Centrelink/MyGov Technical Issues

Ben Fairless made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

Can you please provide, under either Administrative access or Freedom of Information, documents which contain:
- Details on the number of calls made to the Department's "Technical Support" hotline 132 307 in the previous 6 months
- Details on the number of issues that were "escalated" by staff on the above hotline, separated by the category of issues
- Details of any official communication to Departmental staff (specifically Technical Support staff) on issues with MyGov
- Details of any official communication to Departmental staff (specifically Technical Support staff) on issues with Centrelink online services
- the difference between a Customer Access Number and a Customer Reference Number
- Troubleshooting steps used by Departmental staff on MyGov and Centrelink Online services

If the above request can be processed administratively, then please do so. If parts of this request cannot be processed in this way, please consider each item a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment LEX 16765 Correspondence Acknowledgement.pdf
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Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Please find attached correspondence relating to your request under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Delegate

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

[1][email address]

 

 

[2]Description: Description: Description: Description: Description:
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description:
Description: Description: cid:image001.png@01CD1993.20C1C870

 

 

Please note: This email and any attachments may contain information
subject to legal professional privilege or information that is otherwise
sensitive or confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this
email, you are prohibited from using or disseminating this communication.
If you have received this communication in error please notify the sender
immediately and permanently delete this email.

 

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear FOI Delegate,

I am concerned with your letter which proposes to modify my request, and which appears inconsistent with the FOI Act. I would appreciate you treating this email as a complaint about the processing of my FOI Request.

As I understand it, you are only allowed to extend the time by my agreement in writing (s15AA(a)). I have not given any such agreement in writing, so your assumption that I agree to it by not replying does not appear to be consistent with the FOI Act.

In addition, you have indicated that you intend to exclude employees full names, logon identifiers, and direct contact details as you assume they are excluded under section 22.

The FOI Guidelines relevantly state (6.140):

"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."

The Department appears to be acting in a manner which is inconsistent with the FOI Act and Guidelines. I would appreciate the Department responding to my complaint above.

For the purposes of this request, I agree to the extension and to the exclusion of information (except for names, which should be released under the Guidelines above).

I do not agree that I was asked correctly and, if I had not responded, the Department would be acting contrary to the FOI Act and inconsistently with the guidelines by making the assumptions it has.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FREEDOMOFINFORMATION
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX 16765 CONSULT letter to applicant.pdf
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Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Correspondence regarding your FOI request is attached.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

Phone: 02 6223 4006

[1][email address].au 

 

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From: FREEDOMOFINFORMATION
Department of Human Services

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

The Department of Human Services acknowledges receipt of your complaint
lodged by email on 18 December 2015.

 

The matter will be investigated and a written response provided.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Officer

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

Phone: 02 6223 4006

[1][email address].au 

 

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I refer to your consultation letter received December 17. I seek the Department's assistance in narrowing the scope of my request.

It would be appreciated if the Department could clarify which part of my request causes the most documents to appear. Over 400 documents seems to be a very large amount of documents.

If it assists the Department, I am happy to drop part e. (using your numbering in your letter) and part c. of my request. Can you advise if that is sufficient to reduce the scope of my request?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services

The FOI team will be closed from 24 December 2015 until 1 January 2016
(inclusive). Applications lodged during that period will be considered
when we re-open on 4 January 2016.

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From: FREEDOMOFINFORMATION
Department of Human Services

Dear Mr Fairless,

Thank you for your email of 25 December 2015 offering to remove parts (c) and (e) from the scope of your FOI request. These two parts form just a small part of the request you have made and their removal is not sufficient to reduce the scope to a manageable level.

The largest part of the request is part (f) "Troubleshooting steps used by Departmental staff on MyGov and Centrelink Online services". This part has the bulk of the documents (estimated at around 700 pages). Would you consider removing this part of your request?

Your consideration of amendment to the scope is important as this will also impact our preliminary charges estimate.

Kind regards,

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services
[email address]

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear FOI and Litigation Branch,

In that case, can I reinstate parts (c) and (e) and revise part (f) to a "List of the documents used by Departmental staff to Troubleshooting MyGov and Centrelink Online services (with just the titles of the documents)"

Does that help?

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FREEDOMOFINFORMATION
Department of Human Services


Attachment LEX 16765 CHARGES letter to applicant.pdf
113K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Fairless,

 

Correspondence regarding your FOI request is attached.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division
Department of Human Services

[1][email address].au 

 

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear FOI and Litigation Branch,

I write to contend the fee should not be imposed, or should be reduced.

Basis upon which the estimate is made
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The Department is required under section 29(1)(b) to provide information on the basis of the assessment of charges. The department has not mentioned how removing part of my request which contains over 700 pages has reduced the pages. The Department has not provided sufficient information on the basis of which the estimate is made.

This would include (but not be limited to) providing information on the searches to be conducted, the number of expected documents to be found, and information on why it would take 23 hours to process a request.

Application of the fee would cause the applicant financial hardship
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I contend that the application of a fee would cause me financial hardship. Evidence in support of this claim is already held by the Department, and I wish to correspond privately (i.e. not via the Right to Know website) in relation to this portion of my application. Can the Department please provide the contact number of an officer of the Department who can discuss this part of my request with me.

Information contained is within the public interest
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The information I have requested is within the public interest. The public is interested in the department maintaining information technology systems which allow applicants to contact and do business with the Department.

The operation of those facilities is also of significant interest to taxpayers, considering the public expenditure as a result of, what many suggest, are poor and inefficient systems which have had a number of issues.

The department does not, as far as I am aware, publish information in relation to it's online technical support operations, and the cost to taxpayers of offering same.

For the above reasons, I contend that the charge should be not imposed, or should be significantly reduced.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services

Dear Mr Fairless,

 

I refer to your email of 21 January 2016, in which you requested a
reduction or waiver of the amount of charge set out in the department’s
letter dated 21 January 2016.

 

In your email you indicated that you would like to discuss the reasons why
payment of the charge would cause you financial hardship. Could you please
email your contact telephone number to
[1][email address], and an FOI officer will be in
touch to discuss this aspect of your request.

 

As your request for a reduction or waiver of charges was received by the
department on 21 January 2016, the 30 day statutory period for making a
decision in relation to your reduction or waiver request commenced from
the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us no
later than 22 February 2016.

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI Practitioner
FOI & Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services | humanservices.gov.au

* [2][email address]

 

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From: Ben Fairless

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I wish to withdraw this request.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Fairless

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