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Chen_F made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Public Service Commission

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From: Chen_F

Delivered

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

I am aware that under former Australian Public Service Commissioner, John Lloyd’s, leadership, Mr Lloyd and the APSC’s senior executive leadership team would liaise and consult with Government senators on the Australian Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee so as to coordinate the asking, and answering, of particular questions at Senate Estimates hearings. Such actions are not only a clear breach of the APS Code of Conduct, but make a mockery of the separation of powers. The Chair of the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee is Liberal Senator James Paterson.

Under the FOI Act, I seek access to any emails contained in all of John Lloyd’s email account (including deleted items) that contain the following word (in the body of an email and/or in the addressee fields of an email): “Paterson”.

Relevant documents can be quickly identified by searching “All Outlook Items” in Mr Lloyd’s outlook client for the word: “Paterson”.

I’m happy for the personal information of any person to be redacted from relevant documents except for Mr Lloyd’s and Mr Paterson’s personal information and except for the personal information of any person who was a public servant at the relevant time.

Yours faithfully
F Chen

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

FOI Request C19/397

 

Dear F Chen,

 

I acknowledge your request dated 12 February 2019 seeking access to
documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

The statutory timeframe for responding to your request under the FOI Act
is 30 days from the date of receipt.  This timeframe may be extended in
certain circumstances.  You will be notified if such circumstances arise.

 

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

 

 

Important: This email remains the property of the Commonwealth and is
subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. It may
contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you think it
was sent to you by mistake, please delete all copies and advise the
sender.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

FOI Request C19/397

24AB Consultation Notice

 

 

Good afternoon F Chen,

 

1.      I refer to your FOI request dated 12 February 2019, seeking access
to the following documents:

I seek access to any emails contained in all of John Lloyd’s email account
(including deleted items) that contain the following word (in the body of
an email and/or in the addressee fields of an email):
“Paterson”.            

 

2.      Having caused searches to be undertaken, a substantial number of
documents fall within the scope of your request. 

 

3.      In its present form, your request encompasses 181 documents in the
form of emails and attachments. 

 

Request Consultation Process

 

4.      Your FOI request seeks documents with any inclusion of
‘Paterson’.  The resulting searches have located a substantial number of
documents associated with the work of the Commission, as a number of
personnel across the Australian Public Service bear ‘Paterson’ as part of
their name. The form of your request therefore captures documents
mentioning persons other than James Paterson, who you mention in your
request and it appears is the relevant ‘Paterson’ you are referring to in
your request.

 

5.      I write to consult with you in relation to the scope of your
request, as currently the work associated with processing your request
would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of this agency
due to the broad range of documents captured.  This forms a practical
refusal reason under section 24 of the FOI Act.

 

6.      In assessing the practical refusal reason I have considered the
nature of your request and the large number of documents captured.

 

7.      Before I make a decision on your request, I am asking you to
provide clarification as to the information or documents you are seeking.
 I welcome you to provide additional detail to narrow your request, such
as specifying the type, or types of information or documents you seek,
excluding duplicate documents, excluding attachments or providing
additional search parameters.

 

Timeframe

 

8.      In accordance with subsection 24AB(6) of the FOI Act, within the
next 14 days, being the consultation period, you must do one of the
following, in writing:

-        withdraw the request;

-        make a revised request;

-        indicate that you do not wish to revise the request.

 

9.      If you do not contact the Commission during the consultation
period, your request will be considered withdrawn.

 

10.   I note that the consultation period does not fall within the
standard 30 day time period for processing access requests made under the
FOI Act.  On revising your request, you will be advised of the new due
date for your request.

 

Charges

 

11.   If applicable, you will be advised if a charge is payable to process
your request, and the amount of any such charge as soon as practicable.

 

Contact details

 

12.   You may contact the FOI Officer, or Ms Grady, General Counsel in
relation to this consultation process, by reply email or on (02) 6202 3500
and we are happy to assist you in the revision of your request.   

 

Kind 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

 

 

 

 

Important: This email remains the property of the Commonwealth and is
subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. It may
contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you think it
was sent to you by mistake, please delete all copies and advise the
sender.

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From: Chen_F

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for the opportunity to refine my request.

Yes, I’m interested, and the taxpayer obviously has an interest in, email documents facilitated by Crown resources that involve Lloyd and his Liberal Party/IPA colleague James Paterson.

Accordingly, can the scope of my request be narrowed to any email documents in all of John Lloyd’s email account that contain the terms/words: “James Paterson”, “jpaterson” and/or “senator.paterson”. Also, I’m happy for any: attachments to applicable emails, duplicate documents, and any relevant results that clearly involve someone other than Liberal Party/IPA member/Senator, James Paterson, to be excluded from the scope of my request.

Also, if required, I can provide a bunch of information that goes to the public interest in these documents by reference to the IPA, George Pell, corruption in the public sector etc .... just let me know.

Thanks.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

FOI reference C19/397

Consultation with third parties

 

Dear Chen,

 

1.      I write in relation to your request for access to documents under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

2.      Your request captures documents which contain the personal
information of third parties.  I have determined that the consultation
mechanism under section 27A of the FOI Act therefore applies.

 

3.      Section 27A of the FOI Act, in accordance with section 15(6)(a) of
the FOI Act, allows for the processing time for responding to your request
to be extended by a further 30 days. 

 

Revised request

 

4.      On 7 March 2019 you wrote to the Commission amending the scope of
your request, as follows:

 

Can the scope of my request be narrowed to any email documents in all of
John Lloyd’s email account that contain the terms/words: “James Paterson”,
“jpaterson” and/or “senator.paterson”.  Also, I’m happy for any:
attachments to applicable emails, duplicate documents, and any relevant
results that clearly involve someone other than Liberal Party/IPA
member/Senator, James Paterson, to be excluded from the scope of my
request.

 

5.      Documents within the scope of your request capture the personal
information of multiple third parties, including John Lloyd, Senator
Paterson and a number of Australian Public Service Commission employees. 
To limit the third party consultation required in relation to your
request, do you consent to the further revise the scope of your request to
remove additional third party information other than that related to John
Lloyd/Senator Paterson?

 

6.      If you do not respond within 7 days, being 22 March 2019, I will
process your request considering the additional third party information to
be outside the scope of your request.

 

7.      I welcome you to contact the Commission by reply email should you
wish to discuss.

 

Kind 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

 

 

Important: This email remains the property of the Commonwealth and is
subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. It may
contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you think it
was sent to you by mistake, please delete all copies and advise the
sender.

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From: Chen_F

Delivered

Dear FOI,

The following from the FOI Guidelines (at [6.153] – [6.154]) seems relevant:

"Where public servants’ personal information is included in a document because of their usual duties or responsibilities, it would not be unreasonable to disclose unless special circumstances existed. This is because the information would reveal only that the public servant was performing their public duties…..
When considering whether it would be unreasonable to disclose the names of public servants, there is no basis under the FOI Act for agencies to start from the position that the classification level of a departmental officer determines whether his or her name would be unreasonable to disclose.”

There’s also a public interest in identifying public servants who have engaged in misconduct.

So, in response to your question of whether I agree for the APSC to remove the names of APSC employees from the relevant documents, I agree for that to occur where:
- the redaction of that personal information is in accordance with the FOI Guidelines; and
- the documents at issue don’t constitute prima facie evidence of misconduct engaged in by that public servant (be it a breach of the APS Code/Values or any other act of misconduct).
Regards
F Chen

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission


Attachment C19 397.pdf
357K Download View as HTML


Dear Sir / Madam

Please find attached correspondence in response to your freedom of information request of 12 February 2019.

Regards
___________________________________________________
FOI Officer
Australian Public Service Commission

p : 02 6202 3500
e : [APSC request email] | w : www.apsc.gov.au

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