Correspondence and notes relating to Federal Court SES selection processes

The request was refused by Australian Public Service Commission.

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

This is a request for documents under the FOI Act, which you may provide by email.

I refer to an article published in the Australian on 10 February 2022 – Top judge warned of registrar overhaul.

In that article, the following is noted:

a) “Mr Soden had claimed the registrar, a man who had been at the court for many years, could not be given the original Senior Executive Service classification advertised because it would be vetoed by the APSC representative”;
b) “Warwick tells me there is a problem because the (APSC) has a veto on an SES appointments”;
c) “… the most senior registrar in Queensland ended up in a position lower that the SES classifications other state registrars were given”;
d) “To solve the problem, Warwick wants to downgrade the role from an SES position, avoid the APSC’s veto and appoint (him)”;
e) “Warwick’s advice that the APSC has a veto on appointment is wrong”;
f) “Justice Greenwood confirmed he had been told that the APSC had objected to the man’s appointment because he ‘might not be accommodating of planned changes to the management structure of the court’”; and
g) “[The Registrar] was ultimately appointed to the role at the (lower level) configured by Mr Soden and Ms Lagos, no doubt in discussion with the APSC.”

According to a decision of Giorgina Strangio of the APSC, the Commissioner’s representative on the selection panel for the registrar in Queensland was probably the First Assistant Commissioner, Kerryn Vine Camp.

In an email from the APSC to the Federal Court, somebody in the Employment Policy Group of the APSC refers to the First Assistant Commissioner’s Executive Assistant.

I request access to any and all email correspondence sent to staff in the Federal Court, or received from staff in the Federal Court, by Ms Vine Camp’s executive assistant in relation to the following Federal Court selection processes which Ms Vine Camp participated in as the Commissioner’s representative:

i. “Senior National Judicial Registrar (SES2)”; and
ii. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD (SES1)”; and
iii. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – VIC (SES1)”; and
iv. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA (SES1)”.

I also request access to any and all documents (e.g. file notes, diary entries, electronic calendar invitations, memos etc) that Ms Vine Camp’s executive assistant maintained in relation to the following Federal Court selection processes which Ms Vine Camp participated in as the Commissioner’s representative:

i. “Senior National Judicial Registrar (SES2)”; and
ii. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD (SES1)”; and
iii. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – VIC (SES1)”; and
iv. “National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA (SES1)”.

Yours faithfully,

Aiofe

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

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This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

A decision notice is attached.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Monday, 7 March 2022 9:27 AM
To: Aiofe <[FOI #8565 email]>
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: SHC22-4370 Acknowledgment [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

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Aiofe left an annotation ()

Giorgina Strangio's reasons for refusing request:

4. I am authorised under subsection 23(1) of the FOI Act to make FOI decisions.
5. Subsection 24A(1) of the FOI Act provides that an agency may refuse a request for access
to a document if the agency is satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to find the
document and the agency is satisfied that the document is in the agency’s possession but
cannot be found, or does not exist.
6. Extensive searches have been conducted to locate documents within scope of your request.
This includes:
• searches of the Commission’s electronic document records management systems;
• searches by the Commission’s current IT service provider and network host; and
• searches by the Commissioner’s former IT service provider and network host.
7. I am satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken at this time to find any document
relevant to your request. No documents were found. I have therefore decided to refuse your
request for access under section 24A of the FOI Act.
8. I am aware that in 2018 the Commission changed IT service providers, and that it is possible
some records from the account of Ms Vine-Camp’s Executive Assistant were not
transferred or retained as a result.
9. While I cannot confirm or deny the existence of documents within scope of our request, I
note if documents do exist, the Federal Court of Australia may have maintained records of
such documents.