Correspondence regarding a "Comprehensive Health Assessment" Program for Veterans Adversely Affected by the Antimalarial Drugs Tafenoquine and Mefloquine

Stuart McCarthy made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Veterans' Affairs

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of Veterans' Affairs should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Stuart McCarthy

Delivered

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

On 22 July 2019, the Canberra Times reported (according to an anonymous spokeswoman):

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related illness, disease and injury."[1]

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were "aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails, briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff from the Minister's office.

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial hardship.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart McCarthy

Reference:

1. Katie Burgess, "Soldiers scarred by antimalarial drugs to receive health check," Canberra Times, 22 July 2019. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6...

Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33675

 

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 10 January 2020
and was made in the following terms:

 

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative
to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

 

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide
concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health
assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related
illness, disease and injury."[1]

 

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the
initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were
"aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with
correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of
the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018
to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails,
briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff
from the Minister's office.

 

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this
is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial
hardship.”

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 10 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

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]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | W: [5]www.dva.gov.au

 

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References

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

Link to this

From: Stuart McCarthy

Delivered

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

Thankyou for acknowledging receipt of my request.

On or around 14 June 2019, the Open Arms National Advisory Committee (NAC) held a meeting which was attended by Brigadier Leonard Brennan.[1] Brigadier Brennan was the 3rd Brigade Senior Medical Officer during the period of the Army Malaria Institute (AMI) tafenoquine and mefloquine clinical trials in Bougainville and East Timor during the period 1999 to 2001 and co-authored the AMI tafenoquine-mefloquine study involving 654 personnel from the 1 RAR Battalion Group in East Timor 2000-2001.[2]

Noting that the role of the NAC is to provide advice to the Minister, as part of this FOI request I specifically request to be provided with:

1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans, including emails, memos or text messages.

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans, including emails, memos or text messages.

Noting that a contract for the comprehensive health assessments has recently been awarded to BUPA and NAC Chair Jane Burns is a BUPA consultant, as part of this FOI request I specifically request to be provided with:correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors of BUPA relating to the development of the comprehensive health assessments, including emails, memos or text messages.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart McCarthy

References:

1. Jane Burns tweet, 14 June 2019. https://twitter.com/janeburns/status/113...

2. Nasveld et al., "Randomized, double-blind study of the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of tafenoquine versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune subjects," Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19...

Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Mr McCarthy

Thank you for your email.

We seek your clarification as to whether you would like to:

1. Revise the scope of your request dated 10 January 2020, to that of your email dated 15 January 2020; or

2. Whether you are intending to be make another separate FOI Request.

Please also confirm whether you agree to the Department processing your FOI request/s on behalf of Open Arms.

We would appreciate your response by COB 17 January 2020.

Kind regards,

Molly (Position Number 62213164)
Legal Officer
Information Law Section
Legal Services and Audit Branch
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
T: 1800 555 254 | E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: Stuart McCarthy

Delivered

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

Thankyou for your reply.

Please do include this request (per my 15 January email) in the scope of my original request (my 10 January email).

Given that Open Arms is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, I agree for DVA to process this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart McCarthy

Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33770

 

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 16 January 2020 and was
made in the following terms:

 

"On or around 14 June 2019, the Open Arms National Advisory Committee
(NAC) held a meeting which was attended by Brigadier Leonard Brennan.[1]
Brigadier Brennan was the 3rd Brigade Senior Medical Officer during the
period of the Army Malaria Institute (AMI) tafenoquine and mefloquine
clinical trials in Bougainville and East Timor during the period 1999 to
2001 and co-authored the AMI tafenoquine-mefloquine study involving 654
personnel from the 1 RAR Battalion Group in East Timor 2000-2001.[2]

 

Noting that the role of the NAC is to provide advice to the Minister, as
part of this FOI request I specifically request to be provided with:

 

1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

 

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects
of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister
for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of
tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

Noting that a contract for the comprehensive health assessments has
recently been awarded to BUPA and NAC Chair Jane Burns is a BUPA
consultant, as part of this FOI request I specifically request to be
provided with: correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors
of BUPA relating to the development of the comprehensive health
assessments, including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

Via email on 17 January 2020, you confirmed that this request should be
process separately to your other recent request to the department dated 10
January 2020. You also confirmed that you agree to the Department
processing your FOI request on behalf of Open Arms.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 17 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

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]

 

Revising the scope of your request

 

Part of your request asks for:

 

“…correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors of BUPA
relating to the development of the comprehensive health assessments,
including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

The Department is only able to search for documents within its possession
and not the possession of BUPA or Jane Burns. I have been advised by
internal business areas that the department would not hold these requested
documents because the department does not have visibility of emails
between Jane Burns and BUPA.

 

Instead, you may wish to consider contacting BUPA directly regarding this
part of your request.

 

FOR ACTION

 

Accordingly, please confirm whether you agree to revise the scope of your
request to the following:

 

“1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

 

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects
of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister
for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of
tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

Alternatively, if the above revised scope does not sufficiently describe
the documents you are requesting, you may wish to provide further
clarification about the documents you are seeking in your return email.

 

Please confirm by COB Tuesday 21 January 2020 as to whether you agree to
the above revised scope.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | W: [5]www.dva.gov.au

 

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References

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

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33770

 

I am sending you a brief email to follow up on the below. I asked for some
clarification about the scope of your request. Specifically, I mentioned
that part of your request asked for access to:

 

“…correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors of BUPA
relating to the development of the comprehensive health assessments,
including emails, memos or text messages...”

 

The Department is only able to search for documents within its possession
and not the possession of BUPA or Jane Burns. I have been advised by
internal business areas that we would not hold these requested documents
because the Department does not have visibility of emails between Jane
Burns and BUPA.

 

Instead, you may wish to consider contacting BUPA directly regarding this
part of your request.

 

 

For Action

 

Can you please confirm whether you agree to revise the scope of your
request to the following:

 

“1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

 

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects
of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister
for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of
tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

 

Alternatively, if the above revised scope does not sufficiently describe
the documents you are requesting, you may wish to provide further
clarification about the documents you are seeking in your return email.

 

Please confirm by COB Tuesday 29 January 2020 as to whether you agree to
the above revised scope.

 

If we do not hear from you we will continue to process your request based
on the original scope.

 

 

For your information, a decision on your request is currently due on 17
February 2020. If we require any additional time to process your request
we will contact you.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Kind regards,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01D5C62C.B098EB10

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From: Campbell, Molly On Behalf Of INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Monday, 20 January 2020 9:18 AM
To: 'Stuart McCarthy'
Cc: INFORMATION.LAW
Subject: FOI 33770 - Your Freedom of Information Request [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33770

 

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 16 January 2020 and was
made in the following terms:

 

"On or around 14 June 2019, the Open Arms National Advisory Committee
(NAC) held a meeting which was attended by Brigadier Leonard Brennan.[1]
Brigadier Brennan was the 3rd Brigade Senior Medical Officer during the
period of the Army Malaria Institute (AMI) tafenoquine and mefloquine
clinical trials in Bougainville and East Timor during the period 1999 to
2001 and co-authored the AMI tafenoquine-mefloquine study involving 654
personnel from the 1 RAR Battalion Group in East Timor 2000-2001.[2]

 

Noting that the role of the NAC is to provide advice to the Minister, as
part of this FOI request I specifically request to be provided with:

 

1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

 

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects
of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister
for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of
tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

Noting that a contract for the comprehensive health assessments has
recently been awarded to BUPA and NAC Chair Jane Burns is a BUPA
consultant, as part of this FOI request I specifically request to be
provided with: correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors
of BUPA relating to the development of the comprehensive health
assessments, including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

Via email on 17 January 2020, you confirmed that this request should be
process separately to your other recent request to the department dated 10
January 2020. You also confirmed that you agree to the Department
processing your FOI request on behalf of Open Arms.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 17 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[5]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: [6][email address]

 

Revising the scope of your request

 

Part of your request asks for:

 

“…correspondence between Jane Burns and employees/directors of BUPA
relating to the development of the comprehensive health assessments,
including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

The Department is only able to search for documents within its possession
and not the possession of BUPA or Jane Burns. I have been advised by
internal business areas that the department would not hold these requested
documents because the department does not have visibility of emails
between Jane Burns and BUPA.

 

Instead, you may wish to consider contacting BUPA directly regarding this
part of your request.

 

FOR ACTION

 

Accordingly, please confirm whether you agree to revise the scope of your
request to the following:

 

“1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

 

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects
of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.

 

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister
for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of
tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans,
including emails, memos or text messages.”

 

Alternatively, if the above revised scope does not sufficiently describe
the documents you are requesting, you may wish to provide further
clarification about the documents you are seeking in your return email.

 

Please confirm by COB Tuesday 21 January 2020 as to whether you agree to
the above revised scope.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [7][email address] | W: [8]www.dva.gov.au

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.dva.gov.au/
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
5. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[email address]
8. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Link to this

From: Stuart McCarthy

Delivered

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

Thankyou for your reply. I agree to the following scope for this FOI request:

"In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with correspondence relating to the 'comprehensive health assessments' program for veterans exposed to tafenoquine or mefloquine, between DVA and the Office of the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails, briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff from the Minister's office.

Given that the role of the Open Arms National Advisory Committee (NAC) is to 'provide advice to the Minister on the needs of the veteran community,' and that previously published NAC minutes state that the committee has discussed the needs of veterans adversely affected by these drugs, I am also requesting that the following documents be included within the scope of this FOI request:

1) Minutes of the Open Arms NAC meeting on or around 14 June 2019.

2) Correspondence between members of the NAC regarding the adverse effects of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans, including emails, memos or text messages.

3) Correspondence between the NAC Chair (or Secretariat) and the Minister for Veterans Affairs (or his office) regarding the adverse effects of tafenoquine and mefloquine, and the health needs of affected veterans, including emails, memos or text messages."

In order to avoid further delays with this request, I will raise a separate FOI request regarding correspondence between DVA officials, Open Arms officials, the Open Arms NAC Chair and BUPA.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart McCarthy

Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

I refer to your request dated 10 January 2020 (LEX33675).

 

Could you please confirm whether your request includes third-party
personal information.

 

We would appreciate your response by COB 27 January 2020.

 

Kind regards,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 9:54 AM
To: '[FOI #6065 email]'
Subject: FOI 33675 - Your Freedom of Information Request [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33675

 

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 10 January 2020
and was made in the following terms:

 

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative
to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

 

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide
concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health
assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related
illness, disease and injury."[1]

 

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the
initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were
"aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with
correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of
the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018
to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails,
briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff
from the Minister's office.

 

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this
is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial
hardship.”

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 10 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[5]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: [6][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [7][email address] | W: [8]www.dva.gov.au

 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

I refer to your FOI request dated 10 January 2020 (FOI 33675).

 

Pursuant to section 15AA of the FOI Act, I am writing to seek you
agreement to an extension of time in this matter. Currently a decision on
your request is due by 10 February 2020.

 

At this time, I am still undertaking consultation with the relevant
business areas involved in your request. Due to this delay, I will require
additional time to prepare an access decision in this matter.

 

As such, I would be grateful if you could please confirm whether you agree
to an extension of time of a further 30 days to allow the department to
process your request.

 

Please provide your response by COB 3 February 2020.

 

If I don’t receive a response from you, I intend to apply to the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) for an extension of time
under section 15AB of the FOI Act. If you do agree to the extension of
time, I am required to provide your name and contact details to the OAIC
for their records.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Kind regards

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W:
[2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 9:54 AM
To: '[FOI #6065 email]'
Subject: FOI 33675 - Your Freedom of Information Request [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33675

 

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 10 January 2020
and was made in the following terms:

 

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative
to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

 

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide
concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health
assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related
illness, disease and injury."[1]

 

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the
initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were
"aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with
correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of
the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018
to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails,
briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff
from the Minister's office.

 

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this
is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial
hardship.”

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 10 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[5]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: [6][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [7][email address] | W: [8]www.dva.gov.au

 

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6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[email address]
8. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Mr McCarthy

I refer to your FOI request dated 16 January 2020 (FOI 33770).

Pursuant to section 15AA of the FOI Act, I am writing to seek you agreement to an extension of time in this matter. Currently a decision on your request is due by 17 February 2020.

At this time, I am still undertaking consultation with the relevant business areas involved in your request. Due to this delay, I will require additional time to prepare an access decision in this matter.

As such, I would be grateful if you could please confirm whether you agree to an extension of time of a further 30 days to allow the department to process your request.

Please provide your response by COB 5 February 2020.

If I don’t receive a response from you, I intend to apply to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) for an extension of time under section 15AB of the FOI Act. If you do agree to the extension of time, I am required to provide your name and contact details to the OAIC for their records.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards

Molly (Position Number 62213164)
Legal Officer
Information Law Section
Legal Services and Audit Branch
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
T: 1800 555 254 | E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au


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Link to this

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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15K Download


Dear McCarthy,

 

I refer to your FOI request dated 10 January 2020 (FOI 33675).

 

You request was made in the following terms:

 

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative
to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

 

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide
concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health
assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related
illness, disease and injury."[1]

 

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the
initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were
"aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with
correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of
the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018
to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails,
briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff
from the Minister's office.

 

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this
is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial
hardship.”

 

Out of Scope Material

 

After a preliminary review of documents I have found that some documents
contain material relating to other department initiatives and independent
third-parties who are not mentioned in your request and which are not
related to the above initiative.

 

Could you please confirm whether you agree to removal of the following
material as ‘out of scope’ under section 22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act:

 

1.       material that does not specifically relate to the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine initiative; and

 

2.       material relating to third-parties.

 

I would be grateful if you could please provide your response by COB 6
February 2020.

 

Extension of Time

 

Please note that I have also applied to the OAIC for an extension of time
in this matter. If you have any questions about this please do not
hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W:
[2]www.dva.gov.au

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01D5C62C.B098EB10

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

 

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Wednesday, 29 January 2020 7:50 PM
To: '[FOI #6065 email]'
Cc: INFORMATION.LAW
Subject: RE: FOI 33675 - Your Freedom of Information Request
[SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

I refer to your FOI request dated 10 January 2020 (FOI 33675).

 

Pursuant to section 15AA of the FOI Act, I am writing to seek you
agreement to an extension of time in this matter. Currently a decision on
your request is due by 10 February 2020.

 

At this time, I am still undertaking consultation with the relevant
business areas involved in your request. Due to this delay, I will require
additional time to prepare an access decision in this matter.

 

As such, I would be grateful if you could please confirm whether you agree
to an extension of time of a further 30 days to allow the department to
process your request.

 

Please provide your response by COB 3 February 2020.

 

If I don’t receive a response from you, I intend to apply to the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) for an extension of time
under section 15AB of the FOI Act. If you do agree to the extension of
time, I am required to provide your name and contact details to the OAIC
for their records.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Kind regards

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | W:
[5]www.dva.gov.au

 

[6]cid:image001.png@01D5C62C.B098EB10

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

 

 

 

 

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 9:54 AM
To: '[FOI #6065 email]'
Subject: FOI 33675 - Your Freedom of Information Request [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 33675

 

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 10 January 2020
and was made in the following terms:

 

"... the federal government has committed $2.1 million to a new initiative
to support veterans who are concerned about having taken the anti-malarial
drugs mefloquine or tafenoquine."

 

"This initiative will deliver a national program that will provide
concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health
assessment with a general practitioner to identify service-related
illness, disease and injury."[1]

 

The same story quoted DVA Secretary Liz Cosson, who stated that the
initiative was being developed in response to affected veterans who were
"aggrieved" by medical mistreatment.[1]

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, I hereby request to be provided with
correspondence relating to this initiative between DVA and the Office of
the Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans Affairs, from 1 July 2018
to 31 December 2019, including but not limited to: letters, emails,
briefings, file notes and text messages between senior DVA staff and staff
from the Minister's office.

 

I request that normal fees be waived for this FOI request given that this
is already a matter of public interest, and I am experiencing financial
hardship.”

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 10 February 2020.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

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 at [7]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[8]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: [9][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [10][email address] | W:
[11]www.dva.gov.au

 

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9. mailto:[email address]
10. mailto:[email address]
11. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Link to this

From: Shelley Napper


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Attachment 20200206 RQ2000462 Letter to FOIA.pdf
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Our reference: RQ20/00462

Agency reference: FOI 33675

Mr Stuart McCarthy

 

By email: [FOI #6065 email]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Mr McCarthy

 

Please find attached my decision of today’s date regarding an extension of
time application from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in relation to
your FOI request.

 

Kind regards

 

[1]OAIC   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director (A/g)

Freedom of information

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

 

 

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


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Attachment FOI Practical Refusal Consultation Notice section 24AB.pdf
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Dear Mr McCarthy

 

I refer to your three FOI requests (FOI 33675, 33770 and 34037).

 

Please see attached our correspondence dated 11 February 2020.

 

This letter advises you that:

·         your three requests have been combined under section 24(2) of
the FOI Act; and

·         because your request is voluminous, a practical refusal reason
exists under section 24AA(1)(b) of the FOI Act.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me, should you require further time to
respond to this consultation notice.

 

Kind regards,

 

Molly (Position Number 62213164)

Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W:
[2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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Things to do with this request

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