Federal Court CEO Sia Lagos warned on job rule sidestep by her General Counsel

The request was refused by Attorney-General's Department.

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

According to an article published in the Australian (Federal Court boss warned on job rule sidestep), acting assistant commissioner Kate McMullan investigated the recruitment practices of the Federal Court. The article notes that the acting assistant commissioner did not substantiate allegations of impropriety in the recruitment processes which resulted in the appointment of eight registrars because there had been “a role review process that had resulted in certain positions being found suitable for either a Legal 2 or (SES1) position, depending on the relative complexity and workload” of the roles.

Nonetheless, the General Counsel of the Federal Court had reservations about the way in which people were being offered independent flexibility arrangements to “in effect, get around the [SES] cap.” The General Counsel of the Federal Court was also concerned about the broadbanding of duties across SES classifications. As the journalists suggest, it is explicitly against the law to classify a single role over more than one classification on the basis of “relative complexity and workload” (in other words, a broadband - see Public Service Classifications Rules 2000, r 9(5)).

The General Counsel’s concerns appear to be justified, which begs the question how it was that the acting assistant commissioner of the APSC was not troubled by the broadbanding of duties across SES classifications. It seems that the acting assistant commissioner messed up the investigation by making findings that are not supported by the law.

I would like to understand how an acting assistant commissioner of the Australian Public Service Commission could have reached the conclusions that she did.

Under the FOI Act, I request access to all documents held by the Attorney-General's department that show that it is possible to broadband a group of duties over an SES classification even though the Public Service Classification Rules forbid such an act.

Please send all documents to the right to know website by email.

Yours faithfully,

Velan

FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Velan

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/038

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents.

Your request is for:

…access to all documents held by the Attorney-General's department that
show that it is possible to broadband a group of duties over an SES
classification even though the Public Service Classification Rules forbid
such an act.

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

The department received your request on 26 February 2022 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 28 March
2022. However, the period of 30 days may be extended if the department
needs to consult third parties or for other reasons. We will advise you if
this happens.

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Please note that, with some exceptions (such as personal information),
documents released under the FOI Act may later be published online on the
department's disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection....

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [2][AGD request email].

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mila

FOI Case Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy
Attorney-General’s Department

T: (02) 6141 6666 | E: [3][AGD request email]

[4]AG1

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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
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we can contact you about your request under the Freedom of Information Act
for access to documents or access to, or correction of, personal
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2. mailto:[AGD request email]
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FOI Requests, Attorney-General's Department

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Velan

Freedom of Information Request FOI22/038

I refer to your request to the Attorney-General's Department (the
department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) for access
to documents. 

The purpose of this email is to provide you with a decision in response to
that request. 

Please find attached your decision letter, including your review rights.

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on (02) 6141
6666 or by email to [1][AGD request email].

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mila

FOI Case Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy
Attorney-General’s Department

T: (02) 6141 6666 | E: [2][AGD request email]

[3]AG1

 

 

OFFICIAL

When you make a request for documents or an inquiry about privacy matters,
the Attorney-Generals 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].
If you have received this transmission in error please notify us
immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any
attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute
waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of
information in the e-mail or attachments.

References

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