ATO refusal to respond to FOI requests made through Right To Know

Ato Nduvho made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Taxation Office

The request was partially successful.

From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

I refer to my previous request 'Impact of protracted bargaining on ATO employee morale' dated 17 August 2016.

In your response, you indicated 'the ATO does not process FOI requests received via righttoknow.org.au'.

As the ATO has previously fulfilled FOI requests through Right To Know, it appears the ATO has recently made a decision to ignore further requests made through Right To Know.

This request is for all documents related to that decision.

This is a lawful request under the FOI Act.

Yours faithfully,

Ato Nduvho

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Further to my previous email, the Australian Government Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's FOI Guidelines explicitly say that sites like Right To Know can be used to make FOI requests:

https://oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-informati...

"This requirement can be met by posting the request on a public website which forwards the request to a specified address of the agency or minister."

Accordingly I expect the ATO to respond to this FOI request in the usual manner.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear ATO,

With respect to this and my other FOI request, please advise if the ATO intends to fulfil the request via the Right to Know website.

If I do not hear from you by close of business 22 August 2016, I will take it that you refuse to fulfil the requests in accordance with the FOI Act, and will proceed with an OAIC complaint.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office

Dear Ato Nduvho,
 
We confirm that the ATO does not process FOI requests received via
righttoknow.org.au. Please send your FOI request direct to
[1][ATO request email], or lodge via paper form available at
[2]https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Con....
Alternatively, you can contact the ATO on 13 28 69 and ask for Freedom of
Information.
 
 
Regards,
FOI Team
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[ATO request email]
2. https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Con...

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear FOI,

This request has been sent to the address nominated by the ATO for receiving FOI requests. You can confirm this by clicking on the tick next to the 'delivered' confirmation at the top of each email, as viewed on the Right To Know website: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

I also confirm the email address from which you received this email, is the email you can contact me on in relation to this request.

I am satisfied the requirements of lodging a request as detailed in the FOI Act have been met.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

I refer to my FOI request 'ATO refusal to respond to FOI requests made through Right To Know', which can be found at the following URL: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

I have read in the news that the ATO has made the decision to refuse requests made via Right To Know on the basis that ATO employees' names should not be released publicly (refer http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-30/at... )

I note that in refusing my request, you have not explained this reason to me, nor have you allowed me the opportunity to address your concern, or to consider revising the scope of my request.

I therefore exclude the contact names and phone numbers of all ATO employees from the scope of my request.

I would appreciate it if you continue to process my request based on the original submission date of 18 August 2016. Otherwise, please consider this a request for internal review of your decision dated 19 August 2016 in which you advised me 'We confirm that the ATO does not process FOI requests received via righttoknow.org.au.'

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

Link to this

From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office

Dear Ato Nduvho,
 
 
The ATO does not process FOI requests received via righttoknow.org.au.
Please send your FOI request direct to [1][ATO request email], or lodge via
paper form available at
[2]https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Con....
Alternatively, you can contact the ATO on 13 28 69 and ask for Freedom of
Information.
 
 
Regards,
 
FOI team
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[ATO request email]
2. https://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Con...

Link to this

From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

Please continue to process this request in accordance with the FOI Act.

Otherwise, please detail the legal reason for refusing to process this request via Right To Know.

For your reference the email trail associated with this request can be located at the following URL:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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Skeeve Stevens left an annotation ()

Note - recently the ATO HAS responded to FOI requests via this site. For example: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Australian Taxation Office's handling of my FOI request 'Impact of protracted bargaining on ATO employee morale'.

The ATO has failed to process this request within the timeframes required by law. I do not accept there is a valid reason for your refusal to process this request solely on the grounds that it came to you via the Right to Know website.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

Yours faithfully,

Ato Nduvho

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From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office

Dear Ato Nduvho,
 
The ATO does not process requests received via righttoknow.org.au.  Please
send your request directly to [1][ATO request email].  Alternatively, you can
contact the ATO on 13 28 69 and ask for Freedom of Information.
 
 
Regards
FOI Team
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[ATO request email]

Link to this

From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Australian Taxation Office's handling of my FOI request 'ATO purported manipulation of phone system performance statistics'.

I encourage the department to stop being intentionally obstructive to the freedom of information in Australia. While this request is publicly visible on Right To Know, it has been emailed to you at your nominated email address. It is unacceptable to ignore emails from specific domains such as @righttoknow.org.au

The reasons you have given for denying Right To Know requests are not acceptable and defy credibility of a reasonable person. Inadequacies of the ATO in procedural matters are a matter for the ATO and should not inhibit access to information which is a public right.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear FOI Officer,

I write to you in relation to my FOI request dated 18 August 2016, which is yet to be processed by you.

This request is now 9 months overdue.

For your reference, the details of my request can be located at the following URL:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

As you know, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has confirmed requests made via Right to Know, or other similar anonymous facilities, are valid requests according to the FOI Act.

Accordingly, I demand the ATO process my FOI request in accordance with the law.

I would appreciate it if you could respond to this email to confirm this request will be processed. I would also appreciate prompt processing of this request, considering you have ignored me via this channel for the last 9 months.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

Link to this

From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

I refer to my previous request 'Impact of protracted bargaining on ATO employee morale' dated 17 August 2016.

In your response, you indicated 'the ATO does not process FOI requests received via righttoknow.org.au'.

As the ATO has previously fulfilled FOI requests through Right To Know, it appears the ATO made a decision to ignore further requests made through Right To Know.

This request is for all documents related to that decision.

Yours faithfully,

Ato Nduvho

Link to this

From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear ATO,

I am writing to confirm your receipt of my latest email.

Can you please confirm whether you have received it, and if so, whether you intend to fulfil your legal obligations under the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

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From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office


Attachment ResponseRe RTK.pdf
46K Download View as HTML


Dear Applicant,
 
 
 
 
 
Regards,
 
FOI Team
 

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From: Ato Nduvho

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your email.

The ATO is yet to provide a response under the Act which details a specific response to my FOI request.

Although you have provided references to previously released documents, I have no knowledge of the reasoning for any redaction of information.

Please process my request under the FOI Act. For your reference, the detail of my request can be located at the following URL:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a...

Yours sincerely,

Ato Nduvho

Link to this

From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office


Attachment Attachment.pdf
29K Download View as HTML


 
Dear FOI Applicant,
 
Please see the attachment.
 
 
 
Yours faithfully,
 
FOI Team
 

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From: FOI
Australian Taxation Office


Attachment Notice.pdf
51K Download View as HTML


 
Dear FOI Applicant,
 
Please see attachment.
 
 
 
Yours faithfully,
 
FOI Team
 

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

Why is it that no one has complained about the behavior of the ATO. Having refused for 9 months to process requests filed through Right to Know, they now purport to comply with the law but do not do so. The requirement of s 15(2)(c) of the Act is that a request under FOI "... give details of how notices under this Act may be sent to the applicant (for example, by providing an electronic address to which notices may be sent by electronic communication)". But the ATO doesn't appaer to be doing that, no doubt so as to avoid the possibility that anyone might comment about such notices. Instead, they do not send the notices required by the Act to the applicant. Instead, they send a "meta-notice" (i.e., a notice about where you might find a notice) to the applicant. A complaint (in fact multiple complaints) to the Information Commissioner are warranted.

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