Amendment of Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (Iraq) declaration 2004

Francis Unmeopa made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The request was refused by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

From: Francis Unmeopa

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

In early 2012 the assistant secretary of Honours and Awards oversaw the production of a document titled.

"Amendment of Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (Iraq) Declaration 2004 to extend to specified commercial contractors”

I respectfully request a copy of that document please.

Yours faithfully,

Francis Unmeopa

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL

 

OFFICIAL

 

FOI/2020/160

 

Dear Mr Unmeopa

 

Thank you for your email dated 3 July 2020, received by the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) in the following terms:

 

In early 2012 the assistant secretary of Honours and Awards oversaw the
production of a document titled.

 

"Amendment of Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (Iraq) Declaration 2004
to extend to specified commercial contractors”

 

I respectfully request a copy of that document please.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 3 July 2020 and the 30 day statutory period
for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You
should therefore expect a decision from us by 3 August 2020. The period of
30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise you if
there is any extension of time.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [2][DPMC request email]. If you do
wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

o any person’s signature;
o the names and contact details of Australian Public Service officers
not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
o the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;
o the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level below
Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [3][DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information. Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor.... (A previous attempt to
send this acknowledgement on 17 July 2020 was rejected by the recipient
email system).

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

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6271 5849

[6]http://cdn.mysitemyway.com/icons-waterma... request email]

[8]https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/...

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

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From: FOI
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Attachment FOI 2020 160 Decision FINAL.pdf
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OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Unmeopa,

 

Please find attached the decision in relation to your request under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

[1]http://www.dcducks.com/wp-content/themes...
6271 5849

[2]http://cdn.mysitemyway.com/icons-waterma... request email]

[4]https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/...

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[6]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[7]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[8]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[9]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

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From: Francis Unmeopa

Delivered

Dear FOI officer,

Thank you for your response to my FOI request regarding the Amendment of Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (Iraq) declaration 2004.

There are a number of points contained within the decision that I do not understand and I would like your clarification on those points to avoid misinterpretations.

I will reply shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Francis Unmeopa

Link to this

From: Francis Unmeopa

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your letter of reply; respectfully I would like to request an internal review.

The document I seek titled “amendment of humanitarian overseas service medal (Iraq) declaration 2004 to extend to specified commercial contractors” followed a member of the public’s endeavours to gain civilian operational service recognition for his colleagues. The Commonwealth Government agency delivering the Australian Government’s relief and recovery programs to the Iraqi people supported this endeavour, as did the commercial organisation considered by the process leading to the production of the amendment. Reasonable documentary evidence was provided and related discussions held.

The amendment was to be put to the Minister for Honours policy for decision in April 2012; it is unclear if that act occurred. Freedom of Information Guidelines state that a general principle of fairness, is that a decision that directly affects the rights or interests of a person or organisation must be made in accordance with the principals of procedural fairness. The decision maker is required to follow a fair decision-making process, complying with the bias rule and the hearing rule. As noted, it is unclear if the aforementioned amendment was delivered to the Minister in April 2012. Their response at that time is uncertain. And there has been no opportunity to consider or respond to that decision. It is unclear what evidence was included and what was discarded.

I would like to respond to Mr Rush in regards to his decision to refuse access to the document where he claimed disclosure would be contrary to the public interest based on the following three points.
•Section 47C of the FOI Act (deliberative material)
•Section 47E(d) of the FOI Act (proper and efficient operations of an agency) and
•Section 47G of the FOI Act (business information).

Mr Rush claims the main factor against disclosure is his view that such disclosure would affect his Department’s ability to provide comprehensive advice to Government. However Freedom of Information Guidelines state that the public expects agencies and ministers to act fairly, transparently and consistently in their administrative decision-making and to be accountable for the decisions they make. The public is entitled to expect evidence and submissions will be properly considered. Disclosure in this case will allow reasonable public scrutiny to ensure that the process and decisions were reasonably predicated on all relevant evidence.

Mr Rush’s claims that disclosure could be expected to adversely affect the business or commercial interests of third parties is an unsubstantiated opinion that runs contrary to the facts. As noted, the commercial organisation in question supported the concept of its personnel being awarded civilian operational service recognition for their service with the Australian contingent to the rehabilitation program in Iraq. The Commonwealth Government agency involved also supported the concept, as did the member of the public whose efforts led to the production of the document titled “amendment of humanitarian overseas service medal (Iraq) declaration 2004 to extend to specified commercial contractors”. The name of the organisation being considered has been disclosed publicly since at least 2004.

Disclosure of the conditionally exempt material is heavily weighted in the public’s interest in this case. Disclosure will promote the Freedom of Information Act’s objectives and allow the reasonable and due public scrutiny of an important administrative process undertaken in the public’s name.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely,

Francis Unmeopa

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL

 

FOI/2020/160IR

 

Dear Mr Unmeopa

 

Thank you for your email dated 9 August 2020, received by the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request for internal review of the Department’s decision on 3 August 2020
in relation to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) (reference: FOI/2020/160IR).

 

Timeframe for receiving your internal review decision

 

We received your request for internal review on 9 August 2020 and the
30-day statutory period for internal review commenced from the day after
that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 8 September
2020.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [2][DPMC request email].  If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

·       any person’s signature;

·       the names and contact details of Australian Public Service
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);

·       the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;

·       the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level
below Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [3][DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information.  Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section| Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

[5]http://www.dcducks.com/wp-content/themes...
6271 5849 |
[6]http://cdn.mysitemyway.com/icons-waterma... request email]
|
[8]https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/...

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

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11. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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Attachment FOI 2020 160 Internal review decision.pdf
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OFFICIAL

 

FOI/2020/160/IR

 

Dear Mr Unmeopa

 

Please find attached the internal review decision in relation to your
request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section| Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

[1]http://www.dcducks.com/wp-content/themes...
6271 5849 |
[2]http://cdn.mysitemyway.com/icons-waterma... request email]
|
[4]https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/...

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[6]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[7]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[8]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [9]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[10]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

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