Closure of the staff gym at the ATO office in Hobart

Mark R. Diamond made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Taxation Office

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it.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

From: Mark R. Diamond

Delivered

FOI Contact Person
Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 1797
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Dear FOI Person,

Request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
In re: Closure of the Taxation Office Social Club gym in Hobart
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The Taxation Office Social Club equips and staffs a gym housed in a room in the ATO building at 200 Collins Street Hobart. The gym is provided by the Taxation Office Social Club for the health and wellbeing of ATO staff as well as the staff of other Commonwealth offices in Hobart.

I understand that the ATO has decided that is no longer willing to house the gym and has notified the Taxation Office Social Club of its decision. I request documents relating to the decision no longer to house the gym.

Specifically I request a copy of:
1. The document(s) that substantiates that decision, created or authorized by the decision maker.
2. Documents that indicate the material that the decision maker considered in reaching the decision to close the gym.
3. Documents (i) showing that the decision maker sought information relating to the likely impact of the gym closure on the health and wellbeing of ATO staff, and (ii) showing the information that was actually obtained regarding the likely impact of the gym closure on the health and wellbeing of ATO staff, regardless of whether the decision maker actively sought that information.
4. Documents showing that, in reaching the decision, the decision maker had regard to the likely impact of the gym closure on the health and wellbeing of ATO staff.
5. Documents indicating that in reaching the decision, the decision maker had regard to clauses 78 and 79 in the ATO enterprise agreement 2011. The clauses read as follows:
78. Personal Wellbeing program
78.1 During the nominal period of this Agreement the National Health and Safety Committee will oversee and evaluate the operations of the ATO Wellbeing Program.
79. Health and Wellbeing Allowance
79.1 The ATO and its employees recognise the importance of employees maintaining their health and fitness.

Yours faithfully,

Mark R. Diamond

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From: FOIReply
Australian Taxation Office

ATO closure over the Christmas period
        The ATO will close at 12pm on Tuesday 24 December 2013 and will
re-open on Thursday 02 January 2014. Unfortunately we will be unable to
progress your request during this time. We seek your agreement to a 10 day
extension of the processing period in accordance with section 15AA of the
FOI Act to cover this shutdown period.
        If you consent to the 10 day extension, please provide your
written confirmation by email to [1][ATO request email] and quote our reference
number MYM61947.
        A decision on your request would then be due by 13 01 2014.
        While we will aim to achieve this extended timeframe, if your
request is large or involves complex issues it may take longer. If this is
the case we will contact you to discuss the appropriateness of a
further        extension or a possible reduction of scope.
 Freedom of Information
General Counsel | Australian Taxation Office
 
 
 
 
 

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From: Mark R. Diamond

Delivered

Dear FOIReply,

Your FOI reference: MYM61947
Re: Documents relating to the closure of the staff gym
------------------------------------------------------

I agree to your request for an extension of time.

Best wishes for Christmas.
Yours sincerely,

Mark R. Diamond

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From: McGilchrist, Mark
Australian Taxation Office

Hello Mr Diamond,

Could you either give me a call or confirm that this email address is an appropriate channel to communicate with you.

I need to discuss your FOI application, and some of the issues around the gym being an incorporated non-government entity.

Regards,

Mark McGilchrist
Legal Officer
General Counsel Practice
Australian Taxation Office
Phone: 02 9374 8180 | Facsimile: 02 9374 2698
Email: [email address]

ATO | Working for all Australians

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From: Mark R. Diamond

Delivered

Dear Mr McGilchrist

Your FOI reference: MYM61947
Re: Documents relating to the closure of the staff gym
------------------------------------------------------

I refer to your email of 11 December 2013 regarding this matter. I can confirm that this is a suitable email for communicating with me regarding my FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Mark R. Diamond

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From: McGilchrist, Mark
Australian Taxation Office

 
Hello Mr Diamond,
 
In response to your FOI application of the 4th December 2013, I am
informed by the Hobart Site Leadership and the Social Club that the
decision you refer to was made by the Taxation Social & Recreation Club
and not the ATO. The Social Club lease the space from the ATO, and aside
from the lease arrangement, there is no specific formal relationship
between the ATO and the Club. The primary FOI problem here is that the
Taxation Social & Recreation Club is a separate entity to the ATO, and is
not a Commonwealth government agency.
 
It isn't particularly clear to me whether you want me to modify the terms
and assumptions of the FOI application to include the Taxation Social &
Recreation Club decision document(s), if they are held within ATO records.
If such was the case, it is likely I would have to consult with the Club
about releasing their documents to you via the RighttoKnow website. As a
member of the Club, I presume you could directly seek this information
about the decision from the Club Officers?
 
Please contact me with how you want to proceed here, and please contact me
if you require assistance with modifying the request scope.
 
Regards,
 
Mark McGilchrist
Legal Officer
General Counsel Practice
Australian Taxation Office
Phone: 02 9374 8180 | Facsimile: 02 9374 2698
Email: [email address]
 
ATO | Working for all Australians 
 
 

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From: Mark R. Diamond

Delivered

Dear Mr McGilchrist

Your FOI reference: MYM61947
Re: Documents relating to the closure of the staff gym
------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for your email of 16 December 2013. In light of the potential difficulties that you raise, I withdraw my request.

Despite the withdrawal, I would add that I did not anticipate the need to obtain documents from the Club itself. I thought that I had worded my request in a sufficiently contrained manner as to indicate that I was seeking documents in the possession of the ATO that indicated what actions the ATO had taken and what decisions the ATO had made in relation to the Club. I appreciate, however, that the facts of the case might mean that my carefully phrased distinction could not have the effect that I intended!

Thank you again for your help and information.
Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Yours sincerely,
Mark R. Diamond

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