This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Request for an extension of time, sent to the OAIC from the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, to process FOI-2022-10114'.


FOIREQ22/00400   001
Referencecode:YHAHDRYL
ICRequestForm
–Agency
extensionoftime
forprocessingan
FOIrequest
Gettingstarted
Aboutthisform
TheOfficeoftheAustralianInformationCommissioner(OAIC)cangrantextensionsoftimetoagencies
whoareprocessingFreedomofInformationrequests.
ThisformcanbeusedbyagenciestorequestanextensionoftimetoprocessanFOIrequestortonotify
anagreedextensionoftime.
PleasenotethatifanagencydoesnotprovidetheInformationCommissionerwithadequatereasons,the
extensionoftimerequestmayberefused.
Furtherguidanceandadviceforagenciesaboutextensionoftimeforprocessingrequests
(https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/guidance-and-advice/extension-of-time-for-processing-
requests/),includingthedetailstobeincludedinarequest,isavailableonourwebsite
(https://www.oaic.gov.au/).
AnagencymayapplytovarytheextensionifanearlierextensiongrantedbytheOAICisinsufficient,
howevertheagencymustexplainwhathaschangedsincetheinitialextensionoftimerequestandprovide
reasonsforwhyavariationtotheextensionisjustified.
Youcansavethisformatanypointandreturntocompleteitwithin3days.Ifyoudonotsubmityour
savedformwithin3daysitwil bepermanentlyerasedfromthesecureserver.

PLEASENOTE:
Tosaveyourform,clickontheSaveandClosebuttonatthetopofthisform.
Refreshingyourbrowserwil clearanyinformationthatyouhavenotsaved.Ifyouneedtorefresh
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ThisrequestmaybesubjecttotheFreedomofInformationAct1982.
Thisrequestforanextensionoftimeapplicationwil beprovidedtothepersonwholodgedtheFOI
request.
Ifyouhaveanyquestionsaboutmakinganextensionoftimerequestorhavetroublecompletingthisform
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx.xx(mailto:xxxxx@xxxx.xxx.xx?
subject=IC%20Request%20Form%20%E2%80%93%20Agency%20extension%20of%20time%20for%20proc
essing%20an%20FOI%20request)orcal ourenquirieslineon1300363992.
Yourpersonalinformation


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Pleasealsoexplainthereasonsfortherequestandwhyanextensionwouldbejustified.Requestsforlongerextensionsof
time(morethan30days)willrequiregreaterjustification.
Pleaseprovideatimelinesettingouttheworkalreadycompletedinordertoprocessthisrequest.Whereanextensionof
timehaspreviouslybeengranted,describetheworkthatwasundertakenduringthatextendedperiod. *
TheOfficehassoughttherelevantdocumentfromthebusinessarea.Wehavelocatedsomedocumentsandare
seekingtoconfirmallrelevantdocumentshavebeenprovided.Therelevantareaisundertakingsearches
Whatworkisrequiredtofinalisetherequest? *
Therelevantdocumentsneedtobereviewedandappropriateredactionsmadeandadecisionprepared.
Whyistherequestconsideredcomplexorvoluminous? *
Therequestspecificallyrequestsadministrativeandoperationaldocumentsineffectbetweenaspecified21/2year
periodandisstatedtoinclude"manuals,guidelines,procedures,checklists,circularsandotherdocuments"which
potentiallyprovidesalargescopeofdocuments.Itisnotsimplyarequestforaproceduraldocument.Searchesare
ongoing.
Becauseofthenatureoftherequest(albeititexcludessanctiondecisionsmadeagainstindividuals)itislikelyto
includesensitivematerialthatwillneedtobecarefullyconsidered.
Dootheragenciesorpartieshaveaninterestintherequest? *
No,althoughtherequestappearstoreferencetheFederalCourt.
Pleasedescribethemeasuresthatwouldbetakentoensureadecisionismadewithintheperiodoftherequested
extensionandtokeeptheapplicantinformedoftheprogressoftherequest *
Workiscontinuingontherequest,andithasbeengivenahighpriority.
PleaseprovideacopyoftheFOIapplicant'soriginalFOIrequestandanyrevisionstothescopeoftheFOIrequest.*
Filesyouat achmust:
bein*.pdf,*.docx,*.doc,*.txt,*.jpg,*.gif,*.pngformat
benomorethanfivefiles
intotalbenolargerthan20MB.
Raphaelrequest.pdf

FOIREQ22/00400   008
Ifyouhavedocumentstoattachtothisform,pleasedosohere:
Filesyouat achmust:
bein*.jpg,*.gif,*.png,*.pdf,*.doc,*.docx,*.txt,*.xls,*.xlsxformat
benomorethanfivefiles
intotalbenolargerthan20MB.
Submission
Submittingyourrequest
Youcansavethisformatanypointandreturntocompleteitwithin3days.Ifyoudonotsubmityour
savedformwithin3daysitwil bepermanentlyerasedfromthesecureserver.
Pleasereviewtheinformationthatyouhaveprovidedinyourrequest.Ifyouwouldliketochangeanything,
youcanreturntotherelevantsectionusingtheGoBackbutton.
Whenyouarereadytosubmityourform,clicktheSubmitbuttonbelow.
Onceyousubmityourform,youwil betakentoaconfirmationpage.Thispagewil provideareceipt
numberforyoursubmission,andyouwil beabletodownloadacopyofyourcompletedformorhavea
copysenttoanemailaddressofyourchoice.
Thisrequestforanextensionoftimeapplicationwil beprovidedtothepersonwholodgedtheFOI
request.
Adecisiononyourrequestwil usual ybeprovidedwithinfiveworkingdays.Incertaincircumstancesthe
OAICmayneedtoconsultwiththeFOIapplicantorotheraffectedparties.Ifthisisthecase,the
extensionmaytakelongertoprocess.
TheOAIC'sprocessingofanEOTapplicationmayalsotakelongerthanfivedaysiffurtherinformationis
required.Itisimportantthatagenciesprovideacompleteapplicationinthefirstinstance.IncompleteEOT
applicationsmayresultinanextensionbeingdenied.IncompleteEOTapplicationsmayresultinan
extensionbeingdenied.

FOIREQ22/00400   009
Peter s 47E(d)
From:
raphael <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xx>
Sent:
Wednesday, 5 October 2022 5:20 PM
To:
Information Access
Subject:
[External] Freedom of Information request - Documents relating to sanctions for 
breaches of Code of Conduct
Follow Up Flag:
Follow up
Flag Status:
Flagged
Dear Commonwealth Ombudsman, 
 
 
 
Background facts 
 
 
 
I refer to an article published in The Australian on 8 February 2022. The name of article was Untried lawyers score key 
positions. 
 
 
 
In that article 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2Fauslaw%2Fcomments
%2Fsn1j56%2Faustralian_untried_junior_lawyers_scored_federal%2F&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40
ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7
C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLC
JXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=rIKnCDvR%2BesVJ4PHI9MIJlZDIMTNzauCaStwEQdctZM%3D&amp;re
served=0), it was noted that Kate McMullan of the APSC had conducted an investigation and found that: 
 
 
 
a) admission as a legal practitioner had been listed as an essential requirement for a registrar role in the Federal Court; 
 
b) a selection committee had not considered this essential requirement when it hired a female candidate to fill the 
registrar role; 
 
c) the female candidate "was selected over a field of candidates all of whom did have this work related quality." 
 
 
 
It has since come to light that: 
 
 
 
a) the role in question was an NCF Registrar role in the Federal Court 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
1

FOIREQ22/00400   010
25203&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=b69tIQMt0
oKUwCXUvcVmO1TvRwMIKa5c0wYNJ9mzFR4%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
b) the role was advertised in Public Service Gazette PS38 of 2016 with a vacancy number of NN10690165 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25203&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=b69tIQMt0
oKUwCXUvcVmO1TvRwMIKa5c0wYNJ9mzFR4%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
c) the candidate selected was Caitlin Wu 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25203&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=b69tIQMt0
oKUwCXUvcVmO1TvRwMIKa5c0wYNJ9mzFR4%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
d) Ms Wu's promotion notice was published in Public Service Gazette PS49 of 2016 with a promotion number of 
NN10698155 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25203&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=b69tIQMt0
oKUwCXUvcVmO1TvRwMIKa5c0wYNJ9mzFR4%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
e) Ms Wu was promoted from an APS4 position into an Executive Level 1 position 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25203&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=b69tIQMt0
oKUwCXUvcVmO1TvRwMIKa5c0wYNJ9mzFR4%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
f) the selection panel consisted of Sia Lagos, David Pringle and Andrea Jarratt 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25814&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=GMNHrLdX
FzPbUTtBlaBzyBRrl80d3Y6bzhVJWoyvNzw%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
g) Sia Lagos, the current CEO and Principal Registrar of the Federal Court, was the chairperson of the selection panel 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25814&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
2

FOIREQ22/00400   011
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=GMNHrLdX
FzPbUTtBlaBzyBRrl80d3Y6bzhVJWoyvNzw%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
h) Sia Lagos was the Agency Head's delegate for the selection process 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25814&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083753842%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=GMNHrLdX
FzPbUTtBlaBzyBRrl80d3Y6bzhVJWoyvNzw%3D&amp;reserved=0); and 
 
i) Sia Lagos endorsed the recommendation of the selection panel in her capacity as the Agency Head's delegate on 2 
December 2016 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Funtrie
d_lawyers_score_key_positi_2%23incoming-
25814&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=Lp0eqpkfro
UZ2w6a3DWC%2F1mo3Ce2ulayWif%2FWCo7De4%3D&amp;reserved=0). 
 
 
 
A public interest disclosure was made, among other things, about the selection process that saw Ms Wu promoted to 
the NCF Registrar role to the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 2020. On 11 May 2020 the Commonwealth Ombudsman 
allocated the public interest disclosure to the Australian Public Service Commission 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Freques
t_for_correspondence_issue%23incoming-
25017&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=nSW6p7luC
vlaXZ1xjt3n967VOK30xrx3R93GXw8YNDo%3D&amp;reserved=0). In the allocation letter, which had a reference of PID-
2020-400006, and which was addressed to Peter Woolcott, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, the author of 
the letter stated: 
 
 
 
"It is the responsibility of your agency to determine how this matter will be handled from this point. However we note 
that this allocation decision has been made with reference to the broad powers available to consider the matter by 
virtue of an allocation under the PID Act and under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) (in particular s 41(2)(o))." 
 
 
 
Section 41(2)(o) of the Public Service Act 1999 provides: 
 
 
 
“the Commissioner's functions include the following: 
 
 
 
(o) to inquire, subject to the regulations, into public interest disclosures (within the meaning of the Public Interest 
Disclosure Act 2013), to the extent that the disclosures relate to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct.” 
3

FOIREQ22/00400   012
 
 
 
The disclosure related to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman 
thought the public interest disclosure was of such a nature that it needed to be allocated to an agency other than the 
home agency, the Federal Court. That is an extraordinary allocation because when deciding to allocate a public interest 
disclosure to an agency, the authorised officer who has received the disclosure must have regard to the principle that an 
agency should not handle the disclosure unless some or all of the disclosable conduct with which the information may 
be concerned relates to the agency (PID Act, s 43(3)(a)(i)). 
 
 
 
The public interest disclosure was investigated by Kate McMullan, the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Integrity, 
Performance and Employment Policy in the Australian Public Service Commission, and the Australian Public Service 
Commissioner's delegate under the PID Act 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Foutco
me_of_apsc_investigation_co%23incoming-
24488&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=OoC5cJ0uF
UWKBmt%2BnBdmH9BLdDCV3qXqkMryDMTYn6w%3D&amp;reserved=0). Ms McMullan finalised her report on 9 
December 2020 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Foutco
me_of_apsc_investigation_co%23incoming-
24488&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=OoC5cJ0uF
UWKBmt%2BnBdmH9BLdDCV3qXqkMryDMTYn6w%3D&amp;reserved=0). 
 
 
 
According to her PID report, Ms McMullan made the following findings: 
 
 
 
a) "on the balance of probabilities that the recruitment process that ultimately led to the FCSA promoting Ms Wu into 
this position did not comply with the APS Employment Principles under subsection 10A(2) of the PS Act ..." 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Fwheth
er_kate_mcmullan_provided_p%23outgoing-
17784&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=o5Ql%2F30
CqXPvCvXvL9JnXJnN%2FN9H%2B7BukRFZ4VxoC%2Fs%3D&amp;reserved=0); and 
 
b) "the relevant employment practices of the FCSA were therefore in contravention of section 10A of the PS Act, and 
that disclosable conduct, within the meaning of item 1 of the table in subsection 29(1) of the PID Act, has therefore 
been engaged ... on the basis that the relevant employment practice in relation to the engagement of Ms Wu was 
conducted in contravention of the PS Act, being a Commonwealth law." 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Fwheth
er_kate_mcmullan_provided_p%23outgoing-
17784&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
4

FOIREQ22/00400   013
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=o5Ql%2F30
CqXPvCvXvL9JnXJnN%2FN9H%2B7BukRFZ4VxoC%2Fs%3D&amp;reserved=0). 
 
 
 
Despite making those findings, Ms McMullan though that the most appropriate response to Sia Lagos, David Pringle and 
Andrea Jarratt deliberately selecting an unmeritorious candidate ahead of meritorious candidates who met the essential 
selection criteria for the role was: 
 
 
 
"I recommend that FCSA staff be provided with guidance and/or training about the APS Employment Principles prior to 
undertaking any recruitment action, to prevent further incidents of this nature. 
 
 
 
I also recommend that relevant FCSA staff familiarise themselves with the APS Code of Conduct, and in particular 
subparagraph 13(11)(a) of the Public Service Act 1999, which states, relevantly, that employees must at all times behave 
in a way that upholds the APS Employment Principles." 
 
 
 
Marco Spaccavento, the Assistant Commissioner, Workplace Relations at the Australian Public Service Commission has 
established that Ms McMullan did not comply with procedures established under subsection 15(3) of the Public Service 
Act 1999 when conducting the investigation into the alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct, even though that is an 
essential requirement of conducting investigations relating to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct under paragraph 
53(5)(b) of the PID Act (the reason the Commonwealth Ombudsman allocated the PID to the APSC was that the 
allegations related to contraventions of the Code of Conduct) 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Fdocum
ents_relating_to_breaches_o%23outgoing-
17856&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=mqn0NotC
mzhCFPje2DQqpzd80PxMzX4mX9ZoJoRAjK8%3D&amp;reserved=0). 
 
 
 
The following propositions apply in relation to the Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct investigations: 
 
 
 
I) the test for establishing whether an employee has breached the Code of Conduct is an objective one 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mpc.gov.au%2Fcase-summaries%2Fapply-
objective-
test&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6%7
C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoi
MC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=AZOmfxFiEK7y
xM%2BgRmsJd3aXeBZHfdDko73OJllz4Vs%3D&amp;reserved=0); 
 
 
 
5

FOIREQ22/00400   014
II) the propriety of the actions of a public servant should be assessed by reference to the standard of conduct expected 
of a public servant, having regard principally to the expectations of the public (Bercove v Hermes (No 3) (1983) 51 ALR 
109, 117 – 120); 
 
 
 
III) that senior executive service (SES) employees model and promote the APS Values, the APS Employment Principles 
and compliance with the Code (Public Service Act 1999 s 35(5); 
 
 
 
IV) the appropriate sanction in any case wil  be the sanction that the decision-maker considers meets the object of 
imposing a misconduct sanction, which is not to punish or exact retribution but to maintain and protect the integrity 
and reputation of the APS and ensure adherence to proper standards of conduct (Commissioner of Taxation v Day 
(2008) 236 CLR 163 at [34]–[35]; McManus v Scott-Charlton (1996) 70 FCR 16 at 24–25); 
 
 
 
V) Members of the Australian Public Service are enjoined by the Public Service Act (s 13) to act with care and diligence 
and to behave with honesty and integrity. This is indicative of what throughout the whole period of the public 
administration of the laws of the Commonwealth has been the ethos of an apolitical public service which is skilled and 
efficient in serving the national interest (Commissioner of Taxation v Futuris Corp Ltd (2008) 237 CLR 146 at [55]); 
 
 
 
VI) consistent with the significance of the APS as a constituent part of the system of representative and responsible 
government, the APS Code of Conduct regime is properly directed to maintaining and protecting an apolitical and 
professional public service that is skilled and efficient in serving the national interest (Comcare v Banerji (2019) 267 CLR 
373 generally); 
 
 
 
VII) The APS Code of Conduct regime is in the nature of a civil penalty regime directed at deterring conduct in breach of 
the Code and thus maintaining and protecting the public and constitutional purposes served by the APS (Comcare v 
Banerji (2019) 267 CLR 373 at [40]-[44]); 
 
 
 
VIII) the purpose of the misconduct regime under the PS Act is protective (rather than punitive) – that is, the regime is 
intended to protect the public, maintain proper standards of conduct by APS employees and protect the reputation of 
the APS (Bragg v Secretary, Department of Employment, Education and Training [1996] FCA 476); 
 
 
 
IX) in assessing the appropriate sanction (if any), it is necessary to consider the nature and gravity of the misconduct, 
the need for both specific and general deterrence (to deter any future misconduct by the specific employee and by 
employees generally) and the personal circumstances of the employee (Comcare v Banerji (2019) 267 CLR 373 at [40]-
[45]); 
 
 
 
6

FOIREQ22/00400   015
X) As a matter of law, that discretion must be exercised reasonably and, therefore, according to the nature and gravity 
of the subject contravention. As with other civil penalties, the essence of the task is to put a price on the contravention 
sufficiently high to deter repetition by the contravenor and others who might be tempted to contravene, but bearing in 
mind that a penalty of dismissal must not be “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. Unquestionably, there are cases of breach 
of s 13(11) that are so serious in the damage done to the integrity and good reputation of the APS that the only 
appropriate penalty is termination of employment … (Comcare v Banerji (2019) 267 CLR 373 at [40]). 
 
 
 
It has been established that Sia Lagos, David Pringle and Andrea Jarratt also constituted the selection committee that 
selected Murray Belcher as the SES 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - QLD 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Fdocum
ents_relating_to_the_recrui%23incoming-
26028&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=xK4ZUbOPY
ij%2FG7lauMeZRxPbraSr5D4UAn0F5M0hK7M%3D&amp;reserved=0), even though he was not allocated an SES1 
classification pursuant to rule 6 of the Public Service Classification Rules 
(https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.righttoknow.org.au%2Frequest%2Fmateri
als_relating_to_the_select%23outgoing-
17803&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6
%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJW
IjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=gcDOSd5V
W44xEBs0sTtuw3gDU4Z%2FuhZ1bYLF43uKqFw%3D&amp;reserved=0), and even though Justice Greenwood went on 
the record in The Australian to criticise Warwick Soden and Sia Lagos for their roles in denying Mr Belcher lawful 
promotion to the senior executive service of the APS (Top judge warned of registrar overhaul, published on page 7 of 
the The Australian on 10 February 2022; 
https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2Fauslaw%2Fcomments
%2Fsox6ls%2Faustralian_top_judge_intervened_in_row_on_federal%2F&amp;data=05%7C01%7CInformation.Access%
40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4139331045260a%7C0%7C0
%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWw
iLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=NaO0sMkf%2B16Z72GrU6YuMorh9VAoYWYein9r%2FzHOWo0%3
D&amp;reserved=0). 
 
 
 
The evidence tends to suggest that Sia Lagos, David Pringle and Andrea Jarratt are repeat offenders when it comes to 
misconduct relating to employment decisions. 
 
 
 
The upshot is that Sia Lagos, David Pringle, and Andrea Jarratt select an unmeritorious candidate for a Registrar position 
in the Federal Court, Sia Lagos approves the selection committee's recommendation that this unmeritorious candidate 
be selected ahead of other candidates, all of whom had met essential requirement of having been admitted to the 
Supreme Court of a State or Territory, and the appropriate response was a training exercise for the staff of the Federal 
Court Statutory Agency. 
 
 
 
How can Ms McMullan's response to the findings of fact that she made be considered adequate in the light of I - X 
above? 
 
7

FOIREQ22/00400   016
 
 
FOI Request 
 
 
 
Under the FOI Act I request access to any and all of documents in the control of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, or in 
the control of staff assisting her, that have not been published on 
https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ombudsman.gov.au%2F&amp;data=05%7C
01%7CInformation.Access%40ombudsman.gov.au%7C88136cd50b984d789ce108daa699a4c6%7C443ee9e811ff4c829e4
139331045260a%7C0%7C0%7C638005476083910055%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIj
oiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=al%2BQaoiKkKoV6747W2hpqbNmoP
87f%2FJrbs%2BhNlEhXWQ%3D&amp;reserved=0 and are: 
 
 
 
a) administrative documents, which were relevant during 1 January 2020 – 30 June 2022; and/or 
 
b) operational documents not published on the Department's website, and which were relevant during 1 January 2020 – 
30 June 2022, 
 
 
 
on how sanction decisions for contraventions of the Code of Conduct, set out in the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth), were 
or are or should be applied. 
 
 
 
To clarify, I am not asking you for any documents that record actual sanction decisions against Commonwealth 
employees. The scope of administrative and/or operational documents should be understood to extend to manuals, 
guidelines, procedures, checklists, circulars and other documents that set out how sanction decisions for contraventions 
of the Code of Conduct were, or are, or should be, applied by sanction decision makers in the course of a Code of 
Conduct investigation. 
 
 
 
You may send the documents to me by return email. 
 
 
 
Yours faithfully, 
 
 
 
raphael 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
 
 
8

FOIREQ22/00400   017
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bGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sd
ata=EgnrcAxTEffyITJLlKik0VTMKVMFhqLgl9lxYmKocFU%3D&amp;reserved=0 
 
 
 
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9


FOIREQ22/00400   018