Employee information provided to ballot agents in Enterprise Agreement bargaining

James Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Bureau of Meteorology

The request was successful.

From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear Bureau of Meteorology,

This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

I request the document(s) which describe the data provided to the external organisation(s) responsible for conducting the ballot(s) for all Enterprise Agreements put to staff for a vote.

The scope of this request is limited only to those ballots undertaken for enterprise agreements which were proposed to take effect after 30 June 2014.

The document shall describe the data given to the ballot agent. For example, employee name, employee identification number, employee email address, etc. I exclude the data for specific employees here; I am only after the 'meta-data'.

If it assists you to treat this as an administrative request for information I encourage you to do so. Otherwise, please consider this a formal FOI request.

Yours faithfully,

James Smith

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From: FOI
Bureau of Meteorology

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your email.

The Bureau of Meteorology has conducted one vote for an Enterprise Agreement (EA)which was to take effect after 30 June 2014. That vote was conducted internally by the Bureau, therefore no information was provided to an external organisation.

In light of this information, could you please confirm whether you agree to withdraw your FOI request?

Kind regards,
FOI & Privacy Officer
Bureau of Meteorology
[email address]

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From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Officer

Thank you for your email.

In view of the information you've provided, I confirm a revision of scope to this FOI request. I seek internal documents which describe:

- how the vote was conducted
- how the vote was scrutinised, and
- what information was provided to Bureau management with respect to any summaries of the voting outcome by the characteristics of employees such as age, APS level, location, business area, etc.

Yours sincerely,

James Smith

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From: FOI
Bureau of Meteorology

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your email.

I have lodged your email as a new FOI request, reference FOI30/5984.

The Bureau can release information directly to you in response to your questions , if you will agree to withdraw the formal FOI request. Please confirm whether you would like to go ahead with this option.

Kind regards,
FOI & Privacy Officer
Bureau of Meteorology
[BOM request email]

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From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI officer

Thank you for your email.

Yes, please provide the information. Once I've received this I will withdraw the FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

James Smith

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From: FOI
Bureau of Meteorology

Dear Mr Smith

 

Thank you for your email of 20 February 2017, in which you sought access
to documents in relation to the 2016 vote on the proposed Enterprise
Agreement at the Bureau. In particular, you sought access to the following
information:

internal documents which describe:

- how the vote was conducted

- how the vote was scrutinised, and

- what information was provided to Bureau management with respect to any
summaries of the voting outcome by the characteristics of employees such
as age, APS level, location, business area, etc.

 

Thank you for agreeing to withdraw your formal FOI request, in exchange
for the Bureau providing you with information in relation to your queries.
Responses to your queries are set out below:

·         The Bureau's Information Systems & Services (ISS) Division set
up an internal, web-based voting tool.

·         An email with voting instructions was sent to each employee's
internal Bureau email address, unless employees were on leave or had
requested a postal vote.

·         For employees on leave or out of the office during the voting
period, voting instructions were emailed to a personal email address or
sent via post, as agreed with the employee.

·         The voting tool enabled employees to vote more than once during
the voting period, with only the final vote being counted

·         The voting tool recorded total Yes votes, total No votes and
total number of people who had voted.

·         The voting tool recorded instances of employees voting more than
once and recorded the number of their votes, but did not record whether
their vote was a Yes vote or a No vote.

·         During the voting period, the voting tool recorded a cumulative
total of the number of employees who had voted – this number was
accessible by the ISS officer. It did not identify the number of Yes or No
votes. Nor did it identify any information about the employee
(name/location/APS level/work area/location etc).

·         An employee was nominated as the Returning Officer

·         Two scrutineers were provided by the CPSU and Professionals
Australia

·         The postal votes were opened by the Returning Officer in the
presence of the scrutineers, once the voting period had closed.

·         The total numbers of Yes and No votes were viewed by the
Returning Officer, scrutineers and ISS officer simultaneously on one
desktop machine, at the end of the voting period.

·         No other information on the voting was accessible or made
available to Bureau management or anyone else at the Bureau.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

FOI & Privacy Officer

Bureau of Meteorology

 

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