Consultation process of the recent 'Reference Group on Welfare Reform'

Justine Lloyd made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Social Services

The request was refused by Department of Social Services.

From: Justine Lloyd

Delivered

Dear Department of Social Services,

I am writing to request, under the Freedom of Information Act, all of the following which relate to the consultation process of the recent 'Reference Group on Welfare Reform':

1. Transcripts of initial stakeholder consultations conducted in late 2013 and early 2014

2. Copies of the 231 online comments made in response to the Reference Group's Interim Report

3. Transcripts of 'stakeholder roundtables' conducted in July and August 2014

4. Transcripts of 'individual customer roundtables' conducted with income support payment customers during August 2014.

These documents were used to prepare the Reference Group's Final Report (released 2015, February) to the Minister for Social Services entitled 'A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes – Final Report.' available from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/fil....

To assist in locating the first document, I refer you to:

1. 'List of stakeholders consulted by the Welfare Review Reference Group', Available from http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Estimates/...

This file is linked via the following article published by the Parliamentary Library, which refers to the Additional Senate Estimates hearings of 26–27 February 2014
Buckmaster, L. (2014, 19 March). 'What’s happening with the McClure welfare review?' Flagpost. Retrieved 9 September, 2015, from http://www.aph.gov.au/about_parliament/p....

To assist in locating the last three documents, I refer you to the pages where these documents are mentioned in the Final Report:

2. 'Appendix D: Summary of Online Comments to the Reference Group', page 202.

3. 'Appendix E: List of Stakeholders who attended Roundtables', pages 203-209.

4. Appendix G: Summary of Main Themes from Customer Roundtables', pages 217-220.

I am, of course, expecting any personally-identifying information about individuals to be redacted.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Justine Lloyd

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From: FOI
Department of Social Services

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) inbox of the
Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS). Your email, should it be
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References

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From: FOI
Department of Social Services

Dear Dr Lloyd

 

Freedom of Information Request No. 15/16-051

 

I refer to your correspondence received by the Department of Social
Services (the Department) on 14 October 2015, in which you requested
access under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act)
to:

 

“…all of the following which relate to the consultation process of the
recent 'Reference Group on Welfare Reform':

1. Transcripts of initial stakeholder consultations conducted in late 2013
and early 2014;

2. Copies of the 231 online comments made in response to the Reference
Group's Interim Report;

3. Transcripts of 'stakeholder roundtables' conducted in July and August
2014; [and]
4. Transcripts of 'individual customer roundtables' conducted with income
support payment customers during August 2014."

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the FOI Act.

 

Should you have any queries about this matter, please do not hesitate to
contact me on (02) 6146 2607. Alternatively, you may send queries via
email to [1][Department of Social Services request email]

 

The Department will correspond with you by email in relation to your FOI
request.

 

Kind regards

 

Alex

 

Alexandra Brown

Senior Legal Officer

Information Team

Legal Services Group

Department of Social Services

P: 02 6146 2607 | E: [2][email address]

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            

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From: FOI
Department of Social Services


Attachment Signed notice of intention to refuse Lloyd.PDF.pdf
1.1M Download View as HTML


Dear Dr Lloyd

 

Please find attached correspondence from the Department of Social Services
in relation to your request under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information
Act 1982.

 

Kind regards

 

Alexandra Brown

Senior Legal Officer

Information Team

Legal Services Group

Department of Social Services

P: 02 6146 2607 | E: [1][email address]

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Justine Lloyd

Delivered

Dear Alexandra,

thank you for your response today.

I am just seeking some clarification on a couple of points in your letter.

1. You mention that the "individual customer roundtables" (mentioned in Part 4 of my request) were run by the Department of Human Services.

Does that mean that I should apply to Department of Human Services for release of this information under FOI?

2. You mention that the Department of Social Services is "in possession of approximately 345 pages of material pertaining to the 231 online comments made in response to the Reference Group's interim report (based on an estimate of approximately 1.5 pages per comment)/"

You then state that "I conservatively estimate that it would take approximately 133 to process the request (taking into account the time needed to consult with least 100 third party individuals in relation to their online responses and the time required to redact the personal information, such as the names, of other individuals where doing so would not dilute the quality or substance of the response)."

Do you mean it would take 133 hours to process my request?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Justine Lloyd

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From: FOI
Department of Social Services

Dear Dr Lloyd
 
I refer to your email, below, and provide the following responses in
relation to the queries you have raised:
 
1.  In light of advice from departmental officers that the "individual
customer roundtables" mentioned in part 4 of your request were run by the
Department of Human Services (DHS) (and no transcripts in relation to the
roundtables are held by this Department), any documents/transcripts that
may have been created during (or for the purposes of) the individual
customer roundtables are likely to be held by DHS. Accordingly, you may
wish to make a request to DHS under the FOI Act for those documents.
 
2.  Yes - I conservatively estimate that it would take at least 133 hours
to process part 2 of your request as it is currently framed.
 
If you have any other questions, please let me know.
 
Kind regards
 
Alexandra Brown
Senior Legal Officer
Information Team
Legal Services Group
Department of Social Services
P: 02 6146 2607 | E: [1][email address]
DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            
Note: This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information (and neither are waived or lost if this email has
been sent to you by mistake).  If you are not the intended recipient, you
must not use, disclose, copy or retain it.  If you have received it in
error, please let me know by reply email and then delete this email from
your system and do not retain any copy.  Recipients within DSS should seek
assistance from DSS Legal before disseminating this email to third
parties.
 

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From: Justine Lloyd

Delivered

Dear Alexandra,

I have carefully considered the information you provided in your letter via email attachment dated 2nd November, and the email clarification you provided on 4th of November.

You have confirmed that the Department of Social Services does not hold material relating to parts 1, 3 & 4 of my original request.

In relation to part 2 of my original request, i.e. Copies of the 231 online comments made in response to the Reference Group's Interim Report, you have stated that a practical refusal reason exists for providing me access to copies of all 231 online comments.

I would therefore like to revise my request to limit the amount of proccessing time for your Department.

I hereby revise my request to a random sample of 50 online comments (approximately 20% of the original request, comprising of approximately 75 pages (1.5 pages per comment in your estimation)).

Yours sincerely,

Justine Lloyd

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From: FOI
Department of Social Services


Attachment Signed primary decision Lloyd.PDF.pdf
2.2M Download View as HTML


Dear Dr Lloyd

 

Please find attached correspondence from the Department of Social Services
in relation to your request under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information
Act 1982.

 

Kind regards

 

Alexandra Brown

Senior Legal Officer

Information Team

Legal Services Group

Department of Social Services

E: [1][email address]

 

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            

show quoted sections

Link to this

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