Enterprise bargaining - what information is provided to department about employees' votes?

James Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was partially successful.

From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

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

I request all documents wherein the outcome of any enterprise bargaining ballots were communicated to the department by the entity who undertook the ballots.

This shall include the YES/NO vote amounts or percentages as well as any additional information related to the vote. For example, a breakdown of the vote by employee location, or APS level.

The scope of this request covers any such documents that were received as a result of EBA offers made to staff under:

Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015
or
Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy 2014

I thank you in advance for processing this request.

Yours faithfully,

James Smith

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


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UNCLASSIFIED

FOI17/042; 17/2748

 

3 March 2017

 

Mr James Smith    

By email: [FOI #3151 email]

 

Dear Mr Smith

Freedom of Information Request FOI17/042

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act) for access to documents concerning the outcome of the enterprise
bargaining ballot. I have taken your request to be for:

‘All documents wherein the outcome of any enterprise bargaining ballots
were communicated to the department by the entity who undertook the
ballots.

 

This shall include the YES/NO vote amounts or percentages as well as any
additional information related to the vote. For example, a breakdown of
the vote by employee location, or APS level.

 

The scope of this request covers any such documents that were received as
a result of EBA offers made to staff under:

 

Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015

or

Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy 2014.’

 

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

We received your request on 26 February 2017 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 30 March 2017. The
period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties or
for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

It is the usual practice of the department to not disclose the names and
contact details of junior officers of the department and other government
agencies, where that personal information is contained in documents within
the scope of a request.  The names and contact details of senior officers
will generally be disclosed.  We will take it that you agree to the
removal of junior officers’ personal information unless you advise that
you would like us to consider releasing that information as part of the
documents you have requested.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...,
subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not
be published where this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if
you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

If you have any questions, please contact [2][AGD request email].

Yours sincerely

 

FOI- Legal Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery
Division

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
(: (02) 6141 6666  *: [3][AGD request email]

[4]2586 Indigenous signature block NEW

 

 

 

 

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Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General s 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].

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2. file:///C:\Users\brownfr\AppData\Local\Hewlett-Packard\HP%20TRIM\TEMP\HPTRIM.5568\[AGD request email]
3. file:///tmp/[AGD request email]

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment FOI 7042 Signed Decision Letter.pdf
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Attachment FOI17 042 Schedule of documents.pdf
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Attachment Document 1 for release.pdf
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Attachment Document 2 for release.pdf
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Attachment Document 3 for release.pdf
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Attachment Document 4 for release.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Smith   

 

Please find attached the signed decision letter, schedule of documents and
documents released in respect of your Freedom of Information request FOI
17/042.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery
Division

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
(: (02) 6141 6666  *: [1][AGD request email]

[2]2586 Indigenous signature block NEW

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s 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].

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References

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1. file:///tmp/[AGD request email]

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From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Officer

Thank you for your email.

I request a review of your decision to redact the breakdown of votes and I outline my reasons below.

In your decision letter dated 30 March 2017 you write "due to the small number of departmental personnel located in a particular geographical location, the anonymity of employees could be compromised." This is at odds with Cirrena's 'Breakdown of Result' report dated 14 December 2016, which states "please note that to protect voter anonymity, only groups over 10 people and that have a yes or no vote will be shown." It is clear that 'the anonymity of employees' is not compromised by you releasing the breakdowns. That is, the votes of individual employees, or any distinct group of employees, cannot be ascertained from the published breakdowns. If it were true that anonymity could be compromised, all AGD employees would, quite rightfully, have reason to cast significant doubt over AGD's conduct in arranging for a breakdown to be provided after each ballot, presumably without their knowledge or consent.

You also mention that their is the possibility that the release of information could potentially adversely impact the culture of the department. I reject this argument and say it it is simply convenient for AGD to withhold this information. If anything will impact the culture of the department, it will be the decision of AGD management to collect breakdowns of results in the first instance. I also say your employees have a right to know what the breakdowns are, as do all other bargaining representatives.

I look forward to hearing the outcome of your review.

Yours sincerely,

James Smith

Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
FOI17/042; 17/2899

Dear Mr Smith

Freedom of Information Request FOI17/042

I refer to your application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for internal review of the decision of the Attorney-General’s Department, notified to you on 30 March 2017.

We received your application on 31 March 2017 and the 30 day statutory period for completing the internal review commenced from the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 30 April 2017.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be published online on our disclosure log http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection..., subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not be published where this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact. If you have any questions, please contact me at [AGD request email].

Yours sincerely

FOI- Legal Officer
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery Division Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
(: (02) 6141 6666 *: [AGD request email]

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment FOI17042 Internal review decision letter.pdf
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Attachment Document 2 internal review.pdf
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Attachment Document 4 internal review.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith

 

Please find attached the Department’s decision and documents in relation
to your internal review of decision FOI17/042.

 

Kind Regards

 

FOI Contact Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery
Division

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
*: [1][AGD request email]

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s 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].

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Link to this

From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment FOI17066 Charges notice.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Smith  

Freedom of Information Request FOI 17/066

 

Attached is a notice of assessment of charges for your Freedom of
Information request.

 

You have 30 days to respond in writing to this notice. We therefore expect
a response from you by 31 April 2017. If you fail to write to us by 31
April 2017 your request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

 

If, after reading the attached notice, you have any questions please
contact [1][AGD request email],

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery

Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (02) 6141 6666  E: [2][AGD request email]

 

 

show quoted sections

Privacy Collection Notice

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-General’s 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].

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References

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1. mailto:[AGD request email]
2. mailto:[AGD request email]

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From: James Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,

In your email dated 1 May 2017 you state:

"You have 30 days to respond in writing to this notice. We therefore expect a response from you by 31 April 2017. If you fail to write to us by 31 April 2017 your request will be taken to have been withdrawn."

It appears you have given an incorrect date, can you please confirm?

Yours sincerely,

James Smith

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mr Smith

I apologise for the administrative error in the department's email of 1 May 2017. The correct date should have read 31 May 2017, accordingly If you fail to write to us by 31 May 2017 your request will be taken to have been withdrawn.

Yours sincerely

FOI Officer
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Strategy and Delivery Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
T: +61 (02) 6141 6666 E: [AGD request email]

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Verity Pane left an annotation ()

On 26 Feb 2017 Applicant made a FOI request to AGD (FOI 17/042), of which decision was issued 30 March 2017. The Applicant sought internal review on 31 March 2017, which AGD gave its internal review decision 1 May 2017.

Since that time, it appears parts of a different FOI request (FOI 17/066) have been attached to this FOI (rather than in the correct FOI) - notably a Charges notice (which while covering similar grounds, clearly belongs to another FOI made by the Applicant). It would therefore appear, despite entries after the 1 May 2017, the original FOI this entry relates to is completed. AGD should make sure they are responding to the right RtK FOI email, before sending.

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