Emails between Federal Court staff and Kate McMullan in relation to Public Interest Disclosure investigation

The request was refused by Australian Public Service Commission.

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

According to articles published in the Australian on 8, 9 and 10 February, acting assistant commissioner Kate McMullan of the Australian Public Service Commission investigated recruitment practices of the Federal Court.

I would like access to all emails (including attachments to those emails) exchanged between staff members of the Federal Court and Kate McMullan in relation to the public interest disclosure investigation conducted by Ms McMullan.

Yours faithfully,

Louise

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

Acknowledgement

 

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

 

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.

 

Consultation and invitation to make a revised request

 

You have requested document as follows:

 

“I would like access to all emails (including attachments to those emails)
exchanged between staff members of the Federal Court and Kate McMullan in
relation to the public interest disclosure investigation conducted by Ms
McMullan.”

 

This request relates to some of the same documents as your previous
request (SHC22-4120), currently on internal review (SHC22-26859), where
you requested documents as follows:

 

“I would like access to all emails (including attachments to those emails)
exchanged between Sia Lagos and Kate McMullan in relation to the
investigation conducted by Ms McMullan.”

 

Due to your previous request, we invite you to revise your current request
as follows:

 

“I would like access to all emails (including attachments to those emails)
exchanged between staff members of the Federal Court (excluding Sia Lagos)
and Kate McMullan in relation to the public interest disclosure
investigation conducted by Ms McMullan.”

 

Revising your request can mean narrowing its scope to make it more
manageable, and avoid unreasonably diverting the Commission’s resources to
process the request where it has previously processed a similar request. 
If you do not make a revised request, the FOI decision maker may decide
that a practical refusal reason exists because it would substantially and
unreasonably divert the resources of the Commission to process the
request.

 

Consultation period

 

The consultation period is 14 days and starts on the day after you receive
this notice. Before the end of the consultation period, you must do one of
the following, in writing:

 

·         withdraw your request;

·         make a revised request; or

·         tell us that you do not wish to revise your request.

 

If you do not do one of the three things listed above during the
consultation period or you do not consult the Commission during this
period, your request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

 

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 FOI Officer,

There's nothing unclear about my request. It is worded the way it is for strategic reasons. My request is perfectly fine.

Would be so kind as to advise me under what section of the FOI Act the "consultation period" you claim to rely on has come into effect? If you're relying on s 24AB, you might want to read s 24AB(2) very carefully. If you're relying on s 15(3), you might want to read that section very carefully.

Yours sincerely,

Louise

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

We consider the scope of your recent FOI request includes one or more
documents containing either personal information or business information
about one or more third parties. In such circumstances, the Commission
consults with relevant third parties about the disclosure of the
information.

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is therefore extended by 30
days under subsection 15(6) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

6 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Louise

 

Further to the email below, we note that we should not have extended the
timeframe relying on the statutory extension provisions in the
circumstances.

 

As such, we have applied to the OAIC for an extension under section 15AC
of the FOI Act and acknowledged our error in that application. We are
aiming to process your request by 7 June 2022.

 

Kind 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.

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:35 PM
To: Louise <[FOI #8717 email]>
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: 26975 Extension of time [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

We consider the scope of your recent FOI request includes one or more
documents containing either personal information or business information
about one or more third parties. In such circumstances, the Commission
consults with relevant third parties about the disclosure of the
information.

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is therefore extended by 30
days under subsection 15(6) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

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: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]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.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Officer,

According to the headnote published on this 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."

Is that right?

If senior members of the "central agency within the Australian Public Service with a critical leadership role in contributing to the future capability and sustainability of the Service" are not committing indictable offences (e.g. Patrick Hetherington and Giorgina Strangio, who both, by Ms Strangio's tacit admissions, contravened section 65 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth)), or mismanaging PID investigations (e.g. Kate McMullan, who made unsupportable findings of law, such as it being legally permissible to broadband a role over more than one classification where one of the classifications was an SES level classification and, in the process, exculpated senior officials in the Federal Court Statutory Agency of contraventions of laws of the Commonwealth (in other words, stitched up the PID investigation to let the big wigs in the Federal Court get away with unlawful conduct)), then junior members of staff (i.e. nameless FOI officers) just make up FOI laws as they see fit.

Classic APSC professionalism. What brilliant leadership.

I just can't believe that the APSC is that which passes for the high water mark of the Australian Public Service. What a waste of taxpayer resources.

And to think that the Public Service Commissioner has the gall to tell members of the Australian Public Service that a single standard of conduct applies to all Australian Public Servants. Obviously, some public servants are more equal than others.

I'd tell you to keep up that "important evaluation role in working with agencies to ensure that the APS is performing effectively and consistently with the APS Values" ... but who are we kidding.

I dare you to accuse me, as you accused Marcus, of making "unsubstantiated allegations".

Yours very sincerely,

Louise

Dear FOI Officer,

So that staff at the OAIC know my views, I do agree to an extension of time until 7 June 2022.

The APSC has had ample time to deal with the FOI request and has misapplied the provisions of the FOI Act twice to extract more time to respond to FOI request than is lawfully permitted.

Yours sincerely,

Louise

NICOLAOU,Irene,

6 Attachments

Dear Louise

 

Please see attached decision relating to your FOI request to APSC (LEX
49).

 

Regards

 

[1][IMG]   Irene Nicolaou  |  Director

Investigations and Compliance
Freedom of information Regulatory
Group

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9942
4160  | [3][email address]
[4][IMG] | [5][IMG] | [6][IMG] |   [7]Subscribe to OAICnet
newsletter

 

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

6 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant,

 

Please see attached.

 

Kind 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.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Strangio,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Australian Public Service Commission's handling of my FOI request 'Emails between Federal Court staff and Kate McMullan in relation to Public Interest Disclosure investigation'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Louise

Australian Public Service Commission

 
 
  [1]Office of the Australian Information Reference Code:  
Commissioner ICR_10-50267738-2844
 

 
You submitted a form called: FOI Review_
 
Your form reference code is: ICR_10-50267738-2844

To check the progress of your submission and/or confirm it has been
received you should contact the agency that provides the form. These
details are displayed below.
 
 
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
[2]http://www.oaic.gov.au | [3]1300 363 992 | [4][email address]
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
 
 
Note: Please do not reply to this auto-generated email.
 

References

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2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
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Australian Public Service Commission

 
 
  [1]Office of the Australian Information Reference Code:  
Commissioner ICR_10-50267738-2844
 

 
You submitted a form called: FOI Review_
 
Your form reference code is: ICR_10-50267738-2844

To check the progress of your submission and/or confirm it has been
received you should contact the agency that provides the form. These
details are displayed below.
 
 
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
[2]http://www.oaic.gov.au | [3]1300 363 992 | [4][email address]
GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001
 
 
Note: Please do not reply to this auto-generated email.
 

References

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4. mailto:[email address]

Australian Public Service Commission

1 Attachment

Our reference: MR22/01261

 

By email: [FOI #8717 email]

Receipt of your IC review application  

Thank you for your application for Information Commissioner Review (IC
review).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is
considering your application.

If you wish to advise the OAIC of any changes to your circumstances,
including your contact details or if your FOI request has been resolved,
please write to [email address] and quote MR22/01261.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

 

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.