Code of Conduct Complaint Statistics

Verity Pane made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Defence

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of Defence should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Department of Defence,

Under FOI, and in particular s 17, I apply for summary statistician information to be complied (if not already compiled) of the number of Code of Conduct complaints received by Defence, about Defence public servants, for the last three financial years, as well as how many of those were investigated by Defence, and of those how many where eventually upheld.

I’d also like those to be broken down by the APS level involved.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Pane,

Thank you for your FOI inquiry, it has been forwarded for consideration.

Regards,

____________________________
Freedom of Information
Governance & Reform Division
 
Telephone:  (02) 6266 2200
[email address]

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Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Defence


Attachment FOI 368 17 18 Preliminary Assessment of Charges.pdf
112K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon,

 

Please find the preliminary assessment of charges for your FOI request.

Thank you,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence | CP1-6-001|

PO Box 7910 | CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Ph:  02 6266 2200

email: [1][email address]

 

[2]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

 

Department of Defence and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of
the Crimes Act 1914. If you have received this email in error, you are
requested to contact the sender and delete the email.

 

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Ms Cameron,

Defence is clearly abusing the charges provision here, as Defence already collects statistics for internal reporting purposes in line with that requested, as a regular and routine report, but Defence has essentially copied the same charges assessment from another FOI I’ve made, which met the same response, and just cut and paste the FOI topic in.

I apply for a internal review, specifically seeking breakdown and explanation of the summary calculations, which are opaque and without substantiation in this response.

Is Defence’s bad faith culture so endemic that it just carbon copies these estimates, in an effort to circumvent the FOI Act’s obligations and aims, by dissuading and penalising those who dare seek to use FOI? Clearly, from the evidence, the answer is yes.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Pane

 

1.            I refer to your email below dated 15 April 2018, in which
you requested an internal review of the assessment of charges decision
under section 54 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), dated 4
April 2018.

  

2.            The decision you received related to your request for
access, under the FOI Act, to:

 

“Under FOI, and in particular s 17, I apply for summary statistician
information to be complied (if not already compiled) of the number of Code
of Conduct complaints received by Defence, about Defence public servants,
for the last three financial years, as well as how many of those were
investigated by Defence, and of those how many where eventually upheld.

I’d also like those to be broken down by the APS level involved.”

 

3.            The statutory deadline for you to receive a response from
Defence is 16 May 2018, which is 30 days from the date in which your
application for internal review was received

 

4.            In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact our
office if you have any questions.

 

 

Regards

 

Freedom of Information Review Team

Enterprise Reform

Governance and Reform Division

Department of Defence

CP1-6-008 | PO Box 7910 | Campbell Park  CANBERRA BC  ACT  2610

Phone:  (02) 6266 2200

E-mail   [1][email address]

 

[2]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

 

 

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From: FOI
Department of Defence


Attachment 368 17 18 Charges Decision.pdf
122K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI Your Review Rights.pdf
172K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Pane

 

Please find attached the decision in relation to your request for a review
of charges for FOI 368/17/18.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Freedom of Information Directorate

Enterprise Reform Branch

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

PO Box 7910 | CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Ph:  02 626 62200
Fax: 02 626 62112

email: [1][email address]

 

[2]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

 

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Melissa Davidson,

I acknowledge your revised charges assessment of $60 (deposit $20). Having dropped charges from the previous $240 estimate, which is a significant drop (now 3/4th less), while I appreciate the reduction it would be remiss of me to point out that this now falls below the threshold the Information Commissioner has previously considered to below the costs of assessing and collecting the charge, and therefore not appropriate to levy.

However, that said, I am on a deadline and from former OAIC IC reviews it is possible to pay a modest deposit while still contesting the charge via IC Review, due to it being incompatible with the aims, objects and purposes of the Act (with said former IC Reviews it puts any final payment on hold, until IC Review is complete, and when the Information Commissioner follows his own precedents, results in orders for the deposit to be reimbursed).

I’m overseas at present on a study tour of European information access schemes, so can I please have an extension to pay the deposit, as it’ll be difficult for me to arrange until I’m back in Australia. But, to confirm, I’ll pay the deposit so as enable the Department to hold this FOI hostage further, pending resolution by IC Review on the charges (which does not stop the statutory clock, as its only if deposit is refused to be paid that this occurs).

That is, unless you decide to waive the charges in light of threshold that the Information Commissioner considers is the minimum before the costs of asssessment and collection exceed the actual collection itself.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Melissa Davidson,

Sorry, forgot to add that I thank you for stating in your response that Defence had 116 Code of Conduct complaints forwarded for assessment/investigation for that financial year (which was higher than I expected) - it’s a rare occurrence that Defence actually provides some of the information sought in a charges assessment, but it helps me better understand what size the dataset is, so thank you for that.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Ms Pane,

Thank you for your email. Can you please advise how much extra time you will need to pay the deposit?

Regards,

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Melissa,

On reflection, noting I don’t get back to Australia until July, and noting that processing will not commence until deposit is received, it’ll be quicker to go down the review path, given the new estimate is below the threshold the Informatuon Commissioner considers waiver is required due to costs of assessment and collection exceeding the actual charges.

Please process immediately for internal review. I make no public interest or hardship grounds given the ridiculous high bar Defence interprets for these, the sole factor I put forward the review on is that the new charges estimate is about $30 below the threshold the Information Commissioner has consistently determined is inappropriate to levy, given the objects and aims of the Act, and that such charges are less than the costs in staff time and resources to calculate, administer and collect, and therefore should not be levied.

I understand that Defence FOI has received this advice from the Information Commissioner multiple times previously, so is well aware of this.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Pane,

Given your earlier advice that you would pay the charges we have activated your request and are currently processing it. We are happy to hold off issuing the invoice based on your advice that you needed a timeframe extension due to your overseas travel.

Can you confirm that you still wish to proceed to internal review on the charges while we remain processing the request?

Regards,

____________________________
Jo Groves
Assistant Director – Freedom of Information Governance & Reform Division
 
Telephone:  (02) 6266 3948
CP1-6-005   [email address

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Jo Groves,

If Defence has restarted the statutory deadline and is now processing the FOI, such that when deposit is made, the decision can be released without any further delay - I am happy to proceed down that path, while still acknowledging that the charge itself will be subject to IC Review, even with deposit having been made.

If it is the case that when I get back to Australia and make deposit, the decision will not be able to be supplied immediately, then I’m better off going to internal review, as it will be faster.

If you could advise. While this could have been avoided if Defence had not persisted with charges when the revised calculation fell below the Information Comissioner’s threshold for when levying of charges ceases to be economical/in the public interest, given your agency’s track record, that would have been too much to hope for.

Now I’m just looking for which path causes the least delay while still preserving review of the charges.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Ms Pane,

I can confirm that we are working to the statutory deadline and a response is due to you on 8 Jun 18. We will issue the deposit invoice to you when you advise on the timeframe extension, but I have noted you are not back in Australia until July so the decision will be ready to be released by the time you return and are able to make the deposit.

Kind regards,
Jo

____________________________
Jo Groves
Assistant Director – Freedom of Information Governance & Reform Division
 
Telephone:  (02) 6266 3948
CP1-6-005   [email address

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Jo Graves,

All things considered, I’ll go ahead with the internal review based on the new estimate falling below the threshold the Information Commissioner deems charges are inappropriate to be levied due to them exceeding the costs of calculation and collection, given it’ll be over 30 days before I get back, and if charges are still persisted with I’ll then do the deposit and IC review double barrel approach, so either way the outcome will be the same - charges found invalid.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Smith, Alexandria MRS
Department of Defence

Link: [1]File-List

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Pane,

 

I refer to your correspondence, dated 29 March 2018, in which you sought
access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for the
following:

 

“Under FOI, and in particular s 17, I apply for summary statistician
information to be complied (if not already compiled) of the number of Code
of Conduct complaints received by Defence, about Defence public servants,
for the last three financial years, as well as how many of those were
investigated by Defence, and of those how many where eventually upheld.

 

I’d also like those to be broken down by the APS level involved”. 

 

The Department of Defence excludes personal email addresses, signatures,
personnel (PMKeyS) numbers and mobile telephone numbers contained in
documents that fall within the scope of a FOI request unless you
specifically request such details. Defence also excludes duplicates of
documents and documents sent to or from you.

 

If you do require these personal details, please inform us within five
days of receipt of this email so that the decision maker can consider your
request.

 

The statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your request
expires on Friday 8 June 2018.

 

Should you have any questions relating to your request, please do not
hesitate to contact our office via telephone on (02) 6266 2200 or via
email to [2][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alex

 

Mrs Alex Smith | Case Manager | Freedom of Information

Governance and Reform Division | Department of Defence | RAAF Base
Williamtown

T: 02 6266 2200  | [3][email address]

 

Please note my working hours are:

 

Monday to Thursday  08.00 – 15.00

Friday - out of the office

 

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

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From: FOI
Department of Defence


Attachment FOI Your Review Rights.pdf
172K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI 368 17 18 Statement of Reasons.pdf
112K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Pane,

Please find attached the Statement of Reasons relating to FOI 368/17/18. 

Payment of Charges

The internal review of charges is due to be finalised 16 June 18. The
document will be released to you in full once the charges are resolved.

FOI Disclosure Log

In accordance with the requirements of section 11C of the FOI Act, Defence
is required to publish details of information released under the FOI Act.
Defence publishes identified documents relating to requests from the right
to know website immediately. Defence will also publish the statement of
reasons with privacy deletions.  This request will be published once the
document is released to you.

Rights of Review

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you are entitled to
request a review of this decision. Your review rights are attached.

 

Should you have any questions in regard to this matter please contact this
office.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Enterprise Reform Branch

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

PO Box 7910 | CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Ph:  02 626 62200
Fax: 02 626 62112

email: [1][email address]

 

[2]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
file:///tmp/blocked::mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp
file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

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From: Groves, Joanne MRS
Department of Defence


Attachment 368 1718 Internal review of charges decision.pdf
134K Download View as HTML

Attachment FOI Rights of Review Internal External.pdf
172K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Pane

 

1.         Thank you for your email dated 17 May 2018, asking for an
internal review of the decision you received under the FOI Act.

 

2.         This email is to inform you of the decision by Mr Jarrod
Howard, Assistant Secretary Enterprise Reform on your internal review
application. 

 

3.         In summary, Mr Howard has upheld the original decision to
impose a charge of $60.00 in relation to this request.

 

4.         The statement of reasons detailing Mr Howard’s decision is
attached.

 

Rights of review

 

5.         The FOI Act provides for rights of review of decisions.  Should
you be dissatisfied with Mr Howard’s decision you have the right to seek
review.  Please find attached a copy of your review rights. 

 

6.         If you have any questions in relation to this matter, please
contact this office.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

show quoted sections

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

Link: [1]File-List

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Verity Pane,

 

I have just realised that your name was misspelt in my decision on the
release of documents you requested in Freedom of Information request
368/17/18.  I am sorry for the error and for any impact it has had on you.

 

Kind regards

 

Peter Bavington

 

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

From: FOI
Sent: Thursday, 7 June 2018 4:52 PM
To: '[FOI #4454 email]'
Subject: 180607 1651 -
[FOI]-['[FOI #4454 email]'] 180607 1651 -
[FOI]-['[FOI #4454 email]'] FOI Request
368/17/18 – Decision

 

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Pane,

Please find attached the Statement of Reasons relating to FOI 368/17/18. 

Payment of Charges

The internal review of charges is due to be finalised 16 June 18. The
document will be released to you in full once the charges are resolved.

FOI Disclosure Log

In accordance with the requirements of section 11C of the FOI Act, Defence
is required to publish details of information released under the FOI Act.
Defence publishes identified documents relating to requests from the right
to know website immediately. Defence will also publish the statement of
reasons with privacy deletions.  This request will be published once the
document is released to you.

Rights of Review

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you are entitled to
request a review of this decision. Your review rights are attached.

 

Should you have any questions in regard to this matter please contact this
office.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Enterprise Reform Branch

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

PO Box 7910 | CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Ph:  02 626 62200
Fax: 02 626 62112

email: [2][email address]

 

[3]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

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