GLORICIDE

Adam Presnell made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

The request was refused by Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

From: Adam Presnell

Delivered

Dear Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority,

Please provide copies of all correspondence/notes/briefs etc with the Commonwealth Government, Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Biosecurity Queensland and Mark Steele regarding GLORICIDE.

Yours faithfully,

Adam Presnell

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From: FOI
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority


Attachment Letter 27 Feb 2014.pdf
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Sensitive:Legal

Dear Mr Presnell,

Please find attached response to your FOI inquiry.

FOI Case Officer
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) PO Box 6182 Kingston ACT 2604 www.apvma.gov.au | [email address]
F: +61 2 6210 4787 |

This email may contain confidential or legally privileged information. Contents of this email should not be communicated or distributed outside the APVMA without the express written permission of the General Counsel.

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From: Adam Presnell

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I was previously refused information relating to the provision of documents held by the APVMA in relation to GLORICIDE without proper consideration. I was told i have no Standing at Law with the APVMA by the Government.

The documentation may be large, but the contents of which will save lives and future health costs to the Government.

I wish to receive documents, emails, notes, decision notices etc relating to GLORICIDE to all Government Departments and to Mark Steele that the APVMA has.

The matter commenced in 2010, so all documents between todays date 27/2/2014 and 1/1/2010.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Presnell

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Adam, In case you aren't aware, the FOI act gives an Agency a right to refuse access if the request will "would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the agency from its other operations".

If you want at least some of the information you are seeking, perhaps you could refine your request? What information are you looking for specifically? Does it need to be anything within the last 4 years?

If they need to comb through 4 years of documents, and consult with a huge number of both active and defunct agencies, then I can understand why they would refuse the request.

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Adam Presnell left an annotation ()

Well thanks for the advice, but because GLORICIDE does not actually exist and is just a "Hypothetical", there is probably not much information then.

Extracting any information requires a diversion of resources, so i guess if the government deems the information to liable, that's the first cab of the rank isn't it?

If the governments got nothing to hide, then i am sure the documents would be fit for release.

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

HI Adam,

The key words are "substantially and unreasonably" when it comes to diversion of resources. As you can see on here, many requests are fulfiled (at least in part).

I think I read somewhere that the "guideline" is a 40 hour limit (that includes retreiving the documents, inspecting each page of each document, consultation with 3rd parties, and decision making time).

It's not a case of if the Government "has anything to hide" it's the case that someone needs to read through each and every page of every document referencing Gloricide in the last 4 years, consult with any 3rd parties mentioned, and then decide, in accordance with the Act, if the information is exempt or can be released.

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From: FOI
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority


Attachment 140321 APVMA Presnell Request Consultation Notice.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Presnell,

Please find attached a notice issued pursuant to section 24 of the FOI Act.

FOI Case Officer

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) PO Box 6182 Kingston ACT 2604 www.apvma.gov.au | [email address] | F: +61 2 6210 4787 |

UNCLASSIFIED
IMPORTANT:
This email message and any attached files may be protected information under “Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994” and may also contain information that is confidential, and/or subject to legal professional privilege.

If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, copy, disseminate, forward, retain or reproduce this email. If you received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by a reply email or contact APVMA immediately on +61-2-62104700 (8AM – 5PM Canberra Local time) and delete all copies of this email and any attachments.

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From: Adam Presnell

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank-you for getting back in touch with me. Your response was as anticipated, the APVMA refused before to disclose relevant information or to even answer a statutory "Statement of Reasons" on decisions the APVMA CEO made regarding GLORICIDE.

I am surprised that the APVMA has 5000+ pages on a chemical product that you claim does not even exist.

If i can't have access to all your information in relation to GLORICIDE, please provide all correspondence, advise, notes, briefings etc for the Office of the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister,DAFF (Comm)or the Minister, Commonwealth Ombudsman, Office of Chemical Safety, Department of Environment, Safework Australia and Barrister Mark Steele.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Presnell

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Primary: I think that you have not sufficiently limited your request. You must keep to mind that the Department is only required to give you five hours of time free. If they use five hours to search and try to work out exactly what you mean, then you will pay for everything else. And if everything else exceeds 35 hours (5 free hours + 35 paid hours) then it will be reasonable for the officer to refuse, in the way it has, to process your request.

Secondary, I think that you will make more progress if you do not rail against the department. It is better to work on the assumption that the officer is doing her very best to give you want you want. I understand that often it does not appear that way and that it might, in truth, not be that way. But the Act works on the assumption that officers will fulfill their duty; if you make a different assumption, the Act will simply not work for you. Also, in this case, the officer has said "I invite you to ...", which is a very reasonable and correct approach.

May I suggest that you give the officer a way to search for a limited number of documents. For example, if you did not hear of Gloricide until the year 2005, then you do not want the officer to search archives from 1901 in case Gloricide was mentioned in that time! Also, maybe Gloricide is no longer a subject for very much discussion, so maybe you can say "Please search only documents between January 2005 and February 2010. Another suggestion is to expand (!) your search by describing Gloricide in a manner that does not use a trade-name or invented name. Last, it has little disadvantage to limit the search to electronic records only. So, perhaps you could say:

"Thank you for your invitation to me to limit scope of my request. I request
(1) only electronic documents (e.g., emails or documents stored in the Department's document management system);
(2) only documents that include words 'gloricide', 'metsulfuron methyl', '2,4-D', '2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid', or the combination of words 'herbicide' and 'hormone'
(3) only documents created after January 1, 2010 and before January 1, 2013"

You must need to make changes to my example to have it correct (I did not know of Gloricide before I read your request!).

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From: FOI
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority


Attachment 140407 APVMA Presnell Decision letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Presnell,

Please find attached the decision in relation to your request.

FOI Officer

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) PO Box 6182 Kingston ACT 2604 www.apvma.gov.au | [email address]
P: +61 2 6210 4785 | F: +61 2 6210 4787 |

This email may contain confidential or legally privileged information. Contents of this email should not be communicated or distributed outside the APVMA without the express written permission of the General Counsel.

UNCLASSIFIED
IMPORTANT:
This email message and any attached files may be protected information under “Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994” and may also contain information that is confidential, and/or subject to legal professional privilege.

If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, copy, disseminate, forward, retain or reproduce this email. If you received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by a reply email or contact APVMA immediately on +61-2-62104700 (8AM – 5PM Canberra Local time) and delete all copies of this email and any attachments.

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This message has been hidden. This request has been hidden in line with our Moderation Policies. The information contained in the message could have been considered defamatory. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

This is not a good use of Right to Know. To be foreceful in my saying, it is disgraceful. It can give the Right to Know website a poor reputation even if Right to Know is only the communication passage.

The purpose of Right to Know is to simplify how to make a Freedom of Information request. It is not to help a user to insult public servants and call people murderers. The reply from the applicant adds nothing to the FOI request and it does not do the one action that is available to the applicant, which is to ask for a review. Instead, there is only a tirade. Also, possibly of most importance to understanding the Australian FOI Act, the tirade is factually wrong.

I explain. The department did refuse the application; but it did not refuse to release any information in the way that the applicant has claimed. If the department was refusing to release information because of the information, they would identify relevant documents and then the department would claim that the documents were "exempt" or "conditionally exempt" (maybe for a correct reason, maybe for incorrect reasons). That did not happen.

The thing that happened is the department made some reasonable claims that the request was not sufficiently tightened. The FOI officer made a nice invitation to the applicant about how to proceed. I did of myself make suggestions about how to improve the application (http://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/gl.... But the applicant did not do any of this and remained the application too broad. So, the department has refused to consider the application further, and uses section 24(1)(b) to do this. Also, the applicant has been explained his rights for review and his right to make a formal complaint. Last, the applicant can at any time improve his original request, make it with sensible restrictions in the way that the department has invited (and I did already suggest) and resubmit it.

There are times when departments make a refusal of applications for the wrong reasons or when the reasons can be questioned. In that case, there are methods for seeking a review. This was not a time but even so, the applicant could have asked for a review. Also there are times when a department can behave badly. This was not a time, but even so the applicant could complain. He does not do either of these things.

Please Mr Presnell, respect the purpose of the Right to Know website. When you abuse the purpose of the site, you make a problem for people who want to use the site for the purpose that it is created.

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

All,

The last email sent by the requestor has been hidden as it does not comply with our Guidelines. I have put a block on any further comments at this time.

Please see https://www.righttoknow.org.au/help/requ... and https://www.righttoknow.org.au/help/requ... for details on what we moderate and why. In this case, the email contained material which could be defamatory.

Thanks to Locutus Sum for your contribution, it is a message that I personally agree with.

Regards,

Ben
Right to Know Administrator

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