We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Verity Pane please sign in and let everyone know.

Consultant Reports - One DVA and Benchmarking of Costs of Service

We're waiting for Verity Pane to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

I seek copy of the Ian Lindenmayer report on the implementation and effects of the introduction of the 'One DVA' model, which was provided around 2008-2009 to DVA.

I seek copy of the Friday Group report on the benchmarking of costs of service of DVA, which was provided around 2008 to DVA.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Freedom of Information Request: LEX 47367

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 3 January 2022
and was made in the following terms:

 

I seek copy of the Ian Lindenmayer report on the implementation and
effects of the introduction of the 'One DVA' model, which was provided
around 2008-2009 to DVA.

 

I seek copy of the Friday Group report on the benchmarking of costs of
service of DVA, which was provided around 2008 to DVA

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 2 February 2021.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
subject to certain exceptions, such as if the documents relate to your own
personal information. The Department will advise you in its decision
whether details of your request will be published on the disclosure log or
not.

Contacting us about your request

 

We will contact you using the email address you have provided. Please
advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me using the following details:

 

Post: Information Law Section, Legal Services & Audit Branch

GPO Box 9998 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Facsimile: (02) 6289 6337

Email: [2][email address]

 

Kind Regards

 

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)

FOI Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [3][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please see email correspondence below.

 

Chantal (Position Number 62212962)

Senior Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [1][email address]

 

 

From: /O=EXCHANGE/OU=EXCHANGE ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP
(FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=4A322798D8AB43BC8784A18F0F1C5F4C-CJT029
Sent: Tuesday, 11 January 2022 2:43 PM
To: '[FOI #8240 email]'
<[FOI #8240 email]>
Cc: INFORMATION.LAW <[email address]>
Subject: FOI Request - LEX 47367 - Acknowledgement [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Freedom of Information Request: LEX 47367

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 3 January 2022
and was made in the following terms:

 

I seek copy of the Ian Lindenmayer report on the implementation and
effects of the introduction of the 'One DVA' model, which was provided
around 2008-2009 to DVA.

 

I seek copy of the Friday Group report on the benchmarking of costs of
service of DVA, which was provided around 2008 to DVA

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 2 February 2021.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[2]https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
subject to certain exceptions, such as if the documents relate to your own
personal information. The Department will advise you in its decision
whether details of your request will be published on the disclosure log or
not.

Contacting us about your request

 

We will contact you using the email address you have provided. Please
advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me using the following details:

 

Post: Information Law Section, Legal Services & Audit Branch

GPO Box 9998 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Facsimile: (02) 6289 6337

Email: [3][email address]

 

Kind Regards

 

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)

FOI Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [4][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane

 

Freedom of Information Request: LEX 47367

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 3 January 2022
and was made in the following terms:

 

I seek copy of the Ian Lindenmayer report on the implementation and
effects of the introduction of the 'One DVA' model, which was provided
around 2008-2009 to DVA.

 

I seek copy of the Friday Group report on the benchmarking of costs of
service of DVA, which was provided around 2008 to DVA.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 2 February 2022.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

Given the historical nature of the documents to which access is sought
(2008), I have had to undertake a number of searches and make a number of
enquiries in order to identify the relevant business area/s to direct my
searches.  This has taken some time.  In the circumstances, I am seeking
your agreement to a 30 day extension of time under [1]section 15AA of the
FOI Act.

 

If you are agreeable, this would make the new decision date for your
request 4 March 2022.

 

Please advise no later than COB on Friday, 21 January 2022 if you agree to
the extension of time.

 

Thank you for your consideration, I await your response.

 

Regards

 

 

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [2][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...
2. mailto:[email address]

Verity Pane left an annotation ()

It is inappropriate to provide just one business day to respond to such matters.

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

As this FOI was made 20 days ago, has a search minute been issued?

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

Department of Veterans' Affairs

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    attachment.delivery status

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  • Attachment

    Re Freedom of Information Request LEX 47367 15AA Extension request SEC OFFICIAL.txt

    3K Download View as HTML

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Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

This FOI is now overdue.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Verity Pane,

We refer to your below email and to your request LEX 47367.

We note an extension under section 15AB of the FOI act was applied for and granted by the OAIC on 2 February 2022. A copy of this decision was sent to you at 8:08am on 2 February 2022 by the OAIC.

We are processing your request and will endeavour to have the request completed by the new due date of 16 February 2022.

Kind Regards,

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)
Information Access Officer
Information Law Section
Legal Services and Audit Branch
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
e [email address]

show quoted sections

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Verity Pane,

 

We refer to your request made on 3 January 2022 under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) which was acknowledged on 11 January 2022. 

 

The purpose of this email is to inform you that, after a preliminary
consideration of the documents likely to be relevant to the scope of your
request, I have determined that there are a number of third parties who
may reasonably which to contend that information contained in  the
document(s) is exempt under s 47G (business affairs) of the FOI Act.

 

We are required to consult with these third parties under s 27 of the FOI
Act. In accordance with s 15(6) of the FOI Act, the consultation
requirement extends the statutory time period to provide a decision on the
request by 30 days. This means a decision on your request is now due on 18
March 2022.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact our office should you have any
questions.

 

Kind Regards

 

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [1][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Jasmine,

I'm just a simple old lady, but when you claim that "after a preliminary consideration of the documents" apparently not conducted until after you received a s 15AB extension of time, that the consultants who wrote the reports might wish to object it its release I ask myself why this was not commenced until the last day of the s 15AB extension of time.

After all both are clearly stated as consultant reports and therefore readily apparent as raising that these third parties may object to their release.

Isn't this nothing more than blatant and fraudulent gaming to create a barrier to access - the OAIC knocked back your 30 day extension so you came up with a scheme to create an even longer delay. Shonky much.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ22/00848

Agency reference: LEX 47367

Ms Verity Pane

Sent by email: [FOI #8240 email]

Extension of time application by Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane

I write to advise that on 10 March 2022 the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from
Department of Veterans' Affairs (the Department) for an extension of
time, to process your FOI request of 3 January 2022.

 

The Department has applied for a further extension of time under s 15AB of
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is
considered to be complex.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

o the Department considers the request to be complex as it requests
access to reports from 2008/2009
o the Department initially experienced difficulty locating the reports
o the OAIC previously granted the Department an extension of time until
16 February 2022
o after this extension was granted, the Department identified several
third parties to be consulted prior to the release of any documents
o due to the historical nature of the documents, the Department had some
difficulty obtaining current contact details for the third parties,
and the third party consultations are ongoing at the time this
application was received, and
o once the third party responses are received, the Department will
provide its decision.

The Department has requested an extension to 5 April 2022. I will take
any comments you may have to make into account when deciding the
application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 16 March 2022. If I do
not hear from you by this date, the decision maker will make a decision on
the basis of the information provided to me by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [1]Extensions of time.

 

Kind regards

 

[2][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
7. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

Dear FOIDR,

The timeline of events
| 3 Jan 2022 - FOI received by DVA, Right to Know email for FOI given as address for notices
| 11 Jan 2022 - FOI acknowledged by DVA
| 20 Jan 2022 - DVA ask for 30 day extension with one day to respond
| 2 Feb 2022 - FOI decision due (s 15(5)(b))
| 3 Feb 2022 - FOI receives deemed decision
| 9 Feb 2022 - DVA's attention drawn to deemed decision
| 10 Feb 2022 - DVA responds claiming 'an extension under section 15AB of the FOI act was applied for and granted by the OAIC on 2 February 2022. A copy of this decision was sent to you at 8:08am on 2 February 2022 by the OAIC.' No such decision sent to address for notices and DVA did not include in response. No such decision sent to address OAIC use to communicate with applicant in this time period. DVA claim extension granted to 16 Feb 2022.
| 16 Feb 2022 - DVA claim third party consultation period of 30 days on last alleged day of s 15AB extension period
| 11 Mar 2022 - Complaint made about this practice to DVA given DVA was aware of third parties at time of receiving FOI in January
| 14 Mar 2022 - OAIC allege it has received a further s 15AB extension application for another 18 days, on top of the 74 days already enjoyed by DVA to process this FOI (or 2.5 times the statutory processing period), from DVA on what is clear will be a decision to refuse access in large part, if not in full, after further extended delays (an additional 30 days for third parties to contest an FOI decision, on top of 92 already planned for). Unlike the missing first s 15AB extension notification claimed to have been sent, this one is published on Right to Know.

You state the basis of this second s 15AB extension application is because:

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

o the Department considers the request to be complex as it requests
access to reports from 2008/2009
o the Department initially experienced difficulty locating the reports
o the OAIC previously granted the Department an extension of time until
16 February 2022
o after this extension was granted, the Department identified several
third parties to be consulted prior to the release of any documents
o due to the historical nature of the documents, the Department had some
difficulty obtaining current contact details for the third parties,
and the third party consultations are ongoing at the time this
application was received, and
o once the third party responses are received, the Department will
provide its decision.

You have stated you will I 'take any comments you may have to make into account when deciding the [second] application'.

My first comment is that as no notice of s 15AB extension by the OAIC was sent to the address for notices (being this unique Right to Know email for this FOI), the validity of this claimed first extension is in question. Section 15AB(3)(a) requires that 'the Information Commissioner must, as soon as practicable, inform' the applicant - this did not occur, as otherwise it would have been published here on Right to Know or at least received at the email the OAIC communicates directly to me on which did not occur.

My second comment is that this second s 15AB extension, even if the first one is believed to be validly made (for which there is doubt), has been made after the first s 15AB extension lapsed on 16 Feb 2022

The specific wording of s 15AB allows for the Information Commissioner to 'extend the period by a further period of 30 days, or such other period as the Information Commissioner considers appropriate.' The specific wording of that section and that of the Guidelines in relation to that section do not suggest that s 15AB is intended for multiple applications in relation to the same FOI or that the Information Commissioner can return to an operationalised decision under this section to vary it.

If the original s 15AB decision was made and is legitimate then the Information Commissioner considered that 30 days was excessive, and that 18 days was appropriate. While no copy of the original s 15AB devision have been made available, let alone copy of the application made by DVA, DVA's correspondence of 20 January 2022 claims extension was necessary because of 'the historical nature of the documents to which access is sought (2008)' and that 'a number of searches and ... enquiries in order to identify the relevant business area/s to direct' the search minute to was necessary.

Those first three grounds are replicated in this second s 15AB extension application and therefore have no relevance to a further extension of time as they were already considered in the first alleged decision.

The fourth ground in this second s 15AB extension application weighs against an EoT as it refers to time already given by s 15AB for the first three grounds.

As the third party consultation claim made by DVA on the last day of this alleged first s 15AB extension highlights that no attempt to consult third parties occurred until this very late stage (44 days after receiving the FOI application that clearly identified the third parties who authored the reports, putting DVA on notice of the need to consult those third parties at that time), such late TPC is contrary to the Guidelines which state that such need for consultation should be identified early in the processing period to remain consistent with the objects of the Act 'that functions and powers given by this Act are to be performed and exercised, as far as possible, to facilitate and promote public access to information, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost.'

DVA have, and are, gaming this FOI to create the longest delay possible by strategically making extension and other 'stop the clock' claims on or the near the last moment possible, with clear intent to obtain an additional 30 to 60 days in addition to any time granted by this unconventional second s 15AB EoT application, available for third party objections (which if go to IC Review, could extend for 2-3 years).

As to the last claims made in this second s 15AB application:

* The Friday Group's details, who authored the benchmarking report, were found in 5 seconds simply by typing their name on Google

* Ian Lindenmayer, who authored the One DVA report, is understood to have died in 2018 (again easily found on Google)

There appears to be a significant absence of justifying material in relation to this second s 15AB EoT to justify why it should be granted - there is no details of steps already undertaken other than glancing reference (no LEX notes or other records of activity carried out), no mention as to who the third parties are so no means to verify the claims made by DVA here (given the actual third parties are easily traceable), nor any reason given for why third party consultation was only claimed on the last day of first 15AB extension allegedly given, nor confirmation of the time the reports were located (noting that poor record keeping is not a ground for EoTs to be provided, as outlined by the Guidelines).

Has the OAIC obtained copy of the LEX notes?

Can the OAIC provide me copy of this first s 15AB notification and application that has been claimed to be sent, but not published at the address for notices? Can the OAIC send me copy of the second application rather than a short summary of it - if I am asked to respond to their application I should be provided copy of it so that I can properly do so, as a summary of it is not procedurally fair.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

8 Attachments

Our reference: AR22/00021

 

Dear Ms Pane

 

In response to your request for access to information below, please find
attached:

o a copy of the email of 2 February 2022 providing you with a copy of
the extension of time decision in relation to RQ22/00357, and
o a pdf copy of the Department’s applications in relation to RQ22/00357
and RQ22/00848, and a copy of the extension of time decision letter in
relation to RQ22/00357 (also contained in the attached email).

 

Kind regards

 

[1][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au
[6]Subscribe [7]Subscribe to
[3]Facebook | [4]LinkedIn | [5]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOIDR,

The email you have sent of the communication you claim to have sent me had no header information, just the body text of the alleged email.

But as it did not appear on Right to Know, it is clear no such email was sent to the address for notices given in this FOI.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

As the original processing period, the s 15AB EoT, and the TPC EoT claimed on the last day of the s 15AB EoT have now all expired and no EoT was granted before the amended processing period expired (and still has not for more than a week now) this FOI is now 'deemed'.

I seek internal review on this deemed access refusal decision, noting that doing so still does not relieve DVA for its obligations to substitute this deemed original decision, even with IR underway.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

Summen Sarwar,

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Pane

I refer to your email below.

Please be advised that as the requested information was provided to you on
24 March 2022, a response to the OAIC’s consultation letter dated 14 March
2022 is requested by COB, 29 March 2022.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Kind regards

[1][IMG]   Summen Sarwar   |  Assistant Review and
Investigation Advisor

Investigations and Compliance
Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9815  | 
[3][email address]  
[4][IMG] | [5][IMG] | [6][IMG] |   [7]Subscribe to Information
Matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Verity

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the department) has received your
request for an internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act) of LEX 47367. Your internal review request states:

As the original processing period, the s 15AB EoT, and the TPC EoT claimed
on the last day of the s 15AB EoT have now all expired and no EoT was
granted before the amended processing period expired (and still has not
for more than a week now) this FOI is now 'deemed'.

 

I seek internal review on this deemed access refusal decision, noting that
doing so still does not relieve DVA for its obligations to substitute this
deemed original decision, even with IR underway.

 

Your request was received by the department on 26 March 2022 and the 30
day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day
after that date. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to
consult third parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We
will advise you if this happens. It is also noted that the department is
still processing your original request.

 

Charges

The department will advise you if a charge is payable to process your
request and the amount of any such charge as soon as practicable. No
charge is payable for providing a person with their own personal
information.

 

Your address

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is 
[1][FOI #8240 email]  Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.

 

Disclosure log

Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.

 

Exclusion of employee details

To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we intend to treat the surnames,
signatures, position titles and direct contact details of Commonwealth
employees and contractors, including clinical staff working for Open Arms
– Veterans & Families Counselling as irrelevant in accordance with section
22 of the FOI Act. If you agree to the department treating these details
as irrelevant, please advise by COB Monday 4 April 2022.

 

Further assistance

If you have any questions about your request, please email
[2][DVA request email]

Yours sincerely

 

 

Natalie (Position number 62214719)

Team Leader – Registrations

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 838 372 | e [3][DVA request email] |
[4]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[5]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #8240 email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]
3. mailto:[DVA request email]
4. http://www.dva.gov.au/

5 Attachments

OAIC reference: AR22/0001

 

Dear Ms Pane

 

Thank you for your further email.

 

I believe that it is a function of the ‘Right to Know’ website that
removes the email’s metadata, headers etc.

 

If you are able to provide an alternative email address, I happy to
reprovide the original email as an attachment which should allow you to
see that information.

 

Kind regards

 

[1][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Verity Pane,

 

Internal reviews are unavailable for decisions made personally by the
principal officer of the agency (s 54(1) and 54A(1) of the FOI Act)

 

Under section 15AC of the Freedom of Information Act (1982) (FOI Act),
when a decision is not made on request within time it becomes a deemed
refusal decision.

 

For the purpose of the FOI Act, a deemed refusal decision is taken to have
been made personally by the principal officer of the agency refusing
access to the document on the last day of the initial decision period (s
15AC(3)(a) of the FOI act).

 

Since an Internal Review is not available for a deemed access refusal
decision in LEX 47367, we consider that your request for internal review
is invalid. 

 

You may still apply to the OAIC for review of the initial decision under
section 54L of the FOI Act. An application for review by OAIC must be made
in writing within 60 days of the date of the deemed refusal decision, and
be lodged in one of the following ways:

 

Online: [1]www.oaic.gov.au

Post: Director of FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001

Facsimile: (02) 9284 9666

Phone: 1300 363 992

Email: [email address]

 

More information about your review rights under the FOI Act is available
in Fact Sheet 12 published by the OAIC:
[2]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

 

Kind regards,

 

Harrison (Position Number 62329529 )

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [3][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
3. mailto:[email address]

Eoin McMahon,

6 Attachments

Dear Applicant,

 

Please see attached decision regarding the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
application for an extension of time to process FOI request LEX 47367.

Kind regards,

 

 

[1][IMG]   Eoin McMahon  |  Review Adviser

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9716  | 
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
8. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

Decision is now long overdue for this FOI, which was made on 3 January 2022. That the decision was not made, even after abuse of extensions of time and processing clock stops were gamed by the Department, does not relinquish the Department's statutory duty to provide this decision as the guidelines clearly state "Where a decision is deemed to have been made before an initial decision is made, the agency or minister continues to have an obligation to make a decision on the FOI request."

The Department's intentional impediment of this FOI is grossly contrary to the objectives and requirements of the FOI Act, and has been an example of the type of corrupted conduct that is endemic to the Department and its Information Law section.

As the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has advised you on 1 April 2022, having previously granted the Department an extension of time under s 15AB(2) of the FOI Act (OAIC reference: RQ22/00357) which the Department then squandered and abused by then seeking a fake TPC, the Information Commissioner has refused your further requests for retrospective extension.

Instead of maliciously and fraudulently putting in further barriers to access, the Department should produce the decision it has always been statutorily required to provide, instead of intentionally ignoring this FOI.

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane,

I refer to your email below. The Department apologises for the delay in the processing of your request. As you are aware, because of the complexity of your request the Department sought an extension of time to process it under section 15AB of the FOI Act. The OAIC declined to grant the extension and a decision is now 'deemed' to have been made (under section 15AC of the FOI Act).

Notwithstanding the decision has 'deemed', the Department is finalising the request and intends to seek a further extension of time from the OAIC under section 15AC of the FOI Act so that the decision can be issued to you.

As you are aware, I confirm that you may seek an IC review of the Department's 'deemed' decision under section 54L of the FOI Act.

I will contact you once the extension request under section 15AC has been made.

Kind Regards

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)
Information Access Officer
Information Access Unit
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
e [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

This FOI is now long overdue and given the OAIC refused your s 15AB application, it would be improper for a s 15AC application to be granted given the earlier refusal.

As the original period you requested has been exceeded, it is evident DVA are intentionally causing delay to act as a barrier to access in a blatant abuse of process.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

This FOI, received by DVA on 3 Jan, and delayed to 13 March by a s 15AB extension followed by a third party consultation claim, went deemed on that date and still three months later DVA has still not provided a substituting decision despite stating on 21 April that 'the Department is finalising the request'.

The LEX notes for this FOI released recently highlight that claims made by DVA about third party consultation and in its section 15AB application were also untrue, and known to be untrue by DVA.

Is lawlessness so entrenched at DVA that you just don't care how much you take a dump on the FOI Act?

Because this persistent failure to provide a substitute decision 'as soon as possible' is an outright abuse, despite DVA being obligated by the FOI Act to provide one.

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please see attached our decision dated 30 June 2022. We apologise for the
delay in finalising this request.

 

As the documents we are releasing to you are too large to send via email,
we will be releasing them to you using SIGBOX.

 

Please follow the instructions provided in the email to access your
information.

 

Any documents produced by the Department in response to this FOI request
will be available through SIGBOX for a period of 7 days before being
removed.  It is important that you download the information from SIGBOX
onto your own electronic device within 7 days of receipt.

 

You will shortly receive an email from Information Law via ‘Macquarie
Government’ advising you that Information Law has shared a document with
you. The email will read a little like this:

[1]Hey there, Just letting you know that Information Law shared LEX 47367
– bundle for release with you. Activate your guest account at Macquarie
Government by setting a password. Then view it! You can login using the
email address “[FOI #8240 email]”. Cheers! --
Macquarie Government – Intellicentres are intelligent
https://macquariegovernment.com/

 

We note we have today applied for a 15AC extension of time through the
OAIC. We will advise of the outcome of this application and any effect on
your review rights.

 

If you have any problems accessing the documents please let me know.

 

Kind Regards

 

Jasmine (Position Number 62329540)

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [2][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://macquariegovernment.com/
2. mailto:[email address]

Information Access via Macquarie Government,

  [1]Macquarie Government
 
Hey there,

just letting you know that Information Access shared LEX473~1.PDF with
you.

Activate your guest account at Macquarie Government by [2]setting a
  password.

Then [3]view it!

You can login using the email address
"[FOI #8240 email]" .

Cheers!
 
--
  Macquarie Government - Intellicentres are intelligent
[4]https://macquariegovernment.com/
 

References

Visible links
2. https://dva.sig-box.com/index.php/apps/g... #8240 email]/zOX3359qVB3tZ1RgcTyFX
3. https://dva.sig-box.com/index.php/f/391386
4. https://macquariegovernment.com/

Macquarie Government,

  [1]Macquarie Government
 
Hello [FOI #8240 email],

You are receiving this email because the following things happened at
  [2]Macquarie Government

* Information Access shared [3]LEX473~1.PDF with you - Today at
7:10:18 AM
 
--
  Macquarie Government - Intellicentres are intelligent
[4]https://macquariegovernment.com/

References

Visible links
2. file:///tmp/dva.sig-box.com/
3. file:///tmp/dva.sig-box.com/index.php/f/391386
4. https://macquariegovernment.com/

Julie left an annotation ()

Unusual claim by the department here that this decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs is not able to have an internal review:

'If you are dissatisfied with my decision you may apply for Information Commissioner Review of the decision through the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). In accordance with section 54E(b) of the FOI Act, internal review is not available as the Department did not finalise your FOI request within the prescribed statutory timeframe.'

As the deemed decision has been substituted that is no longer true. s 54E(b) only applies so long as the decision is deemed, but as soon as that deemed decision is replaced, there is no longer a deemed decision.

As long as you apply for internal review within 30 days of the date of this substituting decision, you are within your rights to have an internal review dealt with by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Attn INFORMATION.ACCESS,

Pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. The LEX 47267 decision of 30 June 2022 is stated as having been made by delegate Jasmine (Position Number 62329540), Information Access Officer, Information Access Unit, Client Access and Rehabilitation Branch, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and not the Secretary herself - this decision was not a s 55G substitution and nor was this decision a deemed refusal. You are incorrect that internal review is not open on delegate Jasmine's decision of 30 June 2022.

A 142 page text document is too large to release via e-mail? That is a preposterous claim and DVA has been caught recently artificially expanding file sizes to avoid publishing material.

It is ridiculous that in February of this year DVA was perfectly capable of sending 246 pages of such type of documents in one email to Right to Know ( https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/8... ), but over the last few months claims even a few pages of such documents are 'too large' to publish on Right to Know.

It is an intentional and deliberate strategy engaged in by DVA to impede public scrutiny, just as is DVA's ongoing failure to publish access log documents on its website is, despite the near non-existent cost of doing so (as many other federal, state and local agencies do).

Section 20 of the FOI Act states that I can have access in the form I request and I request it not by a link to a third party but by DVA sending me directly the documents I requested in PDF format.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Veterans' Affairs's handling of my FOI request 'Consultant Reports - One DVA and Benchmarking of Costs of Service'.

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

Verity Pane

Macquarie Government,

  [1]Macquarie Government
 
Hello [FOI #8240 email],

  You are receiving this email because the following things happened at
[2]Macquarie Government

* The share for [3]LEX473~1.PDF expired - Today at 12:00:04 AM
 
--
  Macquarie Government - Intellicentres are intelligent
[4]https://macquariegovernment.com/

References

Visible links
2. file:///tmp/dva.sig-box.com/
3. file:///tmp/dva.sig-box.com/index.php/f/391386
4. https://macquariegovernment.com/

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Pane

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the department) has received your
request for internal review of the Department’s decision LEX 47267 under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Your internal review
request reads as follows:

Pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
The LEX 47267 decision of 30 June 2022 is stated as having been made by
delegate Jasmine (Position Number 62329540), Information Access Officer,
Information Access Unit, Client Access and Rehabilitation Branch,
Department of Veterans’ Affairs and not the Secretary herself - this
decision was not a s 55G substitution and nor was this decision a deemed
refusal. You are incorrect that internal review is not open on delegate
Jasmine's decision of 30 June 2022.

 

A 142 page text document is too large to release via e-mail? That is a
preposterous claim and DVA has been caught recently artificially expanding
file sizes to avoid publishing material.

 

It is ridiculous that in February of this year DVA was perfectly capable
of sending 246 pages of such type of documents in one email to Right to
Know (
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/8...
), but over the last few months claims even a few pages of such documents
are 'too large' to publish on Right to Know.

 

It is an intentional and deliberate strategy engaged in by DVA to impede
public scrutiny, just as is DVA's ongoing failure to publish access log
documents on its website is, despite the near non-existent cost of doing
so (as many other federal, state and local agencies do).

 

Section 20 of the FOI Act states that I can have access in the form I
request and I request it not by a link to a third party but by DVA sending
me directly the documents I requested in PDF format.

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Veterans'
Affairs's handling of my FOI request 'Consultant Reports - One DVA and
Benchmarking of Costs of Service'.

 

Your request for internal review was received by the department on 4 July
2022 and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request
commenced from the day after that date.

 

Where possible, your request for internal review will be handled by an FOI
officer authorised decision-maker who was not involved in the original
decision.

 

Your address

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is
[1][FOI #8240 email] . Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.

 

Disclosure log

 

Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.

 

Further assistance

 

If you have any questions about your request, please email
[2][DVA request email]

 

Yours sincerely

Arthur

Position Number 62210944

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit              

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Email: [3][email address]

[4]cid:image001.png@01D4D4DC.79DB5D20

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #8240 email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]
3. mailto:[email address]

MCMAHON,Eoin,

6 Attachments

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please see attached correspondence of today’s date regarding the
Department of Veterans’ Affairs application for an extension of time to
process FOI request LEX 47367.

 

Kind regards,

 

[1][IMG]   Eoin McMahon  |  Review Adviser

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9942 4028 | 
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
8. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

MCMAHON,Eoin,

6 Attachments

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please see attached decision regarding the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
application for an extension of time to process FOI request LEX 47367.

 

Kind regards,

 

[1][IMG]   Eoin McMahon  |  Review Adviser

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9942 4028 | 
[3][email address]
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
8. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

Your s 15AC request was denied by the OAIC, who stated:

As a delegate of the Information Commissioner, I am authorised to make decisions on applications for extensions of time under s 15AC(5) of the FOI Act. I have considered the Department’s application and have decided to decline an extension.

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

 

Dear Ms Pane,

 

I write to inform you that your internal review request LEX 50619 which
requested a review of LEX 47367 is an invalid request and will not be
processed by the Department.

 

As the primary decision was made outside the statutory time frame and was
not brought back into time with a s15AC extension of time from the OAIC
(declined on 27 July 2022), therefore, there is no internal review pathway
available to you for this request.

 

Please see Part 9 of the FOI guidelines. Specifically paragraph 9.10 in
the link below.

 

[1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

 

In accordance with section 15AC of the FOI Act, the principal officer of
the Department is taken to have made a decision personally refusing to
give access to the documents on the last day of the initial decision
period. Even where a decision has not been issued within the prescribed
timeframe, the Department retains an obligation to process and finalise
the FOI request. I would like to apologise for the delay in issuing the
original decision to you and any inconvenience it may have caused.

 

You can lodge an Information Commissioner review via the following
pathways:

 

OAIC review

Under section 54L of the FOI Act, you may apply to the OAIC to review my
decision. An application for review by OAIC must be made in writing within
60 days of the date of the primary decision, and be lodged in one of the
following ways:

 

Online: [2]www.oaic.gov.au

Post: Director of FOI Dispute Resolution

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001

Facsimile: (02) 9284 9666

Phone: 1300 363 992

Email: [3][email address]

 

More information about your review rights under the FOI Act is available
in Fact Sheet 12 published by the OAIC:
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

 

Kind regards

 

Jodie

 

Jodie (position number 62210588)

Assistant Director

Information Access Unit

Client Contact – Client Access & Rehabilitation

 

[5]cid:image001.png@01D29344.C02E1370

Postal: GPO Box 9998   BRISBANE  QLD  4001

Ph: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) 

Website: [6]www.dva.gov.au

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
6. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Julie left an annotation ()

Hi Verity,

DVA have doubled down on their refusal but the guideline they refer to does not state what they say it claims.

There is no section or sub-subsection within the Freedom of Information Act that supports DVA's claim that a decision that substitutes a deemed refusal, even if that decision was made outside the statutory time frame (and was not brought back into time with a s 15AC extension of time from the OAIC), is barred from internal review.

The only requirements are that the decision was not made personally by the Secretary, and is made in writing within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision (deemed decisions are not notified) from the agency.

You should make a foi complaint to the OAIC.

Julie

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Verity Pane please sign in and let everyone know.