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Corruption at DPMC – Phil Gaetjens, Stephanie Foster and Brittany Higgins

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Dear Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

I refer to this article concerning corruption engaged in by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) as identified by the Office of the Information Commissioner:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-ne...

Noting the article refers to an investigation conducted by the OAIC into DPMC’s compliance with the FOI Act, under the FOI Act I seek a copy of any and all documents given to DPMC by the OAIC pursuant to s.86(2) of the FOI Act in relation to the investigation referred to in the article.

I note that there is a wide public interest in the documents the subject of my request arising from:
- the vast majority of Australian taxpayers supporting the establishment of a Federal ICAC to deal with public sector corruption such as that identified in the article above;
- the investigation alluding to a practice whereby FOI administrative decision-makers at DPMC are acting under dictation from political parties – an illegal practice that would constitute a contravention of the APS Code of Conduct; and
- paragraph 6.19 of the FOI Guidelines providing that release of the documents the subject of my request would be in the public interest including because they will “inform debate on a matter of public importance, including to: i. allow or assist inquiry into possible deficiencies in the conduct or administration of an agency or official ii. reveal or substantiate that an agency or official has engaged in misconduct or negligent, improper or unlawful conduct and iii. reveal deficiencies in privacy or access to information legislation.”

Thank you.

Legal, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

5 Attachments

Our reference: FOIREQ21/0263

Dear Applicant

Freedom of Information request

I refer to your request for access to documents made under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act) and received by the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) on 17 November 2021.

Scope of your request

In your email you seek access to the following:

                “I refer to this article concerning corruption engaged in
by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) as identified
by the Office of the Information Commissioner:

[1]https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Noting the article refers to an investigation conducted by the OAIC into
DPMC’s compliance with the FOI Act, under the FOI Act I seek a copy of any
and all documents given to DPMC by the OAIC pursuant to s.86(2) of the FOI
Act in relation to the investigation referred to in the article.

I note that there is a wide public interest in the documents the subject
of my request arising from:

-       the vast majority of Australian taxpayers supporting the
establishment of a Federal ICAC to deal with public sector corruption such
as that identified in the article above;

-       the investigation alluding to a practice whereby FOI
administrative decision-makers at DPMC are acting under dictation from
political parties – an illegal practice that would constitute a
contravention of the APS Code of Conduct; and

-       paragraph 6.19 of the FOI Guidelines providing that release of the
documents the subject of my request would be in the public interest
including because they will “inform debate on a matter of public
importance, including to: i. allow or assist inquiry into possible
deficiencies in the conduct or administration of an agency or official ii.
reveal or substantiate that an agency or official has engaged in
misconduct or negligent, improper or unlawful conduct and iii. reveal
deficiencies in privacy or access to information legislation.”

In order to process your request as efficiently as possible, I will
exclude duplicates and early parts of email streams that are captured in
later email streams from the scope of this request, unless you advise me
otherwise.

We will not identify you as the FOI applicant during any consultation
process. However, documents that are within the scope of your request that
we may need to consult third parties about may contain your personal
information.

Timeframes for dealing with your request

Section 15 of the FOI Act requires this office to process your request no
later than 30 days after the day we receive it. However, section 15(6) of
the FOI Act allows us a further 30 days in situations where we need to
consult with third parties about certain information, such as business
documents or documents affecting their personal privacy.

As we received your request on 17 November 2021, we must process your
request by 17 December 2021.

Disclosure Log

Documents released under the FOI Act may be published online on our
disclosure log, unless they contain personal or business information that
would be unreasonable to publish.

[2][IMG]   Elena Elagina | Lawyer

Legal Services

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001 |
[3]oaic.gov.au

[4]1300 363 992| [5][email address]
[6][IMG] | [7][IMG] | [8][IMG] |   [9]Subscribe to Information
Matters

 

 

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References

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1. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
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5. mailto:[email address]
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8. https://aus01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

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