FOI Request Regarding Bupa Survey for CVC Program

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department of Veterans Affairs, FOI Officer;

It is requested that you provide the following information:

a. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program, was provided by DVA to Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd for Bupa to complete the CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?, and

b. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program, was provided by Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd, to complete the CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?

In considering The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) Sect 95A Guidelines for Australian Privacy Principles about health information and in this case for Veterans, it is my understanding, the Privacy Commissioner must approve for the purposes of the Australian Privacy Principles guidelines that are issued by the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council or a prescribed authority.

Approving guidelines for use and disclosure include the following under Sect 95A (2):

(2) For the purposes of paragraph 16B(3)(c), the Commissioner may, by notice in the Gazette, approve guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health information for the purposes of research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to public health or public safety.

considering the above Sect 95A (2), it is requested that you provide a copy of the following document if it exists:

a. A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette, that approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not exist?

Sect 95A also outlines the Approving guidelines for collection where Sect 95A (4) states:

(4) For the purposes of subparagraph 16B(2)(d)(iii), the Commissioner may, by notice in the Gazette, approve guidelines that relate to the collection of health information for the purposes of:

(a) research, or the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to public health or public safety; or

(b) the management, funding or monitoring of a health service.

In considering the Sect 95A (4) principles above, it is requested that you also provide a copy of the following if it exists:

a. A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette, that approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not exist?

Yours faithfully,

Brett Wilson

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

In addition to my FOI Request, the following information is also requested:

Considering The Privacy Act 1988, Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, and specifically Sect 95B (3) where: ''The agency must also ensure that the Commonwealth contract contains provisions to ensure that such an act or practice is not authorised by a subcontract.''

It is requested that you also provide a copy of the following information:

a. A copy of a legal instrument or a document that lawfully over rides Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd (Medallia) a third party and subcontractor.

Yours faithfully

Brett Wilson

Yours faithfully,

Brett Wilson

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

 

Acknowledgement of your Freedom of Information (FOI) Request – FOI 40556

 

I refer to your requests for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act).

 

Your requests were received in two separate emails by the Department on 1
February 2021 and was made in the following terms:

 

…It is requested that you provide the following information:

 

a. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by DVA to Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd for Bupa to complete the
CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?, and

 

b. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd,
to complete the CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?...

 

… it is requested that you provide a copy of the following document if it
exists:

 

a. A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette, that
approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health
information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not
exist?...

 

… it is requested that you also provide a copy of the following if it
exists:

 

a.       A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette,
that approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of
health information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not exist?

 

…It is requested that you also provide a copy of the following
information:

 

a. A copy of a legal instrument or a document that lawfully over rides
Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to
subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd
(Medallia) a third party and subcontractor…

 

I note that your requests will be processed as one single request, with
the reference FOI 40556.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 3 February 2021.

 

Removal of non-SES staff details for more efficient decision making

 

To allow for more efficient decision making, the Department will remove
all non-SES staff names and contact details from documents falling within
the scope of your request. This will not include those staff details that
have been provided to you, such as in correspondence sent by the staff
member to you.

The need to assess whether staff details should be withheld adds to the
decision making time. The Department is committed to processing as many
access requests as it can during the pandemic. This means ensuring
requests are specific and that they allow for more efficient decision
making.

 

On this basis, unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume that these
staff details are excluded from the scope of your request and they will be
redacted under section 22 of the FOI Act; as being irrelevant to your
request.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

Communication with you

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address which we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is
[1][FOI #7047 email].We will send all notices
and correspondence to this address. Please advise us if you wish
correspondence to be sent to another address or if your address changes.
If you do not advise us of changes to your address, correspondence and
notices will continue to be sent to the address specified above.

 

Contacting us about your FOI request

 

We will email again when the Department has more information. Should you
have any enquiries concerning this matter, please send an email to
[2][email address]

 

Further information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the
OAIC at [3]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Tayla (Position Number 62213294)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 555 254 | e [4][email address] | [5]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[6]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

 

show quoted sections

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

The Department are currently processing your request for the following
documents:

 

…It is requested that you provide the following information:

 

a. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by DVA to Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd for Bupa to complete the
CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?, and

 

b. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd,
to complete the CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?...

 

… it is requested that you provide a copy of the following document if it
exists:

 

a. A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette, that
approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health
information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not
exist?...

 

… it is requested that you also provide a copy of the following if it
exists:

 

a.       A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette,
that approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of
health information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not exist?

 

…It is requested that you also provide a copy of the following
information:

 

a. A copy of a legal instrument or a document that lawfully over rides
Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to
subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd
(Medallia) a third party and subcontractor…

 

Notification of Third-Party Business Consultation – Section 27 of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982

 

As your request covers documents which contain information concerning the
business, commercial or financial affairs of an organisation the
Department is required to consult with the organisation concerned (under
section 27 of the FOI Act) before making a decision on the release of
those documents.

 

For this reason the period for processing your request has been extended
by 30 days in order to allow our agency time to consult with that person
or organisation (section 15(6) of the FOI Act). The processing period for
your request will now end on 6 April 2021. While this is consistent with
the statutory deadline accommodated for under the FOI Act, the Department
will work towards issuing you a decision before this date if possible.

 

The consultation mechanism under section 27 applies when we believe the
organisation concerned may wish to contend that the requested documents
are exempt because their release would disclose trade secrets or
commercially valuable information or may adversely affect their business
or financial affairs. We will take into account any comments we receive
from the organisation but the final decision about whether to grant you
access to the documents you requested rests with this Department.

 

More information about exemptions under the FOI Act is available on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website:
[1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

We understand that the FOI process can be lengthy in instances where the
Department is required under the FOI Act to consult with third-parties, or
where other such extensions apply. We appreciate your patience and
cooperation with this process, and are grateful for your prompt responses
to our communications with your so far. I confirm that we are actioning
your requests with the Department in accordance with our obligations under
the FOI Act and that we are working towards being in a position to be able
to issue you with decisions for your relevant requests.

 

Further clarification in regards to your scope

 

While processing your request, the Information Law team has not been able
to identify a document or notice listed in the Australian Government
Gazette as identified by yourself in your original request.

 

We ask that you please provide any further clarification around this
document so that we can best assist you in obtaining the information you
are seeking access to.

 

Can you please provide a response as soon as possible, however no later
than Friday, 5 March 2021 that would be appreciated.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reply to
this email.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tayla C (Position Number 62213294)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 555 254 | e [2][email address] | [3]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[4]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

 

From: INFORMATION.LAW
Sent: Tuesday, 2 February 2021 11:36 AM
To: '[FOI #7047 email]'
Cc: INFORMATION.LAW
Subject: FOI 40556 - Acknowledgement of your request [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Mr Wilson

 

Acknowledgement of your Freedom of Information (FOI) Request – FOI 40556

 

I refer to your requests for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Cth) (FOI Act).

 

Your requests were received in two separate emails by the Department on 1
February 2021 and was made in the following terms:

 

…It is requested that you provide the following information:

 

a. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by DVA to Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd for Bupa to complete the
CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?, and

 

b. Copy of a document that outlines what personal and confidential medical
information about individual veterans participating in the CVC program,
was provided by Bupa Medical (GP) Pty Ltd to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd,
to complete the CVC Survey i.e. name, address etc?...

 

… it is requested that you provide a copy of the following document if it
exists:

 

a. A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette, that
approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of health
information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not
exist?...

 

… it is requested that you also provide a copy of the following if it
exists:

 

a.       A copy of the notice listed in the Australian Government Gazette,
that approves the guidelines that relate to the use and disclosure of
health information for Veterans in relation to the Bupa CVC Survey. Or
alternatively, provide information that the Gazette Notice does not exist?

 

…It is requested that you also provide a copy of the following
information:

 

a. A copy of a legal instrument or a document that lawfully over rides
Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to
subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd
(Medallia) a third party and subcontractor…

 

I note that your requests will be processed as one single request, with
the reference FOI 40556.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 3 March 2021.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

Communication with you

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address which we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is
[5][FOI #7047 email].We will send all notices
and correspondence to this address. Please advise us if you wish
correspondence to be sent to another address or if your address changes.
If you do not advise us of changes to your address, correspondence and
notices will continue to be sent to the address specified above.

 

Contacting us about your FOI request

 

We will email again when the Department has more information. Should you
have any enquiries concerning this matter, please send an email to
[6][email address]

 

Further information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the
OAIC at [7]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Tayla (Position Number 62213294)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 555 254 | e [8][email address] | [9]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[10]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

The information requested is to be sent to this same email address [5][FOI #7047 email]

You stated that ''processing your request, the Information Law team has not been able
to identify a document or notice listed in the Australian Government
Gazette as identified by yourself in your original request.''

If this is the case, then in your response contained with the other relevant info I have requested, please state the above information along with that i.e. this particular document does not exist.

Yours sincerely,

Brett Wilson

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

** Important message **

Thank you for contacting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

 

Your email has been received and will be actioned as soon as possible. We
will seek to address your request within any statutory timeframes that may
apply and seek extensions of time where needed. If statutory timeframes do
not apply, we will aim to address your email within 30 days or sooner
where possible. 

Kind regards,

Information Law Section
Department of Veterans' Affairs

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson

 

The Information Law team are continuing to process your request and
require further clarification from you in regards to the following part of
your request which seeks access to:

 

a. A copy of a legal instrument or a document that lawfully over rides
Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to
subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd
(Medallia) a third party and subcontractor…

 

We have identified a document that contains some information about
subcontracting. Can you please confirm if you are willing to revise your
scope, to be to access the content that relates to Bupa subcontracting?

 

Extension of time request (s15AA)

Further to the above, we seek your agreement to an extension of time under
section 15AA of the FOI Act to finalise your FOI request. At this stage,
an extension of 14 days would be very much appreciated. If agreed, this
was mean a decision on your request is due by 16 April 2021.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Tayla (Position Number 62213294)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 555 254 | e [1][email address] | [2]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[3]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Dear INFORMATION LAW, Tayla (Position Number 62213294)

You stated that, I have identified a document that contains some information about
subcontracting, and to confirm if I am willing to revise the scope of the request to gain access to the content that relates to Bupa subcontracting?

Regarding this FOI Request, I am seeking information that may affect the private, personal and medical information of veterans with regards to contracting procedures. Please consider the following:

The Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth SECTION 95B REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMONWEALTH CONTRACTS
95B(1) [Agency to take contractual measures]

It is my understanding, this section of the Privacy Act 1988 requires a government agency like (DVA) entering into or creating a Commonwealth contract, to take contractual measures to ensure that a contracted service provider for the contract does not do an act, or engage in a practice, that would breach an Australian Privacy Principles if done or engaged in by the agency.

The further define the scope of this request:

a. I request copy of a ''legal instrument or a document'' if it exists, that might allow DVA to over ride or ignore The Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth, Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa to subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd
(Medallia) a third party and subcontractor, where Sect 95B(3) of the Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth, directs that a Commonwealth contract contains provisions to ensure that such an act or practice is not authorised by a subcontract.

To re clarify sub para a. above, it is requested that you supply a copy of the following:
a .instrument,
b. document, or
c. source of power and authority made or given within and by the Commonwealth of Australia, that over rides the The Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing Bupa a primary contractor, to subcontract the (CVC) program Survey to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd (Medallia), a third party and subcontractor.

Again, it is my understanding, the Privacy Act 1988 requires an agency like DVA entering into a Commonwealth contract to take contractual measures to ensure that a contracted service provider for the contract does not do an act, or engage in a practice, that would breach an Australian Privacy Principle if done or engaged in by the agency.

Taking into account that 95B(3) [Provisions relating to authorisation of acts or practices]
The agency must also ensure that the Commonwealth contract contains provisions to ensure that such an act or practice is not authorised by a subcontract.

I do not require a copy of the commercial contract between the private companies Bupa and Medallia, which you will probably tell me is ''commercial in confidence.'' I request copy of a instrument created by the Parliament or any other document'' that DVA ha sin it possession that might provide it with the authority to over rule or ignore The Privacy Act 1988 Commonwealth, Sect 95B Requirements for Commonwealth contracts, allowing for Bupa a private company awarded with a Commonwealth contract, and the primary contractor to DVA and the Commonwealth, the authority to subcontract the (CVC) program Survey and veterans private or personal and medical information, to Medallia Australia Pty Ltd (Medallia) a third party subcontractor.

Re: Extension of time request (s15AA)

Further to the above, you are seeking my agreement to an extension of time under
section 15AA of the FOI Act, to finalise this FOI request. At this stage,
an extension of 14 days would be very much appreciated. If agreed, this
was mean a decision on your request is due by 16 April 2021.

I agree to your extension of time request being for a period of 14 days and for a decision due on 16 April 2021..

Yours sincerely,

Brett Wilson

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Wilson

 

FOI 40556 – Statement of Reasons and Release of Documents

 

Please find attached the statement of reasons and documents in relation to
your FOI request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tayla C (Position Number 62213294)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 555 254 | e [1][email address] | [2]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[3]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

show quoted sections