Contract: Cth tender ID CN3640129-A4

John Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

The request was refused by Department of Human Services.

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I request a copy of the contracts associated with Cth tender ID CN3640129, CN3640129-A1, CN3640129-A2, CN3640129-A3, and CN3640129-A4.

Given the large amount of money involved with this tender ($2m), I ask that the public interest in full transparency regarding this tender be recognised; and that consequently the ordinarily applicable FOI fee be waived in this instance.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 54854 Registration Acknowledgement Letter.pdf
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Dear Mr Smith

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your recent Freedom of Information request.

Kind Regards

Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division
Email: [email address]

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: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 54854 Charges and consultation Letter.pdf
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Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request for
documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Kind regards

 

Kaitlin

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

 

Email: [email address]

 

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: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Given the large amount of public money associated with this tender (>$2M), I ask that a public interest in the transparency of this matter be recognised; and the ordinarily applicable FOI fee be consequently waived in its entirety, on the grounds of a public interest in the proper use of public expenditure.

Alternatively, I request that the fee be waived on the ground of financial hardship.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM

Dear Mr Smith

 

Thank you for your email dated 4 June 2020.

 

By way of background, on 3 June 2020 Services Australia  issued you with a
preliminary assessment of charges notice (the Notice) under section 29(1)
of the Freedom of Information 1982 (FOI Act) ) (our reference: LEX 54854).
The Notice stated you were liable to pay a charge in relation to the
processing of the request for documents made under the FOI Act. You
requested access to:

‘I request a copy of the contracts associated with Cth tender ID
CN3640129, CN3640129-A1, CN3640129-A2, CN3640129-A3, and CN3640129-A4.’

In your email of 4 June 2020, you requested that Services Australia  waive
the charges set out in the Notice on public interest grounds. You also
requested Services Australia  waive the charges on grounds of financial
hardship. 

 

To allow Services Australia’s decision-maker to appropriately reconsider
the issuing of charges in light of your email, please provide evidence of
your financial hardship.

 

As the reconsideration of the preliminary estimate of charges decision is
due on 6 July 2020, we request you forward your response to
[1][email address] by 18 June 2020, quoting
reference LEX 54854. 

 

Sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I have sent through evidence of financial hardship.

Please reduce the fee in line with both this evidence, AND the public interest reasons I have detailed within the email.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 54854 Communication Charges Reconsideration.pdf
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Dear Mr Smith

 

Please see attached correspondence in relation to the Freedom of
Information request you made to Services Australia.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

Email: [1][email address]

 

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: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I seek internal review of this decision. In my email to you enclosing my low-income health card, I stated that the name 'John Smith' is a pseudonym. I do not understand why in your reasons, you have decided that there is an identity issue between the pseudonym used to make this FOI request; and my provided documents.

Why was I not contacted to clarify the issue of whether the low income card belonged to be, before this adverse finding was made? It is unreasonable and lacks natural justice.

It is my understanding that the use of pseudonyms is allowed through the FOI guidelines.

In the interests of confirming that the card belongs to me, the last 4 characters of the CRN on the card provided to you; was '137T'. Would you be willing to confirm that is the case?

Yours sincerely,
John Smith

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Further, I note that in your reasons you have failed to specify why the attempted oversight of the spending of a large amount of public money; isn't a public interest reason.

It may be the case that the procurement was made under government rules. That is besides the point. Whether the taxpayer got value for money through the procurement, can only be discerned by the public if the details of transactions are known. It is also besides the point that these transactions are already overseen by parliament and the government. The FOI act is for members of the public to make requests that are of interest to the public, regardless of whether those transactions are already of interest to the government.

While this specific transaction might appear to be unimportant in isolation, it is part of a pattern of increased government outsourcing within the APS, and especially Services Australia in recent years. The increased use of private contractors within public agencies has been the subject of much public reporting.

For instance; these practices have been mentioned in the Australian Financial Review:
https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/gov...

The ABC:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-09/l...

Among others.

To re-iterate my point; this FOI request is a part of a series of FOI requests that intend to investigate the use of outsourcing within government departments. This is what makes the request in the public interest.

While I could have attempted to include 20 or 30 outsourcing contracts within a single FOI, I wanted to avoid an unreasonable burden upon your agency.

Please include these reasons within my request for an internal review, regarding my ask for a waiver on the grounds of public interest.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Will this decision be internally reviewed as requested?

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX56239 LEX 54854 Registration Acknowledgement.pdf
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Dear Mr Smith

 

Please see correspondence about your Internal Review attached.

 

Kind regards

 

Authorised FOI Officer

FOI Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Team

 

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 56239 Decision Internal Review of Reconsideration of Charges LEX 54854.pdf
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Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find a letter about your internal review request attached.

 

Kind regards

 

Authorised FOI Officer

FOI Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Team

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Your assertion that these documents would provide nothing new; that they have been made redundant by various senate inquiries, already existing reporting obligations, etc, is totally unreasonable.

I will be appealing this to the OAIC.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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