ABC decision to apologise and reprimand Jon Faine

Margo Kingston made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The request was successful.

From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Australian Broadcasting Corporation,

I request all documents touching upon the following decision found at http://about.abc.net.au/complaints/morni...

Mornings, 23rd November 2012

Summary published: 1st February 2013

Complaint: Several audience members complained about interviews on 774 ABC Melbourne which covered allegations against the Prime Minister in relation to her involvement in an AWU slush fund. Complainants said that interviews with Mark Baker, Editor-at-Large at The Age and Michael Smith, former 2UE talkback host, lacked balance, were conducted aggressively, and that the presenter demonstrated bias.

Complaint Finding Status: Upheld

Upheld against 4.1 ABC Editorial Policies (11 April 2011)

Audience and Consumer Affairs response:

Audience and Consumer Affairs found that the interviews were in breach of the ABC’s editorial requirement to gather and present news and information with due impartiality. The argumentative style of the interviews, combined with a pattern of strongly stated personal opinions by the presenter that at times oversimplified the issues at hand, was not in keeping with the ABC’s rigorous impartiality standards for news and information. Eighteen complaints were upheld.

Complaints finalised January 2013.

Summary updated 11 February 2013.

Yours faithfully,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Please see the attached in relation to your recent FOI request.

 

Regards

 

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5480
[3]http://abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/brandsi...

 

 

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Evelyn Doyle left an annotation ()

Hi Margo
The letter reveals concerns about the use of the words "touching upon". Re-wording might include naming specific documents ie. all internal and external correspondence, briefings, legal advice (probably exempt but you can try) and other advisory documents relating to etc etc.....

It might also help to specify a date range. For example: from the date of the interview to the day after the ruling was made to ensure coverage during the relevant period which will narrow the request and hopefully make it easier for the FOI area to comply.

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Does this help?

CATEGORY ONE

In relation to the Jon Faine Smith/Baker broadcast interviews on 23 November 2012 via 774 ABC Melbourne:

• The texts of ALL received complaints
• The texts of the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit’s and involved management's responses to those complainants

CATEGORY TWO

In relation to the Jon Faine Smith/Baker broadcast interviews on 23 November 2012 via 774 ABC Melbourne:

• The texts of all documents contained in the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs complaints file;
• The members of the complaints committee and their status;
• The record of the complaints committee processes;
• The detailed reasons underpinning the ultimate finding in relation to Jon Faine.
• The texts of all communications between the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit and involved management in relation to the complaints and investigation process.

CATEGORY THREE

In relation to the Jon Faine Smith/Baker broadcast interviews on 23 November 2012 via 774 ABC Melbourne:

• The texts of all communication (after the initial complaints and any initial responses) between the ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs unit, involved ABC management and the complainants;
• The texts of all communication between the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit, involved ABC management and Jon Faine during the entire process of investigation and the complaints committee process.
• The texts of all communications between the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit, relevant ABC management and Mark Baker and Michael Smith during the entire process of investigation and the complaints committee process.

CATEGORY 4

All documents concerning Mr Faine's response to the finding and any request to review the finding, including details of the complaints decision review process.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingson

 

Please see the attached in relation to your recent FOI request.

 

Regards

 

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5480
[3]http://abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/brandsi...

 

 

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Yes, I am satisfied with your approach.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingston

 

Please see attached in relation to your recent FOI request.

 

Regards

 

 

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5480
[3]http://abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/brandsi...

 

 

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Hi Judith. I hope you will waive the fees in the public interest. Due to the failure of the ABC to publicise the ruling or answer questions about it, members of the citizen journalism project AHHP donated $1500 for journalist Peter Clarke to investigate. I lodged this FOI after ABC management refused to answer his questions.

For my reasons why the information I requested is in the public interest, see:

Open letter to Mark Scott from Marg Kingston -
http://australiansforhonestpolitics.word...

Stonewalling on steroids and its links to our Faine archive - http://australiansforhonestpolitics.word...

Happy to face #Faine 'Star Chamber': @colvinious - http://australiansforhonestpolitics.word...

If you do not waive fees I will have to ask readers to donate again, which does not seem right given that the ABC is our public broadcaster and should be voluntarily transparent.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Hi Judith. When can I expect a reply to my request for waiver of fees dated March 4?

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Hi Margot

Please accept my apologies for not replying earlier. I have been away from work dealing with some pressing family matters.

As you would be aware, the 30 day time period in which to make a decision in relation to your contention that the charge should be waived expired on 3 April 2013. Under s29(7) of the FOI Act, this means that I am deemed to have made a decision that the charge will not be reduced or not imposed. Accordingly, you are entitled to seek an internal review or IC review of that deemed decision.

I will be returning to the office next week, and (notwithstanding the deemed decision) will make a decision in this matter which includes reasons for the decision. If you wish to wait for that decision before taking further steps, I will agree (under s54B(1)) to extend the period in which you may apply for internal review to 30 days from the date of my decision.

Regards
Judith Maude

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Thanks Judith. Much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Hi Judith. Where are we at?

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingston

 

Please see attached in relation to your FOI request.

 

Regards

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5480
[3]http://abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/brandsi...

 

 

-

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Hi. So I send you a cheque for $281.35? Will post Monday.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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The process is the same as outlined in my letter of 4 March 2013 - complete the Payment Form for the deposit (using the reduced charge).

I have amended the Payment Form and attached it for your convenience.

The balance will be payable once a decision is made (and prior to release of any documents).

Regards

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Please see attached.

 

 

 

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5305
[3]http://abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/brandsi...

 

 

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingston

 

My decision in relation to your recent FOI request is attached.

 

I am not able to attach all of the documents to which access is granted
due to their number and size. Accordingly, I will need to send these in a
series of separate emails.

 

Regards

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [email address]
M +61 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5305
[2]http://www.abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/bra...

 

 

-

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingston

 

I am having difficulties emailing documents to you which have been
released under FOI.  I may have incorrectly written down the email address
that you gave me in your phone message.

 

I am happy to send documents to this email address, or any other if you
could send it to me so that I have the exact address. Alternatively, I can
mail documents to a postal address.

 

Thanks very much.

Regards

 

[1]ABC Judith Maude
Head Corporate Governance
P +61 2 8333 5316 E [2][email address]
M +61 0412 898 657 F +61 2 8333 5305
[3]http://www.abc.net.au/corp/enter/img/bra...

 

 

 

 

-

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Hi. Reading docos now. Can complainants be anonymous to you? If not, why are they anonymous to me? Surely to complain, people need to use their real names, which should be available under FOI?

If not, why not?

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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Dear Ms Kingston
 
Complaints can be made to the ABC anonymously, pseudonymously or using
their real names.
 
The names and contact details of complainants is personal information
within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1988, in the same way that your name
and contact details as an FOI applicant is treated as personal information
for the purposes of that Act. The ABC has obligations in relation to the
collection, use and storage of that information.
 
Access to that information may be granted under the FOI Act, subject to
the exemptions in that legislation. In relation to the documents which I
have released to you under the FOI Act, I have redacted the names and
contact details of the complainants on the basis that I considered it
irrelevant to the request. If this is information that you consider
relevant, I am happy to consider granting access. This will require me to
consult with each of the complainants to give them an opportunity to make
submissions as to whether disclosure would be an unreasonable disclosure
of personal information, and to then consider the application of the
exemption in s47F of the FOI Act.
 
Please let me know if you would like to me take any further steps in
relation to your request.
 
Regards
Judith
 
 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | | | Judith Maude |
| | | | Head Corporate Governance |
| | | |-------------------------------------------------|
| [1][IMG] |   |   |   |
| | | |-------------------------------------------------|
| | | |   |
| | | |-------------------------------------------------|
| | | |   |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | | | +---------------+ | | |
| | | | | P | +61 2 | | | +--------------------------------+ |
| | | | | | 8333 5316 | | | |E |[2][email address] | |
| | | | |---+-----------| | | |---+----------------------------| |
|   |   |   | | M | +61 0412 | |   | |F |+61 2 8333 5305 | |
| | | | | | 898 657 | | | +--------------------------------+ |
| | | | +---------------+ | | |
| | | | | |   |
| | | |   | | |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | | |   |
|   |   |   |-------------------------------------------------|
| | | | [3][IMG] |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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From: Margo Kingston

Delivered

Dear Judith Maude,

Thanks Judith. I am very surprised that you act on anonymous complaints. It leaves the door open to manipulation, and puts your employees on the block to someone unprepared to put a name to their complaint.

Yes, I would like the names of the complainants.

Yours sincerely,

Margo Kingston

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From: Judith Maude
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Just to be clear, your question was whether complaints can be made
anonymously. They can. I did not say that we act on anonymous complaints.
We don’t.
 
I will update the estimate of costs for the additional work required to
make a decision regarding access to the redacted information and provide
it to you as soon as practicable.
 
Regards
Judith
 

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation only: