Does the law apply equally to all people including the ATO?

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

The request was refused by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

From: John Andrews

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

Attention Scott Morrison, In summary a tax return was returned to the tax office accompanied by an affidavit supporting a claim for the entire deduction the tax office had collected over the previous financial year and for this amount to be returned on the basis of the substantive points made in the accompanying affidavit. Initially, the tax office did not respond but when they did they weren't talking in terms of an affidavit, but a letter, which apparently was regarded as a complaint, because their reply came from the complaints department, whom we had never contacted. The response indicated that the claim would not be processed but no actual reason that addressed the subject matter was given, thus the affidavit was ignored, in fact they made a point of saying that they would not respond, and as a bonus conveyed a threat of legal action should we persist in seeking a reply. We responded by saying that either the department must either process the claim or give a good reason why the claim was rejected, to which there was no reply, until we made a complaint with the Ombudsmen's office. Lawful practice insists that an unrebutted affidavit becomes a judgement in law and so a commercial judgement in our favour occurred as a consequence of their refusal to respond to it. However neither the ATO nor the Ombudsman appear not to observe lawful process and we suddenly received notice that we were to be the subject of an audit, and were to be charged 50% of the tax we had claimed as a penalty.

We responded by informing the ATO that we would respond to their demands for receipts if they could provide proof of their claims of authority. We requested they provide proof that they were a bona fide authority who had the power to demand anything of us given the High Court case, Moeliker vs. Chapman seemed to indicate that the ATO was an illegitimate organisation. Furthermore we asked for proof that the paying of income tax is a compulsory requirement and then asked for proof that a valid contract existed between this foreign, privately owned corporation and ourselves. The main point made in the original affidavit and repeated at this juncture is that we asked for proof that any affairs involving the commercial, fictional entity identified as the uppercase JANE DOE who has never worked, drawn an income or has never driven a car could create any liability for the private, sentient living breathing woman identified as Jane Doe.

It is up to the person making a claim for the payment of money or demand for performance to provide proof to back up their claim but the ATO has also ignored this requirement of the law to send their penalty paperwork to us in fragrant disregard of the law, so my question to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer is do they, like the Ombudsman claim that no one is above the law, while permitting various government departments to actually ignore the rule of law and of due process, not to mention the actual maxims of law that have guided its application over hundreds of years?

Yours faithfully,

John Andrews

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL
 
Dear Mr Andrews
 
I refer to your correspondence of 21 November 2019 sent to the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) (as set out below) –
our reference FOI/2019/362.
 
I am writing to advise you of further information in relation to the
processing of your request.
 
Validity
 
Section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) requires that
a request for access meets certain requirements. These requirements are:
-              It must be in writing;
-              It must state it is a request for the purposes of the FOI
Act;
-              It must provide such information as is reasonably necessary
to enable the agency to identify the document/s.
 
This email is to advise that your request, in its current form, does not
constitute a valid request under the FOI Act. This is because we are
unable to identify the specific documents you are seeking based on the
information you have provided.
 
If you would like assistance to make a valid FOI request, please feel free
to contact the Department by return email at [email address].
 
The Department will take no further action in relation to this enquiry.
 
Regards,
 
FOI Adviser
FOI and Privacy | Legal Policy Branch
Government Division
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
p. +61 2 6271 5849
e. [1][DPMC request email] |
[2]www.dpmc.gov.au
PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600
 
[3][IMG] [4][IMG] [5][IMG]   [6][IMG]
 
 
 

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From: John Andrews

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's handling of my FOI request 'Does the law apply equally to all people including the ATO?'.

It is only a simple request for information on the Prime Minister's stance and attitude about government departments operating with fraudulent methods but I believe you probably know that.

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,

John Andrews

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Andrews,

 

I refer to your correspondence of 25 November 2019 sent to the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) (as set out below) –
our reference FOI/2019/362.

 

I am writing to advise you of further information in relation to your
correspondence.

 

Request for Internal Review

 

As previously advised by the Department on 25 November 2019 (attached),
your original request dated 21 November 2019 did not constitute a valid
FOI request for the purposes of the FOI Act. This is because it did not
meet certain requirements under the FOI Act to enable its processing by
the Department. For example, it did not provide such information as is
reasonably necessary to enable the Department to identify the document/s
that you are seeking to access.

 

Accordingly, the Department informed you of the requirements for making a
valid FOI request and offered to provide further assistance to you.

 

In relation to your request for an internal review of the Department’s
‘handling of your FOI request’, the Department kindly draws your attention
to Part VI of the FOI Act which outlines, among other things, the conduct
of internal reviews under the FOI Act.. Briefly, the FOI Act provides for
internal review of an agency FOI decision in two circumstances:

·         an FOI applicant who is refused access in accordance with a
request under the FOI Act may request the agency to review its original
decision and make a fresh decision; the internal review can extend to a
decision to refuse access either wholly or in part, or to a decision on
FOI charges

·         a third party who is affected by a decision to grant access to a
document in accordance with an applicant’s request may request the agency
to review its decision to grant access

Further information on internal reviews can be found in Part 9 of the FOI
Guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner, available here:
[1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

 

Neither of the above two circumstances apply in your case as the
Department has not issued you with a decision under the FOI Act. Rather,
the Department has indicated your request does not meet the validity
requirements of section 15 of that Act for processing to commence.

 

If you would like assistance to make a valid FOI request, please feel free
to contact the Department by return email at [2][email address].
Alternatively, given the subject matter of your correspondence appears to
relate to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), you may wish to direct
your enquiry to the ATO.

 

The Department will take no further action in relation to this matter.

 

Regards,

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. [3][DPMC request email] |

[4]www.dpmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet only: