Documents relating to the selection of Ashley Sedgwick as the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation at the APSC

The request was partially successful.

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

According to the blurb about the Australian Public Service Commission on the Right to Know website:

The Commission is a central agency within the Australian Public Service with a critical leadership role in contributing to the future capability and sustainability of the Service. We promote good practice in managing people, support leadership and learning and development in the APS, foster ethical behaviour and workplaces that value diversity. We promote Indigenous employment in the APS. We also have an important evaluation role in working with agencies to ensure that the APS is performing effectively and consistently with the APS Values.

I doubt the claims about promoting good practice in managing people, or fostering ethical behaviour (I still haven't forgotten about the lying FOI Officer in the Legal Services section of the APSC who claimed that he or she was required to consult third parties under ss 27 or 27A of the FOI Act and, accordingly, would not respond to my FOI request in the standard 30 days permitted, only for it to turn out that he or she had lied about the objective requirement to consult according to the terms of the FOI Act).

I refer to an FOI decision that Charmaine Sims of the Australian Public Service Commission made on 1 July 2022. The decision is capable of access here:

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/p...

In the record of her FOI decision, Ms Sims stated that:

a) a position description document; and

b) a classification evaluation document,

do not exist / could not be located for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission currently occupies. Ms Sims added that the "Assistant Commissioner of the Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation transferred to the Commission from another Agency following a temporary secondment." That may be the case, but it is no reason as to why a position description for the Chief of Staff role, or a classification evaluation for that role, could not be produced. It also seems like something of a red-herring. It is somewhat disturbing that the documents have not been produced. Somebody must have decided that there was a need for a Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position at the APSC. Somebody must have determined the scope of the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation duties by reference to objective standards. Somebody must have allocated a classification to the groups of duties to be performed under section 9 of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000. It cannot be the case that Ashley Sedgwick was just handed a job without there being some objective assessment of what was to be done in that role.

I assume that the "transfer" that Ms Sims is referring to is a transfer under either sections 26 or 27 of the Public Service Act 1999.

Section 26 of the Public Service Act provides:

(1) An Agency Head may enter into an agreement in writing with an APS employee for the employee to move to the Agency Head’s Agency from another Agency.
(2) Subject to Commissioner’s Directions issued under subsection 11A(1), the agreement has effect according to its terms, by force of this section.

Section 27 of the Public Service Act provides:

(1) The Commissioner may, by direction in writing, move an excess APS employee to another Agency, without anyone’s consent.
(2) For the purposes of this section, an APS employee is an excess APS employee if, and only if, the Agency Head has notified the Commissioner in writing that the employee is excess to the requirements of the Agency.

Under the FOI Act, I request:

a) assuming that Ashley Sedgwick's transfer to the Australian Public Service Commission was effected under section 26 of the Public Service Act, the written agreement entered into by Ashley Sedgwick and the Australian Public Service Commissioner (or his delegate) to transfer Ashley Sedgwick to the Australian Public Service Commission;

b) assuming that Ashley Sedgwick's transfer to the APSC was effected under section 27 of the Public Service Act, the written direction issued by the Australian Public Service Commissioner effecting that transfer;

c) the position description for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

d) any and all classification evaluation documentation for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

e) the record of the analysis leading to the task and job design of the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

f) the record of the supporting reasons for the classification decision, including reference to the comparisons made with formal standards (e.g. the Australian Public Service Commissioner's work level standards) for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

g) the assessment of the resource impact of the creation or reclassification of the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

h) the evidence that there was a need for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the Australian Public Service Commission that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill;

i) any job application Ashley Sedgwick submitted for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the APSC;

j) any and all documents that show, or tend to show, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's role in authorising the creation of the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill;

k) any and all documents that show, or tend to show, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's role in selecting Ashley Sedgwick for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the APSC;

l) any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that Ashley Sedgwick was selected on merit to fill the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the APSC; and

m) any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that members of the Australian community were given a fair chance to apply to be selected on their merits for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill.

Please respond to each paragraph discretely.

You may provide the document to me by return email.

Yours faithfully,

Ray B1

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 for access to documents held by the Commission.

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

Regards,

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

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This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

6 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

A decision notice is attached.

 

Regards,

 

FOI OFFICER

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Ms Strangio,

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

I am writing to request a complete internal review of Australian Public Service Commission's handling of my FOI request 'Documents relating to the selection of Ashley Sedgwick as the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation at the APSC'.

I find it very hard to believe that the documents requested in paragraphs c – m do not exist. I request an internal review of your decision in respect of your decision to refuse access to the documents requested in paragraphs c – m.

All of those documents should exist.

Take, for example, the document requested in paragraph c. Under paragraph 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983 (Cth), the Acting Director General of the National Archives issued arrangements for the disposal of Personnel Management records on 18 June 2019.

The core activities covered by the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority in respect of Personnel Management includes:

managing recruitment of personnel to the Australian Public Service (APS), including ongoing, non-ongoing and SES employees, and employment scheme participants such as those working under scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, apprenticeships and similar relationships. Includes applying for approval to fill vacancies, advertising vacant positions, and the handling of applications, interviews, selection and appointment;

The instructions in relation to class number 62629 provide that the details of assigned duties, which would be evidenced in a position description, such documents may only be destroyed 75 years after the date of birth of the relevant employee or 7 years after the last action, whichever is later.

Your decision to refuse access to the document would suggest that the document has not been maintained according to law. As you know, it is an offence, carrying 20 penalty units, to:

a) destroy or dispose of a Commonwealth record; or
b) transfer the custody or ownership of a Commonwealth record; or
c) damage or alter of a Commonwealth record,

otherwise than in accordance with an applicable law or pursuant to directions of the National Archives.

The document should exist, unless you are conceding a law of the Commonwealth has been contravened.

As to your refusal to provide the documents requested in paragraphs a and b, I do not think your reasons can be sustained.

You claim that the documents contain personal information and for that reason the documents cannot be granted access to. You claim that the documents contain the name of Ashley Sedgwick, the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation. The FOI request was framed by reference to that name. It seems absurd to deny access to documents that contain the name of Ashley Sedgwick on the ground that the documents contain the name of Ashley Sedgwick. I know they contain that name because I framed my request by reference to that name.

You have also claimed that there is no documentary evidence of, among other things,:

1. the position description for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

2. any and all classification evaluation documentation for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation position that Ashley Sedgwick of the Australian Public Service Commission has come to fill;

3. any and all documents that show, or tend to show, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's role in authorising the creation of the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill;

4. any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that Ashley Sedgwick was selected on merit to fill the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the APSC; and / or

5. any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that members of the Australian community were given a fair chance to apply to be selected on their merits for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill.

In one breath you say that there is no evidence that Ashley Sedgwick was selected on merit but you refuse to provide access to the document that could shed light on why Ashley Sedgwick was transferred into the APSC.

You state that:

I have also taken into consideration the level of personal information published by anonymous individual(s) since January 2022 through their various FOI requests to the Commission, and a number of other agencies, using the ‘Right to Know’ website.

Why is this relevant?

As you know, it is entirely irrelevant, when considering whether it would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest to take into account the following factors:

a) access to the document could result in any person misinterpreting or misunderstanding the document;
b) access to the document could result in confusion or unnecessary debate.

Given that you have refused to provide any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that members of the Australian community were given a fair chance to apply to be selected on their merits for the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role that Ashley Sedgwick has come to fill, and given that you have refused to provide any and all documents that show, or tend to show, that Ashley Sedgwick was selected on merit to fill the Assistant Commissioner, Hierarchy and Classification Review Implementation role in the APSC, it cannot be argued that it is contrary to the public interest to grant access to the only document that could shed light on why Ashley Sedgwick was transferred to the APSC.

Please provide the documents you have identified according to law.

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,

Ray B1

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

OFFICIAL
Dear Applicant

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The timeframe for responding to your internal review request is 30 days from the date of receipt. This timeframe for internal review may be extended in very limited circumstances. You will be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

Regards

FOI OFFICER
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

t: 02 6202 3720  w: www.apsc.gov.au        
                           

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or attachments to a third party.

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL
See attached.

FOI OFFICER
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176 CANBERRA ACT 2601

t: 02 6202 3720  w: www.apsc.gov.au        
                           

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or attachments to a third party.

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