Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

BACKGROUND:

In the Hawkesbury Gazette on 22 August 2017 it reported in part, “Among former serving members and their families, Veterans’ Affairs claims data shows 986 hospitalisations for intentional self-harm from 2000 to 2016 involving 789 people.”

INFORMATION I AM SEEKING:

I require information for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for:

: The number of former serving member hospitalisations for intentional self-harm by year, and

: The total number of veterans involved in each year.

Yours faithfully,

Alan ASHMORE

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ashmore,

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the department) has received your
request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act). I note you have requested access to the following:

              I require information for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021
for:

The number of former serving member hospitalisations for intentional
self-harm by year, and The total number of veterans involved in each year

 

Your request was received by the department on 11 April 2022 and the 30
day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day
after that date. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to
consult third parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We
will advise you if this happens.

 

Charges

 

The department will advise you if a charge is payable to process your
request and the amount of any such charge as soon as practicable. No
charge is payable for providing a person with their own personal
information.

 

Your address

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is
[1][FOI #8728 email] . Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.

 

Disclosure log

 

Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.

 

Request to treat certain material as out of scope or irrelevant to the
request

 

To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we intend to treat the following
information as out of scope or irrelevant to your request:

1.       The surnames, signatures, position titles and direct contact
details of non-SES Commonwealth employees and contractors, including
clinical staff working for Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling;

2.       The surnames, signatures, position titles and direct contact
details of serving members of the Australian Defence Force; and

3.       The signatures of third party individuals.

If you agree to the department treating these details as irrelevant,
please advise by 18 April 2022.

 

Further assistance

 

If you have any questions about your request, please email
[2][DVA request email]

 

Yours sincerely

Aaron (position number 62214261)

Registration Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 838 372 | e [3][email address] |
[4]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[5]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #8728 email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Dear INFORMATION.ACCESS,

My FOI request is all about NUMBERS and was NEVER about names of APS staff. Therefore I agree to your request.

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE

Verity Pane left an annotation ()

That's just DVA template text Alan - it is the default acknowledgment response DVA generate.

It shouldn't be part of the template at all as the IC has said agencies aren't supposed to assume consent for s 22 redactions, but DVA continue to do so nonetheless.

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ashmore,

 

Freedom of Information Request: LEX 49030

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 11 April 2022
and was made in the following terms:

 

…In the Hawkesbury Gazette on 22 August 2017 it reported in part, “Among
former serving members and their families, Veterans’ Affairs claims data
shows 986 hospitalisations for intentional self-harm from 2000 to 2016
involving 789 people.”

INFORMATION I AM SEEKING: I require information for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
and 2021 for:
The number of former serving member hospitalisations for intentional
self-harm by year, and The total number of veterans involved in each year…

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is  11 May 2022.

 

Request for extension of time

 

The Department has undertaken a search as per the scope of your request. 
During this search it was identified an additional search of another
business area would be required. In the meantime, we are also waiting on
the return of a search minute. To undertake this additional search, I am
seeking your agreement to a 30 day extension of time under [1]section 15AA
of the FOI Act.

 

If you are agreeable, this would make the new decision date for your
request 10 June 2022.

 

Please advise no later than 3pm on Tuesday 10 May 2022 if you agree to the
extension of time.

 

If I do not receive a response from you, I may proceed to requesting an
extension of time under section 15AB of the FOI Act from the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner on the basis that your request is
complex. 

 

Further information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at
[2]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Kind regards

 

Jodie-Lee Gerrey (position number 62210588)

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Client Contact – Client Access & Rehabilitation

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01D29344.C02E1370

Postal: GPO Box 9998   BRISBANE  QLD  4001

Ph: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) 

Website: [4]www.dva.gov.au

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Dear INFORMATION.ACCESS,

I reply to your 9 May 2022 request for an extension of time for my Freedom of Information Request: LEX 49030.

To say I am disappointed at DVA not being able to meet a simple 30-day timeline to complete this FOI request is an understatement.

I find it astounding that such an important measurement of the number of DVA clients who have attempted suicide would have been information that was regularly supplied to Senior Management and therefore readily available.

As an act of good faith I reluctantly agree to an extension of 30 days but please don’t come back to me in 30 days with a refusal as it will be viewed as a deliberate delaying tactic that will result in a Ministerial.

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE

Verity Pane left an annotation ()

Hi Alan,

On 9 May you gave DVA an extension of 30 days, which ceased on 8 June.

As no further posts have occurred since it appears your FOI has received a deemed refusal on 8 June.

Did you receive anything from DVA or get any notice of a further extension of time offline?

Alan ASHMORE left an annotation ()

Hi Verity,
It is my understanding the date is 10 June. If I haven't received the requested information by the COB today, information that would be part of their regular reporting to DVA's most senior management, you can be assured that I will be taking multiple decisive action.

Thanks for your input and concern.

Thanks again,

ALAN

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Ashmore,

 

Thank you for your recent Information Access Request.

 

Please refer to the attached documentation. I can be contacted via email
([email address]) if I can be of further assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

Jodie (position number 62210588)

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Client Contact – Client Access & Rehabilitation

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D29344.C02E1370

Postal: GPO Box 9998   BRISBANE  QLD  4001

Ph: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) 

Website: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.dva.gov.au/