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Documents relating to vetting of reports prepared for the Attorney-General with a view to the reports being presented to the Parliament

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Dear Attorney-General's Department,

BACKGROUND

On 6 March 2022 I made a request to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The request can be seen here:

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

I made the request because I had noticed that the Commonwealth Ombudsman had contravened paragraph 76(2)(a) of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013. That paragraph requires the Ombudsman to prepare a report that must include:

(a) in relation to each agency, statements of the following:

(i) the number of public interest disclosures received by authorised officers of the agency during the financial year;
(ii) the kinds of disclosable conduct to which those disclosures relate;
(iii) the number of disclosure investigations that the principal officer of the agency conducted during the financial year;
(iv) the actions that the principal officer of the agency has taken during the financial year in response to recommendations in reports relating to those disclosure investigations …

I noticed that the Commonwealth Ombudsman had failed to what is required by the PID Act. Instead of preparing a report that had, in relation to EACH agency, statements of the things set out in (i) - (iv), the Ombudsman had prepared a report in which the things set out in (i)-(iv) were reported in relation to some agencies, and not for EACH agency.

I requested copies of the reports that the Ombudsman should have prepared in relation to each agency for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years. On 20 May 2022 Sine Dellit, a senior legal officer in the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, provided a decision in relation to my request. In that decision Ms Dellit refused access to the documents on the grounds that the reports do not exist/cannot be located. Ms Dellit's decision is set out here:

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

The documents do not exist/could not be found because the Ombudsman did not prepare the reports according to the terms of paragraph 76(2)(a) of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.

FOI request

Under the FOI Act I request access to any and all documents which set out vetting or review procedures for reports submitted to the Attorney-General that the Attorney-General is required to present to the Parliament, either by way of tabling or otherwise.

Yours faithfully,

Marek

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

Your email has been received by the Freedom of Information and Privacy
Section of the Attorney-General's Department. Please note that we will
only action and respond to FOI requests and other matters relating to the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). For information on how to
make an FOI request please refer to the FOI page on the department's
website at:
[1]https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protect....

 

If your email relates to the FOI Act, we will contact you shortly to
acknowledge and/or respond to your request. Please do not send duplicate
emails as this may cause delays in response time-frames.

For matters not relating to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, please
refer to the 'Contact us' page on the department's website at:
[2]https://www.ag.gov.au/about-us/connect-u...

If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
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References

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1. https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protect...
2. https://www.ag.gov.au/about-us/connect-u...

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/110

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents.

Your request is for:

Under the FOI Act I request access to any and all documents which set out
vetting or review procedures for reports submitted to the Attorney-General
that the Attorney-General is required to present to the Parliament, either
by way of tabling or otherwise. 

 

If you disagree with this interpretation of your request, please let me
know in writing as soon as possible.

The department received your request on 23 May 2022 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 22 June 2022.

The department's practice is to not disclose personal information of staff
of the department and other government authorities, where that information
is not publicly known or routinely disclosed (e.g. names of junior
officers and contact information). The names of senior officers will
generally be disclosed. In addition, duplicates and incomplete email
chains within the scope of the FOI request will be excluded.

Please note that, with some exceptions (such as personal information),
documents released under the FOI Act may later be published online on the
department's disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection....

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [2][AGD request email].

Yours sincerely

Euphrasia

FOI Officer

show quoted sections

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Marek

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/110

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access to documents.

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a decision in response to that request.

Please find attached your decision letter, including your review rights.

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141 6666 or by email to mailto:[AGD request email].

Yours sincerely
Joanna

Joanna Baker
Assistant Director
Freedom of Information and Privacy | Strategy and Governance Branch
Attorney-General's Department
T: 02 6141 6666 | E: [AGD request email]
OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters, the Attorney-Generals Department will only collect your personal information where it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, our functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act 1988. We may collect your name, email address and telephone number so that we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal information; or a complaint you have made or your request for access to, or correction of, personal information under the Privacy Act. If your request concerns your personal information, we will collect the minimum amount of evidence necessary to verify your identity. The handling of your personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and our privacy policy is available at http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/Privacystatem.... If you have an enquiry or complaint about your privacy, please contact the Privacy Contact Officer on 02 6141 2660 or via e-mail [email address]. If you have received this transmission in error please notify us immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of information in the e-mail or attachments.

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Marek please sign in and let everyone know.