Access to PID related data (2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years)

The request was partially successful.

Dear Commonwealth Ombudsman,

This is a request for documents. This is a second attempt at making a request because my original attempt appears to have failed to send (see delivery status: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...).

You are welcome to grant access pursuant to an administrative release. If you choose not to grant access pursuant to an administrative release, then please accept this request as a request for documents under the FOI Act 1982.

I would like to know:

a) the number of public interest disclosures received by authorised officers of the Australian Public Service Commission during the 2019-2020 financial year;
b) the kinds of disclosable conduct to which those disclosures relate;
c) the number of disclosure investigations that the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or his delegate, conducted during the 2019-2020 financial year;
d) the actions that the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or his delegate, took during the 2019-2020 financial year in response to recommendations in reports relating to those disclosure investigations.

I would also like to know:

a) the number of public interest disclosures received by authorised officers of the Australian Public Service Commission during the 2020-2021 financial year;
b) the kinds of disclosable conduct to which those disclosures relate;
c) the number of disclosure investigations that the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or his delegate, conducted during the 2020-2021 financial year;
d) the actions that the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or his delegate, took during the 2020-2021 financial year in response to recommendations in reports relating to those disclosure investigations.

Please provide access to documents, be they reports or otherwise, that set out this information.

You may provide access to the documents requested by providing scans or digital copies of the documents by return email.

Yours faithfully,

Marek

Information Access, Commonwealth Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Ombudsman reference: FOI-2022-10021

Dear Marek

Please find attached to this email correspondence regarding your Freedom of Information request below.

Sincerely,
Caitlin Christie
[she/her]
Paralegal | Legal Team
Commonwealth Ombudsman
Ph: 1300 362 072 | Fax: 02 6276 0123
Email: [CO request email]

Influencing systemic improvement in public administration

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present.

show quoted sections

Dear Information Access,

This request should not have been transferred to the APSC.

I wrote the following to Gregory Parkhurst when he asked me if the request at https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a... was intended to be made-

I would like you to consider the FOI request that I submitted. I had not realised that the FOI request that I submitted to the Ombudsman had been transferred to the APSC until now. I deliberately submitted the FOI request to the Ombudsman because I knew that the Ombudsman should have the documents I requested.

Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013, it is the Ombudsman’s responsibility to, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, prepare and give to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report on the operation of the PID Act. Parliament has dictated that the report must include, in relation to EACH agency:

i) the number of public interest disclosures received by authorised officers of the agency during the financial year;
ii) the kinds of disclosable conduct to which those disclosures relate;
iii) the number of disclosure investigations that the principal officer of the agency conducted during the financial year; and
iv) the actions that the principal officer of the agency has taken during the financial year in response to recommendations in reports relating to those disclosure investigations.

I will refer to these four categories of information as the “relevant information”.

I have reviewed the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 annual reports of the Ombudsman and have not found the relevant information about the APSC.

The Ombudsman has lumped together the relevant information about various agencies, including the APSC, and reported an “aggregated figure”. For example, in the 2019-2020 annual report in table 26 of Appendix 8 of that report, the Ombudsman has reported the number of disclosures assessed as meeting the criteria under s 26 of the PID Act in agencies, including the alleged kinds of disclosable conduct, but has decided to lump together the relevant information for 36 agencies. The number of PIDs received by the APSC and the kinds of disclosable conduct to which the disclosures relate have been obfuscated.

An agency or minister receiving a request may transfer the request, or part of the request, to another agency or minister with their agreement if:

a) the document is not in the first agency or minister’s possession but is to their knowledge in the possession of another agency or minister, or
b) the subject matter of the document is more closely connected with the functions of another agency or minister.

According to the FOI Guidelines, “it is implicit in those requirements that a request cannot be transferred solely as a matter of administrative convenience, or because another agency or minister produced the document requested or also has a copy of it.”

According to Bienstein v Attorney-General (2007) 96 ALD 639, before a decision is made to transfer a request an agency or minister should take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to ascertain whether they have the documents that may meet the description in the FOI request.

It was not appropriate for Caitlin Christie to punt the request off to the APSC.

Under a law of the Commonwealth, Parliament has dictated that the Ombudsman report the relevant information for EACH agency. The report must exist. The Ombudsman is not above the law. I want access to the report from the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman that was prepared and given to the Minister for presentation to the Parliament.

If the APSC provides the report, or other documents, before the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, I will consider withdrawing this request. Until then, the request to the Ombudsman stands.

I am disappointed that Caitlin Christie transferred the request that I deliberately made to the Ombudsman without having proper regard to the terms of the request or the FOI Guidelines on when transfers should be effected.

Yours sincerely,

Marek

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The APSC accepted transfer of the attached two requests under section 16
of the FOI Act. The requests are being dealt with jointly under reference
SHC22-1255.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
4. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The APSC accepted transfer of the attached two requests under section 16
of the FOI Act. The requests are being dealt with jointly under reference
SHC22-1255.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
4. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

A decision notice is attached.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Monday, 28 February 2022 12:57 PM
To: [FOI #8371 email];
[email address]
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: Transfer of FOI requests SHC22-1255 [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The APSC accepted transfer of the attached two requests under section 16
of the FOI Act. The requests are being dealt with jointly under reference
SHC22-1255.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
4. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/
5. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
8. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

A decision notice is attached.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Monday, 28 February 2022 12:57 PM
To: [FOI #8371 email];
[email address]
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: Transfer of FOI requests SHC22-1255 [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The APSC accepted transfer of the attached two requests under section 16
of the FOI Act. The requests are being dealt with jointly under reference
SHC22-1255.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
4. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/
5. http://www.apsc.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/PublicServiceAU
8. https://www.facebook.com/AusPublicService/