Background to the audit of Australian engagement with multilateral institutions

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
This is an application under the Freedom of information Act for the following documents associated with the Audit report on Australia's engagement with key multilateral institutions. You refused access to the report in its entirety on 30 November (LEX2125):

1. The document in whatever form that records the message from the Prime Minister, PMO or Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the Department or to the Department via Minister’s office ‘tasking’ the Department to undertake the comprehensive audit.

2.The final document signed off by the Minister that those who undertook the audit took as setting the instructions or approval of the scope, terms of reference, timetable and other aspects of the work to be undertaken in preparing the audit.

3. Any document that includes the names of multinational organisations or governments with whom all or parts of the Audit report have been or are to be shared.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Timmins

FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Our Ref: LEX 3065

 

Dear Mr Timmins

 

I refer to your email dated 7 December 2020 requesting access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“…the following documents associated with the Audit report on Australia's
engagement with key multilateral institutions. You refused access to the
report in its entirety on 30 November (LEX2125):

 

1. The document in whatever form that records the message from the Prime
Minister, PMO or Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the
Department or to the Department via Minister’s office ‘tasking’ the
Department to undertake the comprehensive audit.

 

2.The final document signed off by the Minister that those who undertook
the audit took as setting the instructions or approval of the scope, terms
of reference, timetable and other aspects of the work to be undertaken in
preparing the audit.

 

3. Any document that includes the names of multinational organisations or
governments with whom all or parts of the Audit report have been or are to
be shared.”

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 7 December 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 6 January 2021. 
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[1][DFAT 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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [2][DFAT request email]

 

Kind regards

Danielle

 

DFAT FOI Team

[3]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[4]DFAT.GOV.AU | [5]Twitter | [6]Facebook | [7]Flickr | [8]YouTube

 

 

 

 

References

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2. mailto:[DFAT request email]
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FOI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Timmins

 

I refer to your email dated 7 December 2020.

 

I am writing to request an extension of time of 21 days to process your
request in accordance with section 15AA of the FOI Act. If you agree to
the extension, the revised due date for the request will be Wednesday, 27
January 2021. DFAT will endeavour to provide you with a decision in
response to the Request by that date.

 

While the decision in relation to this request is underway, the department
will be unable to finalise the request within the statutory timeframe due
to the significant number of public holidays over the forthcoming
Christmas/New Year period.

 

I appreciate this request is at short notice and I would be grateful if
you would please confirm your agreement to this request for an extension
by return email on or before COB 24 December 2020. Once I have your
agreement, I will advise the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner.

 

Kind regards

Danielle

 

DFAT FOI Team

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[1]DFAT.GOV.AU | [2]Twitter | [3]Facebook | [4]Flickr | [5]YouTube

 

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Tuesday, 8 December 2020 11:45 AM
To: '[FOI #6960 email]'
<[FOI #6960 email]>
Subject: FOI Request - Background to the audit of Australian engagement
with multilateral institutions [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Our Ref: LEX 3065

 

Dear Mr Timmins

 

I refer to your email dated 7 December 2020 requesting access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“…the following documents associated with the Audit report on Australia's
engagement with key multilateral institutions. You refused access to the
report in its entirety on 30 November (LEX2125):

 

1. The document in whatever form that records the message from the Prime
Minister, PMO or Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the
Department or to the Department via Minister’s office ‘tasking’ the
Department to undertake the comprehensive audit.

 

2.The final document signed off by the Minister that those who undertook
the audit took as setting the instructions or approval of the scope, terms
of reference, timetable and other aspects of the work to be undertaken in
preparing the audit.

 

3. Any document that includes the names of multinational organisations or
governments with whom all or parts of the Audit report have been or are to
be shared.”

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 7 December 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 6 January 2021. 
The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[6][DFAT 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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [7][DFAT request email]

 

Kind regards

Danielle

 

DFAT FOI Team

[8]cid:image001.png@01D349A2.74F24380

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Legal Division | Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[9]DFAT.GOV.AU | [10]Twitter | [11]Facebook | [12]Flickr | [13]YouTube

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://dfat.gov.au/pages/default.aspx
2. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. mailto:[DFAT request email]
7. mailto:[DFAT request email]
9. http://dfat.gov.au/pages/default.aspx
10. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
11. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
12. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
13. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Dear FOI,
If a decision is underway have to wonder about the need for a 21 day extension. However I'm no Scrooge so yes agree. Hope this sticks as my recent experience suggests deadlines don't amount to much.

I don't agree that the names of officers below SES level is excluded from the request.
As you know your 'policy' is inconsistent with the guidance issued by the OAIC. Names of officials wherever they appear are covered. I do not seek contact details.

Happy Christmas.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Timmins