DFAT Overseas Conditions of Service

George Porter made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Waiting for an internal review by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of their handling of this request.

From: George Porter

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I request copies of the following documents under the FOI Act:

- Documents setting out overseas conditions of service for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how the Cost of Posting Allowance (COPA) under DFAT's overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how the Hardship Allowance under DFAT's overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how, if at all, employee rent and utility contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas have been factored into COPA calculations since 1 July 2000, including documents covering any decision, determination or agreement that employee rent and utility contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas would be factored into COPA calculations.

Yours faithfully,

George Porter

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From: George Porter

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I would be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of my FOI request of 8 September 2019, in the following terms:

- Documents setting out overseas conditions of service for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how the Cost of Posting Allowance (COPA) under DFAT's overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how the Hardship Allowance under DFAT's overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

- Documents covering how, if at all, employee rent and utility contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas have been factored into COPA calculations since 1 July 2000, including documents covering any decision, determination or agreement that employee rent and utility contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas would be factored into COPA calculations.

Yours faithfully,

George Porter

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX516

 

Dear Mr Porter

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 8 September 2019 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“- Documents setting out overseas conditions of service for DFAT staff
working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how the Cost of Posting Allowance (COPA) under DFAT's
overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working
overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how the Hardship Allowance under DFAT's overseas
conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas
during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how, if at all, employee rent and utility
contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas have been factored into COPA
calculations since 1 July 2000, including documents covering any decision,
determination or agreement that employee rent and utility contributions
for DFAT staff posted overseas would be factored into COPA calculations.”

 

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 8 September 2019 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 8 October 2019.

The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[1][DFAT 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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at [2]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [3][DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[4]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

 

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment LEX516 Letter 8 Oct 19.pdf
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Attachment s.24 for attachment to s.24 letter.PDF.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

 

Dear Mr Porter

 

Please see attached correspondence regarding your FOI request.

 

 

DFAT FOI Team
___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch
Legal Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
[1]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Wednesday, 18 September 2019 9:37 AM
To: 'George Porter' <[FOI #5618 email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request - Acknowledgment LEX 516
[SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX516

 

Dear Mr Porter

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 8 September 2019 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

 

“- Documents setting out overseas conditions of service for DFAT staff
working overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how the Cost of Posting Allowance (COPA) under DFAT's
overseas conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working
overseas during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how the Hardship Allowance under DFAT's overseas
conditions of service was calculated for DFAT staff working overseas
during calendar years 2014 - 2018;

 

- Documents covering how, if at all, employee rent and utility
contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas have been factored into COPA
calculations since 1 July 2000, including documents covering any decision,
determination or agreement that employee rent and utility contributions
for DFAT staff posted overseas would be factored into COPA calculations.”

 

 

This e-mail sets out some information about how your request will be
processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Timeframe for receiving our decision:

We received your request on 8 September 2019 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 8 October 2019.

The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will
advise you if any extension of time is required.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, we take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
documents to the disclosure log on the same day as the documents are
released to you.

 

Exclusion of officials’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the mobile numbers of all
government officials, and the names and contact details of government
officials not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.  If you
require the mobile numbers of all government officials, or the names and
contact details of non-SES officials, please let us know at
[2][DFAT 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.

 

Personal Information:

If we need to consult with other people or organisations regarding your
FOI request, we may need to disclose your personal information (e.g. your
name).  When we consult it may be apparent that you have made a request,
even if we do not disclose your identity.  Please let us know if you have
any concerns in this regard.  The Department’s privacy policy is available
at [3]dfat.gov.au/privacy.html.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact us by return e-mail at [4][DFAT request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[5]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

 

show quoted sections

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From: George Porter

Delivered

Dear Ms Buckingham,

Thank you for your letter dated 8 October 2019.

Please narrow the scope of my request to documentation of any decision, determination or agreement that employee rent and utility contributions for DFAT staff posted overseas be factored into Cost of Posting Allowance calculations from 1 July 2000.

I note your advice that the documents I request are unlikely to be released and look forward to an explanation of its legal basis, should a decision be taken to refuse my request.

Yours sincerely,

George Porter

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From: FOIDR


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Attachment RQ19 02671 15AC letter to A DFAT and Porter.pdf
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Our reference: RQ19/02671

Agency reference: LEX516

 

Extension of time under s 15AC

Dear Mr Porter

Please find attached my decision in relation to the extension of time
request for processing of your FOI request.

Kind regards

 

[1][IMG]   Intake and Early Resolution Team

Freedom of Information

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

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

1300 363 992  |  [3][email address]
[4][IMG] | [5][IMG] | [6][IMG] |   [7]Subscribe to Information Matters

 

 

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment LEX516 Decision Letter.pdf
47K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

 

FOI Reference: LEX516

 

Dear Mr Porter

 

With reference to your FOI request, attached please find a letter advising
you of the outcome.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

DFAT FOI Team

___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[1]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dfat.gov.au/

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From: George Porter

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's handling of my FOI request 'DFAT Overseas Conditions of Service'.

I do not accept the premise of the decision reached - that my request would require a search of 20 years of hard and soft material and would take in excess of 200 hours to complete. No explanation is provided as to why this would be the case. A statement to the effect that employee rent and utility contributions have been factored into COPA calculations since 1 July 2000 appears in DFAT's human resources documentation. The documentary basis for this statement must surely be readily available.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

George Porter

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