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Contraventions of the FOI Act by PM&C

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Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

I refer to documents released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) finding that the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet acted illegally by reference to its obligations under the FOI Act as available here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/8...

I note the recommendations of the Acting Freedom of Information Commissioner flowing from the illegalities engaged in by the Department and stated as follows:

“Pursuant to s 88 of the FOI Act, I make the following formal recommendations to the
Department that I believe the Department ought to implement within the
timeframes specified below:

1. The Department appoint an Information Champion by 5 November 2021.
The Information Champion may be supported by an information governance
board to provide leadership, oversight and accountability necessary to
promote and operationalise the Department’s compliance with the FOI Act.

2. The Department provide training to FOI Section staff and relevant Senior
Executives by 5 January 2022 about the obligations under the FOI Act to
comply with statutory processing periods.

I request that the Department advise the OAIC of the implementation of each
recommendation within the timeframes specified.”

Under the FOI Act, I seek access to a copy of any document given by the Department to the OAIC that advises the OAIC of the implementation of the above statutory recommendations as made by the Acting Freedom of Information Commissioner in response to the illegalities engaged in by the Department.

There is a wide public interest in whether the Prime Minister’s Department and its Secretary have complied with the statutory recommendations of the regulator or whether the Department has thumbed its nose at those recommendations – not least because the latter course constitutes a clear contravention of the APS Code of Conduct on the part of the Head of the APS, Mr Phil Gaetjens.

Yours faithfully,
L Cameron

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

4 Attachments

OFFICIAL

FOI/2022/029

 

Dear L Cameron

 

Thank you for your email dated 15 January 2022 received by the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) in the following terms:

 

Under the FOI Act, I seek access to a copy of any document given by the
Department to the OAIC that advises the OAIC of the implementation of the
above statutory recommendations as made by the Acting Freedom of
Information Commissioner in response to the illegalities engaged in by the
Department.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 15 January 2022 and the 30 day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date.
You should therefore expect a decision from us by 14 February 2022. The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise
you if there is any extension of time.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

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.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [2][DPMC request email].  If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

o any person’s signature;
o the names and contact details of Australian Public Service officers
not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
o the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;
o the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level below
Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [3][DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information.  Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adviser | FOI Section[]

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

Ngunnawal Country, One National Circuit  Barton  ACT  2600  |  PO Box
6500  CANBERRA  ACT  2600
e. [5][email address]  w. [6]pmc.gov.au

[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0[8]cid:image002.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0

[9]cid:image003.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0 The
Department
acknowledges
and pays
respect to
the past,
present and
emerging
Elders and
Traditional
Custodians
of Country,
and the
continuation
of cultural,
spiritual
and
educational
practices of
Aboriginal
and Torres
Strait
Islander
peoples.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...
2. mailto:[DPMC request email]
3. mailto:[DPMC request email]
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. https://www.pmc.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
8. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

6 Attachments

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: FOI/2022/029

 

Dear L Cameron

 

Please find attached the decision regarding your request under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982. We apologise for the delay.

 

As there is an IC Review matter on-hand for this request a copy of the
decision notification and relevant document will be provided to the Office
of the Australian Information Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adviser | FOI Section[]

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

Ngunnawal Country, One National Circuit  Barton  ACT  2600  |  PO Box
6500  CANBERRA  ACT  2600
e. [1][email address]  w. [2]pmc.gov.au

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0

[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0 The
Department
acknowledges
and pays
respect to
the past,
present and
emerging
Elders and
Traditional
Custodians
of Country,
and the
continuation
of cultural,
spiritual
and
educational
practices of
Aboriginal
and Torres
Strait
Islander
peoples.

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...

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