Final report - McKinsey

John Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

The request was refused by Department of Human Services.

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I wish to obtain a copy of the final report provided to Services Australia by McKinsey, in association with the tender CN ID: CN3495657-A1

I also with to obtain a copy of the powerpoint used by McKinsey to pitch for this contract through the open tender.

(as can be seen here: https://www.tenders.gov.au/Cn/Show/49b5e...

Given the sizeable amount of money assicated with this contract (over $1M AUD), I ask that the public interest in transparency of this matter be recognised, and that as a consequence the ordinarily applicable FOI fee be waived in this instance.

Please limit your search to documents that are stored as attachments within the email addresses of SES employees that were associated with this contract tender; and a reasonable search of the department's electronic records system.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM





Thank you for making a freedom of information (FOI) request to Services
Australia.

The FOI team is operating with reduced capacity due to Services
Australia’s response to COVID-19.

The following is intended for people who are making an FOI request only

If your request is not essential at this time, please wait and lodge it
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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I agree to the granting of additional time to fulfil this request.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 54082 Charges and consultation Letter.pdf
207K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request made under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Kind regards

 

Kaitlin

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

Email: [1][email address]

 

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

 

 

 

 

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I dispute this charge on two grounds.

The first ground is that it would cause undue financial hardship. I can provide evidence for this if the department insists upon these fees.

The second ground is that usually applicable fees should be waived in this instance, as this FOI request is within the public interest. $2.6M is a large amount of money for a consulting contract; so there is a public interest in having full transparency regarding this transaction.

McKinsey's activities as a consultant has also been frequently scruitinised in the news media, adding weight to the public interest in transparency regarding this transaction. Finally, trasparency regarding the management practices of Services Australia is particularly in the public interest of late; given the public's reliance on Services Australia's systems during this pandemic.

Lastly, I dispute the amount that has been calculated for this charge. It should not take longer than 5 hours to search, consult, and evaluate the document. Certainly it should take far less than 12 hours, and so I dispute the $99 charge.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM

Dear Mr Smith

 

Thank you for your email dated 28 May 2020.

 

By way of background, on 27 May 2020 Services Australia issued you with a
preliminary assessment of charges notice (the Notice) under section 29(1)
of the Freedom of Information 1982 (FOI Act) (our reference: LEX 54082).
The Notice stated you were liable to pay a charge in relation to the
processing of the request for documents made under the FOI Act. You
requested access to:

‘I wish to obtain a copy of the final report provided to Services
Australia by McKinsey, in association with the tender CN ID: CN3495657-A1

 

I also wish to obtain a copy of the powerpoint used by McKinsey to pitch
for this contract through the open tender.’

In your email of 28 May 2020, you requested that Services Australia waive
the charges set out in the Notice on public interest grounds. You also
requested Services Australia waive the charges on grounds of financial
hardship. 

 

To allow Services Australia’s decision-maker to appropriately reconsider
the issuing of charges in light of your email, please provide evidence of
your financial hardship.

 

As the reconsideration of the preliminary estimate of charges decision is
due 27 June 2020, we request you forward your response to
[1][email address] by 18 June 2020, quoting
reference LEX 54082. 

 

Sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I have sent through evidence to substantiate financial hardship. Please waive the fee both in reliance on this evidence, AND on the public interest reasons I have raised.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 54082 Communication Charges Reconsideration 29 June 2020.pdf
280K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please see attached correspondence in relation to the Freedom of
Information request you made to Services Australia.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division

Services Australia

Email: [1][email address]

 

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

 

 

 

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I note the following in your correspondence;

" In addition, Services Australia is obliged to comply with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (the CPRs). The CPRs govern how Commonwealth authorities procure goods and services to ensure the Government and taxpayers obtain value for money. Among other obligations, the CPRs require Commonwealth authorities (including Services Australia) to report contracts on AusTender. AusTender publication requirements set out in the CPRs are in place to ensure the public has sufficient oversight of government spending. Services Australia has complied with its publication requirements under the CPRs by reporting the relevant contract on AusTender.

In light of the above, I consider that the release of the requested document would not further inform the public debate on this subject. Nor would it provide any scrutiny about the services that have been provided in accordance with the terms of the contract. "

I disagree with the last two sentences especially. The documents regarding this particular $2.6M contract are out of reach for the public to scrutinize, despite the contract being sizeable and from a notable firm. These documents are not available to the media without fees; and the public should be able to scrutinize sizeable transactions without resorting to lobbying parliament.

I'm surprised that the fees have not been adjusted at all with respect to the public interest, and the only slight adjustment despite my low income card. I plan to appeal this disappointing decision to the OAIC.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM

Dear Mr Smith

I refer to your email below in relation to the Freedom of Information request and Charges Reconsideration you made to Services Australia (Ref: LEX54082).

Please confirm if are seeking internal review of the Charges Reconsideration decision forwarded to you on 29 June 2020. We will be grateful for your response by close of business 7 July 2020.

Sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch | Legal Services Division
Services Australia

Email: [email address]
 
This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete this email.

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Thats a good idea. I seek internal review of the charges reconsideration decision. Perhaps that will be preferable to approaching the OAIC at this early stage.

Why is the deadline 7 July 2020? I thought the time limit for internal reviews was 30 days.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX56238 LEX 54082 Registration Acknowledgement.pdf
181K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please see correspondence about your Internal Review attached.

 

Kind regards

 

Authorised FOI Officer

FOI Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Team

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 56238 Decision Internal Review of Reconsideration of Charges LEX 54082.pdf
433K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find a letter about your internal review request attached.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Authorised FOI Officer

FOI Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Team

 

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

You have merely listed out the public interest factors, without actually engaging with any of those factors in your reasons. You haven't at all addressed the issue that there is a public interest in the transparency of government outsourcing through large consulting contracts.

Totally unreasonable. I'll be taking this to the OAIC.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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