of the process for that access action; 
                     (c)  a particular access action in which the person engages would be manifestly 
             (2)  A person engages in an access action if the person does any of the following: 
                     (a)  makes a request; 
                     (b)  makes an application under section 48; 
                     (c)  makes an application for internal review; 
                     (d)  makes an IC review application. 

             (3)  The Information Commissioner must not make a declaration in relation to a 
person without giving the person an opportunity to make written or oral 

             (4)  In this section: 
abuse of the process for an access action includes, but is not limited to, the 

                     (a)  harassing or intimidating an individual or an employee of an agency; 
                     (b)  unreasonably interfering with the operations of an agency; 
                     (c)  seeking to use the Act for the purpose of circumventing restrictions on 

access to a document (or documents) imposed by a court. 
Section 89M of the FOI Act sets out the effect of such a declaration: 
   (1)  A vexatious applicant declaration has effect in accordance with the terms and 
conditions stated in the declaration. 
             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), a vexatious applicant declaration in 
relation to a person may provide that: 
                     (a)  an agency or Minister may refuse to consider any of the following if 
made by the person without the written permission of the 
Information Commissioner: 

                              (i)  a request; 
                             (ii)  an application under section 48 (amendment of records); 
                            (iii)  an application for internal review; and 
                     (b)  the Information Commissioner may refuse to consider an IC review 

application made by the person. 

Attachment A
             (3)  If a decision is made as mentioned in subsection (2), the agency, Minister 
or the Information Commissioner (as the case requires) must, as soon as 
practicable, notify the vexatious applicant of the decision. 


Attachment B
Timeline of contact with s47F
 or persons lobbying on his behalf 
for him to be awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service - 2010 to 2020 
11 November 2010 

 wrote to the then Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd, to seek his support to have his 
service as a protection staff for AusAid officials in Iraq by the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal 
18 November 2010 
PM&C (Peter Rush) responded on behalf of the Prime Minister that AusAid is not a specified 
organisation and if he applied it would be based on merit. The organisation he was contracted to 
Control Risks Group (CRG) is not eligible for the award of the HOSM for service in Iraq. 
13 December 2010 
Letters of support from AusAID provided to PM&C in support of s47F
 security services 
provided to AusAID staff as a contractor.  
15 February 2011 
 wrote the PM&C to request consideration of his application form for the HOSM for his 
service in Iraq. Attachments include letters of support from AusAID. 
20 June 2011 
 sent another application form for the HOSM claiming he was not engaged as a 
commercial contractor but as a contracted staff member of AusAID similar to another individual 
engaged with Sagric International who he asserts received the HOSM for service in Iraq. 
22 April 2013 
Adam Bandt wrote to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (PSPM) on behalf of s47F 
 requesting he consider the proposal to extend eligibility of the HOSM to commercial 
contractors of AusAID. 
27 May 2013 
PSPM replied to Mr Bandt advising he would seek the Minister for Foreign Affairs views. A letter was 
also sent to Minister for Foreign Affairs seeking his view on s47F
26 June 2013 
The Minister for Foreign Affairs responded to the PSPM advising that the security services provided 
by s47F
 and CRG were essential in support of AusAID to field civilian aid. While there is 
reference to a commercial organisation providing humanitarian aid being a supported precedent, 
there is no mention of direct not-for-profit humanitarian aid to the civilian population by CRG. 
4 August 2013 
The Prime Minister calls the election which places the Government in to caretaker mode. 
20 September 2013 
Fol owing the outcome of the election, Adam Bandt again wrote to the new PSPM seeking an update 
to the proposal. He also requested that the PSPM provide any briefing from PM&C in regards to this 


Attachment B
22 October 2013 
PM&C sent a letter to s47F
 informing him that he remains ineligible for the HOSM for his 
security services in Iraq as a commercial contractor. He was also advised that the responsible 
minister has decided not to recommend any changes to the eligibility criteria in this case. A copy of 
this letter was sent to AusAID/DFAT for their information. 
4 December 2013 
The PSPM wrote to Adam Bandt advising that he would not be recommending any changes to the 
eligibility criteria to the Iraq declaration for the HOSM. The PSPM advised it is not standard practice 
to provide PM&C briefing with their response, however, Mr Bandt would be welcome to request this 
information under Freedom of Information (FOI). 
6 June 2017 
Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore wrote to the Minister for Foreign Affairs seeking support for the 
HOSM eligibility to be extended to CRG for service in Iraq. The correspondence was referred to the 
Prime Minister’s portfolio for response. The Minister responsible for Australian honours policy 
because the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (AMPM). 
6 September 2017 
The AMPM responded to Senator Skye-Kakoschke-Moore advising that CRG was contracted to 
provide security services to the Australian contingent and was not engage to directly provide 
humanitarian services. 
16 September 2019 to 23 October 2019 
 contacts PM&C to seek advice about the Australian honours system and the creation of 
the HOSM. Various exchanges to answer his administrative questions occur 
10 October 2019 
 contacts the new Minister for Foreign Affairs to seek support again for CRG to be 
awarded the HOSM for their security service in Iraq. This correspondence is later referred to the 
Prime Minister’s portfolio for consideration and response. 
29 November 2019 
PM&C responded tos47F
 advising him that CRG is not an eligible group for the purposes of 
the HOSM as a commercial contractor to AusAID that was paid to provide security service in support 
of operations in Iraq 
28 October 2019 
 contacts Mr Andrew Hastie MP to seek assistance in advocating for CRG to be awarded 
the HOSM for their security service in Iraq. This correspondence is later referred to the Prime 
Minister’s portfolio for consideration and response. 
13 December 2019 
 contacts PM&C to seek advice regarding an avenue of external review for consideration 
of extending the HOSM to members of CRG for their security services provided to AusAID in Iraq. 


Attachment B
3 May 2020 
The AMPM responded that CRG is not an eligible group for the purposes of the HOSM as a 
commercial contractor to AusAID that was paid to provide security service in support of operations 
in Iraq. He also advised he is not recommending changes for a medal that recognises members of 
not-for-profit organisations providing emergency humanitarian aid. 
27 May 2020 
A friend of s47F
 wrote to the AMPM to advocate on behalf of s47F
 and CRG for adding 
CRG to the HOSM eligible groups for service in Iraq. This individual did receive the HOSM for service 
as a part of an eligible organisation. 
17 June 2020 
The AMPM responded advising that he has no intention of recommending the extension of eligibility 
for the HOSM to CRG for providing security services to the Australian contingent to Iraq. 
12 October 2020 
 contacts PM&C to request access to the PM&C Secretary's instrument of delegation 
relating to the HOSM. The delegation is to treat a period of service as eligible service and 
recommend the award of the Medal 


Attachment A
First Assistant Secretary 
Government Division 
July 2021  

Document 4
Happy to discuss 
Petra Gartmann | Assistant Secretary 
Legal Policy Branch 
Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 
p s22
| w.  
One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600 

Attachment A

Attachment A

Attachment A

Attachment A

Document 6

Document 7
favourable material evidence was witheld from us. Other disclosures show some of the department’s advice is based 
on unsubstantiated personal assertions some of which are very unreasonable. This is not an exhaustive list.  
We believe public scrutiny is very reasonable given the information revealed via FOI. We respectfully contend our 
FOI requests reveal very significant deficits in the department’s HOSM assessments and related advice to 
government. They also reveal what appear to be very significant procedural fairness breaches. From what we 
understand the public is generally entitled to scrutinise and challenge government decisions that affect them. 
We will welcome the opportunity to defend our position with the Information Commissioner.  
Thank you for your time and consideration.  
Kind regards 

Attachment A
Response to PM&C notice of intent to consider  
vexatious declaration application proceedings 
1 August 2021  
Mr Reid 
1st Assistant Secretary 
Govt Div - PM&C 
Response to notice of intent to consider vexatious declaration application proceedings 
Dear Mr Reid, 
1. I do not waive my right to request information in accordance with the FOI Act.  You imply my requests 
are vexatious.  FOI reveals significant deficits in your department’s administrative decision-making in 
2004, 2009, 2012, 2013 and more recently.  Your department denies external review requests.  Public 
scrutiny is warranted.  As is external review of your department’s administrative decision-making.  I 
respectfully ask you to expedite your vexatious declaration application.  Alternatively I ask you refer 
the matter to another authority for external review. 
2. The root cause at issue occurred in 2004, before the HOSM Declaration for Iraq was drafted.  Your 
department’s duties included administrative decision-making in accordance with procedural fairness; 
providing comprehensive HOSM related advice to government; and undertaking thorough 
stakeholder engagement, consultations and assessments.  FOI reveals your department failed to 
consult the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) or CRG.  Both relevant 
organisations participating in the government’s relief operation.  Your department failed to accord 
relevant stakeholders their right to present submissions.  Your department failed to advise 
government on matters related to HOSM regulation 4(1)(b); Regulation 4(2); and Regulation 4(3)(c).  
They failed to identify and advise government on commercial contractors serving with the Australian 
contingent to the CPA.  Your department held legislative responsibility to comprehensively advise 
government.  AusAID, CRG, DFAT, and the Iraq Task Force did not. Your department advises 
government that their work is without fault, FOI reveals otherwise. 
3. I refute your allegation that I had “unauthorised access” to documents.  This is untrue and defamatory.  
I respectfully ask you to retract the allegation, amend documents as required and inform me if your 
department has made similar allegations about me to other stakeholders.  I request remedy if this has 
occurred.  AusAID was an independent statutory government agency.  They are responsible for their 
actions.  They exercised discretion and released unclassified documents to me.  If you have issue it is 
appropriate you take it up with them. 
4. You allege “unauthorised access”.  Documentary evidence shows a government agency released 
unclassified documents to me and asked for my input into a deliberative process.  I reviewed 
unclassified documents in the days before the documents were agreed to be sent to the 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister the Hon. Senator Jan McLucas.  Relevantly PSPM 
McLucas was the only person with the prescribed authority to decide on the matters raised in the 
5. I refute your implication that we did not provide humanitarian service.  HOSM regulation Part 1 (2) 
state “humanitarian service means giving immediate remedy or action to assist needy or distressed 
persons in order to sustain the life and dignity of those persons
”.  The Letters Patent states “for the 
purpose of according recognition to persons who have given humanitarian service in hazardous 

1  3

Attachment A
Response to PM&C notice of intent to consider  
vexatious declaration application proceedings 
circumstances outside Australia”.  Two Australian Foreign Ministers, AusAID’s Director General and 
Deputy Director General, medal holders from the contingent in Iraq and your department agreed.  
FOI reveals your department may have reversed course on unsubstantiated and misleading 
assumptions. The HOSM Regulations govern the medal.  They do not prohibit the medal being 
awarded to commercial contractors.  Your department failed to comprehensively advise government 
before the 2004 HOSM Declaration for Iraq was drafted.   
6. FOI reveals your department broke their agreement with AusAID.  They withheld documents from 
PSPM McLucas in early 2012.  Your letter implies this occurred 12 months later in 2013.  Relevantly  
your department failed to inform AusAID of the reversal in agreement.   Mr Rush recently stated “the 
matter continued to be the subject of consultations and deliberations were not finalised as at the date 
the Hon Jan McLucas ceased in the role of PSPM
”.  You state your department was engaged on this 
from 2010 to 2012.  The documentary evidence shows your department undertook requisite 
consultations and deliberations before the documents for PSPM McLucas were prepared in early 
2012.   FOI reveals Mr Rush’s statements were sometimes unsubstantiated and misleading.  It appears 
in the public interest to request information to verify consultations and deliberations occurring during 
PSPM McLucas’s tenure. 
7. You refer to your department’s 26 September 2013 brief as evidence.  Your department produced this 
document around 18 months after they agreed to submit documents recommending PSPM McLucas 
agree to extend the HOSM to CRG.  The 2013 assessment is sub-standard.  Your department fought to 
withhold information from the public but were compelled to release via internal and IC review.  FOI 
reveals the assessment is biased, unfair and omits material facts.  Reasoning is sometimes premised 
on unsubstantiated and manifestly unreasonable assumptions.  Your department presented pages 
and pages of nonsensical documents as evidence for no apparent reason.   
8. The Statement of Ministerial Standards states “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… Ministers are required to ensure that official decisions 
made by them are unaffected by bias or irrelevant considerations”
.  The Law Reform Commission 
procedural fairness means acting fairly in administrative decision making.  It relates to the fairness of 
the procedure by which a decision is made
”.  The  High Court “ in the absence of a clear, contrary 
legislative intention administrative decision-makers must accord procedural fairness to those affected 
by their decisions
.  The duty may be excluded by legislation.  The HOSM letters patent, regulations 
and declaration do not appear to do this.  Please provide the instrument that excludes your 
department from the duty to accord procedural fairness in administrative decision-making. 
9. Regarding your department’s 2009 assessment “Ref: B09/1640”.  FOI reveals the assessment is 
manifestly different to other credible published documents.  Relevantly your department failed to 
advise government that GE’s contingent included commercial security contractors.  I informed Mr 
Rush of this in 2010/12.  The precedent is cited in the documents prepared for PSPM McLucas.  I 
respectfully ask you to acknowledge this.  Then advise government that commercial security 
contractors were among the persons awarded the HOSM in the GE precedent. 

2  3

Attachment A
Response to PM&C notice of intent to consider  
vexatious declaration application proceedings 
10. Referring to the efficacy of your department’s assessment Mr Rush states “The authoritative 
confirmation of an applicant’s claims by the organisation with which the applicant served provides a 
robust assessment process and enhances the integrity of the HOSM”.  
Your department states 
commercial security contractors are unworthy for HOSM recognition.  Somehow your department 
failed to advise government that GE’s contingent included commercial security contractors.  This 
brings into question your department’s “robust assessment process” and “integrity of the HOSM” 
11. Thank you for your letter.  Again I ask you to retract your allegation that I received “unauthorised 
documents”.  It is untrue and unsubstantiated.  Your implication that my FOI requests are vexatious is 
without merit.  FOI reveals significant deficits in your department’s administrative decision-making in 
2004, 2009, 2012, 2013 and more recently.  Please provide the instrument that excludes your 
department from their duty to accord procedural fairness in their administrative decision-making.  
Public scrutiny and external review is clearly warranted.   Again I ask you to expedite your vexatious 
applicant declaration application or refer the matter to another authority for external review. 
Thank you for your time. 
Kind regards 
Federal Representatives 
Federal opposition

3  3

‐‐‐‐‐Original Message‐‐‐‐‐ 
From: FOI <>  
Sent: Monday, 13 September 2021 8:28 PM 
To: Reid, John s22
Cc: Gartmann, Petra s22
 Rush, Peter 
Subject: s47F
 2021/159 ‐ Reply to notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application [SEC=OFFICIAL] 
Dear s4
Please see below a follow‐up inquiry from s47F  (received today) requesting a response to his letter of 1 August 
2021 (attached) responding to your letter of 28 July 2021 advising that PM&C were considering having him declared 
a vexatious applicant. 
Thanks s22
Dear FOI,  
On 28 July 2021, your department served me with a notice of intent to consider vexation declaration proceedings 
with the Information Commissioner. 
On 1 August 2021, I refuted Mr Reid’s unsubstantiated allegation and implications. I noted a number very significant 
errors in your department’s administrative decision‐making relating to the HOSM. Relevantly I respectfully asked 
your department to acknowledge and inform Government of a number of procedural fairness breaches and errors in 
HOSM assessments. 
Please confirm receipt of my rebuttal and issue the response letter when ready.  
Thank you for your time.  
Kind regards 
> On 1 Aug 2021, at 21:10, s47F
> wrote: 
> Dear FOI,  
> Please see attached letter.  
> I will be grateful if you will pass to Mr Reid. Can I ask you confirm it’s receipt. 
> Thank you for your time. 
> Kind regards