Dissemination by the FWBC of false information - ethics and accountability in the Commonwealth Public Sector

JS made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet did not have the information requested.

From: JS

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

Media articles and a Federal Court report indicate that from 1 January 2013 to 28 July 2016 false information was disseminated by Fair Work Building and Construction (now ABCC), and FWBC was aware the information was false.

Federal Court proceedings under the Fair Work legislation were instituted against the Director of FWBC on 19 Aug 2016 and on 18 October 2016 the Commonwealth of Australia was joined to the case. On 8 Sept 2017 the applicant and the Commonwealth consented to the proceedings against the Commonwealth being dismissed. The case against the Director was subject of a Federal Court judgement on 29 Sept 2017.
As the Judge found: “The consequence of his conduct was the dissemination by the FWBC – at his direction – of false information to the industry of which the FWBC was not only the regulator, but supposedly a trustworthy source of reliable information for industry participants.”

The Public Service Act 1999 establishes a statutory Code of Conduct that binds all APS employees and agency heads to defined behavioural standards. It has been said that the scheme that currently applies in the Australian Public Service is robust and effective. Clause 1.3(f) of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2013 require all APS employees, having regard to their duties and responsibilities, to report and address misconduct and other unacceptable behaviour by public servants in a fair, timely and effective way. Failure to report suspected misconduct may itself warrant consideration as a potential breach of the Code. It appears that the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women first became aware of the behaviour of the Director of FWBC in October 2016.

I seek access under FOI to documents in the possession of the Department relating to any assessment or consideration - conducted in the period 1 December 2013 to 12 September 2017 – that the behaviour of the Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate involved a potential breach of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.

Yours faithfully,

JS

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Attachment image011.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image012.jpg
1K Download

Attachment image013.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image014.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image015.jpg
13K Download


UNCLASSIFIED

FOI/2017/164

 

Dear JS

 

Thank you for your email dated 7 October 2017, 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:

 

I seek access under FOI to documents in the possession of the Department
relating to any assessment or consideration - conducted in the period 1
December 2013 to 12 September 2017 – that the behaviour of the Director of
the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate involved a potential breach
of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 7 October 2017 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 6 November 2017. 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]http://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/accountabilit...,
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:

·        any person’s signature;

·        the names and contact details of Australian Public Service
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);

·        the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;

·        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 at
[4]http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_....

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [5][DPMC request email] | w. [6]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[8]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[9]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [10]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[11]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/accountabilit...
2. mailto:[DPMC request email]
3. mailto:[DPMC request email]
4. http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_...
5. mailto:[DPMC request email]
6. http://www.pmc.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
8. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
9. https://twitter.com/indigenous_gov
10. https://www.facebook.com/indigenous.gov....

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Attachment image011.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image012.jpg
1K Download

Attachment image013.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image014.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image015.jpg
13K Download


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear JS

 

I’m writing in relation to your FOI request with the Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet in the following terms:

 

I seek access under FOI to documents in the possession of the Department
relating to any assessment or consideration - conducted in the period 1
December 2013 to 12 September 2017 – that the behaviour of the Director of
the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate involved a potential breach
of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.

 

The due date for a decision on the FOI request is 6 November 2017.
Regrettably, the Department is not currently in a position to finalise the
decision on the FOI request. Accordingly, we are seeking your consent to a
11-day extension of time to the processing period, in accordance with
section 15AA of the FOI Act. We will endeavour to notify you of the
decision prior to this extended date but have requested this amount of
time finalise the Department’s decision.

 

We kindly request you confirm your consent to the extension by way of
return email. If you are not inclined to agree to an extension of time, we
ask that you let us know as soon as possible so the decision-maker may
consider seeking an extension of time from the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner, in accordance with section 15AB of the FOI Act.

 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [1][DPMC request email] | w. [2]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [6]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[7]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DPMC request email]
2. http://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
5. https://twitter.com/indigenous_gov
6. https://www.facebook.com/indigenous.gov....

Link to this

From: JS

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I consent to the 11-day extension. 12 Nov or 16 Nov ?

Yours sincerely,

JS

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear JS

Thank you for consenting to the extension of time. The new date is Friday, 17 November 2017, which is 11 days after 6 November 2017.

Regards

FOI Adviser
Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet p. (02) 6271 5849 e. [DPMC request email] | w. www.pmc.gov.au One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600
 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Attachment image011.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image012.jpg
1K Download

Attachment image013.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image014.jpg
0K Download

Attachment image015.jpg
13K Download

Attachment FOI 2017 164 Access decision.pdf
1.2M Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Dear JS

 

Please find attached the decision on your FOI request to the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [1][DPMC request email] | w. [2]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [6]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[7]cid:image005.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DPMC request email]
2. http://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
5. https://twitter.com/indigenous_gov
6. https://www.facebook.com/indigenous.gov....

Link to this

From: JS

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your decision.

Yours sincerely,

JS

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet only: