Documents relating to Nomination of Barnaby Joyce to run for election to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election
Dear National Archives of Australia,
I have recently received a response to a Freedom of Information request I made to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC FOI request reference LS6223).
For your information copy of the correspondence for this FOI request can be found at the following website:
The subject of my request to the AEC was for documents from 2004, some 13 years ago.
The AEC confirmed in their Decision Letter of 8 September 2017 that they were unable to identify any documents relating to the Nomination of Mr Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce to run for election in Queensland to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election.
The AEC has helpfully advised that:
"Disposal and destruction of Commonwealth records
17. I note the following information for your information.
18. Section 24 of the Archives Act 1983 (Archives Act) regulates the disposal and destruction of Commonwealth records. The AEC can destroy or transfer records by using legal instruments issued by the National Archives of Australia, called Records Authorities. These Authorities cover agency-specific core business, as well as common administrative business activities performed by many Australian Government agencies.
19. Further to the regulation provided by section 24 of the Archives Act, section 393A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (‘Electoral Act’) provides for the preservation and destruction of ‘electoral documents.’
20. Subsection 393A(1) provides a definition for ‘electoral documents’
(1) In this section, electoral documents includes:
(a) ballot papers; and
(b) certified lists of voters; and
(b a) approved lists of voters; and
(c) certified copies of the Roll; and
(d) declarations; and
(e) postal vote certificates; and
(f) pre‑poll vote certificates for declaration voting; and
(g) lists prepared under section 245.
21. Relevant to your FOI Request I note that subsection 393A(10) provides that the Electoral Commissioner may direct that electoral documents be destroyed if:
(a) not less than 6 months have elapsed since the declaration of the poll in the election in which the documents were used; and
(b) the documents are no longer required by the Electoral Commission for the performance of its functions."
Therefore it would appear that if the documents relating to the nomination of Mr Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce to run for election in Queensland to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election have not been destroyed by the AEC, then they would have been transferred to the NAA.
Consequently, I hereby request the following Government Information documents which I consider to be of great public importance:
a) Documents received by the AEC & transferred to the NAA under a Record Authority relating to the Nomination of Mr Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce to run for election in Queensland to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election; and
b) A copy of the completed nomination form received by the AEC & transferred to the NAA under a Record Authority relating to the Nomination of Mr Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce to run for election in Queensland to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election.
If this can be answered as informal request, please do so.
Otherwise, please proceed with this as a formal request under the Freedom of Information principles & framework, i.e. the Freedom of Information Act 1982 & other associated guidelines and regulations.
Good afternoon Mr Smith
Thank you for contacting the National Archives of Australia concerning
documents relating to the Nomination of Barnaby Joyce to run for election
to The Senate in 2004 Federal Election.
To clarify, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made to the National
Archives only applies to records relating to the administration and
practices of the Archives, rather than other Commonwealth records. To this
end, we are unable to process your application as an FOI Request.
Under the Archives Act, requests can be made for Commonwealth archival
records that are in the ‘open access period’, which currently includes
records created up to and including 1993. Under the Archives Act, all
records are available to be accessed by the public once they enter the
open access period unless they contain material that falls into certain
exemption categories under section 33 of the Act. You can read more
about access to archival records and the open access period in our fact
sheet on access to records under the Archives Act.
The documents you are seeking are in the closed period and therefore would
still be under the jurisdiction of the creating agency, in this case, the
AEC. From the advice they gave you in response to your FOI request, they
outline the administrative and legislative regulations which have led to
the below stated action:
“22. Accordingly, the majority of documents that may have fallen within
the scope of your request and relating to the 2004 Federal Election would
have been destroyed pursuant to section 24 of the Archives Act or
subsection 393A(10) of the Electoral Act.”
As creating agency, you will need to contact the AEC again should you seek
further clarification relating to the documents you are seeking.
Fleur Jamet National Archives of Australia
FOI, Reporting and Compliance Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600
Corporate Governance PO Box 4924 Kingston ACT 2604
t +61 2 6212 3959 [email address] | naa.gov.au