Government reports

John Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Education

The request was partially successful.

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of Education,

I request a copy of any reports, or powerpoint presentations on-file at the Department, associated with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company with regard to Commonwealth tender ID: CN3478122. This was a $105k tender completed by McKinsey between the contract period 7 Dec 2017 to 28 Feb 2018, on behalf of the Dept of Education.

Given the recent, significant public interest in McKinsey due to their controversial activities in anti democratic or corrupt governments such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia (1MDB), I request that the FOIA request fees be waived.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

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From: DESE - FOI

You have contacted the Freedom of Information Team at the Commonwealth
Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department).  If your
email relates to an FOI application made under the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 (Cth), the department will respond as soon as possible.

 

This email address is only for applications for documents under the FOI
Act.  The department is unable to respond to non-FOI related enquiries
sent to this email address, and accordingly, emails sent to this email
address that are not FOI related will not be responded to or forwarded. If
you have a non-FOI related enquiry for the department, you can contact the
department by using the online enquiry
form<[1]https://www.education.gov.au/feedback-an...>.

 

Regards,

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.education.gov.au/feedback-an...

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From: DESE - FOI

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Smith

 

We refer to your email below seeking access under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) to the following documents:

                                        
                                              

"any reports, or powerpoint presentations on-file at the Department,
associated with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company with regard to
Commonwealth tender ID: CN3478122"

 

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has received your
request and will process it in accordance with the FOI Act.

 

To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we will treat the names, signatures,
position titles and contact details of staff members as irrelevant in
accordance with section 22 of the FOI Act unless you advise us otherwise
by 19 March 2020.

 

If you have any questions about your request, please contact us via email
at [1][email address]  

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

 

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Link to this

From: DESE - FOI

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Smith

 

I refer to your FOI request (below) seeking access under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth) to the following:

 

“a copy of any reports, or powerpoint presentations on-file at the
Department, associated with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company with
regard to Commonwealth tender ID: CN3478122.”

 

Initial searches indicate that there are a large number of documents
falling within the scope of your request. Given the broad nature of your
request, the department invites you to narrow its scope. For example, you
may wish to consider revising the scope of your request to seek access to
a copy of the final powerpoint presentation, excluding draft slides.

 

The department notes that, even if the scope of your request is narrowed,
we may need to contact you again for further clarification, including by
way of a consultation process under section 24AB of the FOI Act.

 

We would appreciate your response to this email by close of business
Tuesday, 24 March 2020. If you do not reply by this time we will proceed
to process your request.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me via email at [email address] if you
have any questions.

 

Kind regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear DESE - FOI,

I agree to a narrowing of the request to only include final presentations and final reports.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: DESE - FOI

You have contacted the Freedom of Information Team at the Commonwealth
Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department).  If your
email relates to an FOI application made under the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 (Cth), the department will respond as soon as possible.

 

This email address is only for applications for documents under the FOI
Act.  The department is unable to respond to non-FOI related enquiries
sent to this email address, and accordingly, emails sent to this email
address that are not FOI related will not be responded to or forwarded. If
you have a non-FOI related enquiry for the department, you can contact the
department by using the online enquiry
form<[1]https://www.education.gov.au/feedback-an...>.

 

Regards,

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.education.gov.au/feedback-an...

Link to this

From: DESE - FOI


Attachment Charge notice.pdf
798K Download View as HTML


OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear DESE - FOI,

I contend that the charge should not be imposed. I contend this for the following reasons:
1. There is significant public interest among a section of the public, regarding the government's use of external consultancies in the fulfilment of its work. This can evidenced in the following example links:
- A paper by the University of Melbourne (accessible here: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/...
- a 2019 article by the Sydney Morning Herald:
(accessible here: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/... )
- a 2018 article by ABC News (accessible here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-17/c...

Given this public interest, an FOI request that seeks to uncover the details of a private consultancy arrangement with a department can be fairly argued to be within the public interest, or at least to be of interest of a section of the public.

2. Financial hardship
Payment of the charge would cause financial hardship, as I am currently inbetween work due to the societal shutdown from the COVID epidemic. As such I am presently a government payment recipient, and an eligible holder of a government low income health card. If more concrete evidence of my financial situation is necessay to provide, I am happy to do so. However I would much prefer that the access fee be waived on the first ground above; which it seems to me has significant merit.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: DESE - FOI

OFFICIAL
Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your correspondence. With respect to your submission regarding financial hardship, we ask that you provide evidence of this, for example, a copy of the low income health card you have mentioned (noting the information below).

Importantly, we note that you are using the Right to Know website, which makes all correspondence publicly available on its website. Given this, you may wish to use a personal or business email address to provide us a copy of the relevant evidence.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Education, Skills and Employment

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear DESE - FOI,

I would prefer that the waiver be made on the public interest ground first.

If the waiver is unable to be made on that basis, I may then be willing to share personal information to substantiate the second ground. As you'd understand, I would rather not share information regarding my personal financial circumstances unless absolutely necessary.

Please let me know whether or not the fee will be waived here on the basis of the first ground; the significant public interest in McKinsey's activities & the use of private consultants in the public service.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: DESE - FOI

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Smith

 

Thank you for your correspondence. In considering whether the charge
should be reduced or not imposed, the department must take into account
two matters which are prescribed in subsection 29(5) of the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), namely:

 

(a) whether the payment of the charge, or part of it, would cause
financial hardship to the applicant, or to a person on whose behalf the
application was made; and

(b) whether the giving of access to the document in question is in the
general public interest or in the interest of a substantial section of the
public.

 

It is not open to the department to consider your public interest
arguments first and then only consider whether the charge would cause you
financial hardship if it decides not to reduce or not impose the charge
based on your public interest arguments.  As such, it is the department’s
intention to proceed to make its decision on your charge contention based
on all the material and evidence available to the relevant decision-maker.

 

With respect to the financial hardship ground, the department ordinarily
requires an applicant relying on this ground to provide some evidence of
financial hardship and this is consistent with  guidance issued by the
Office of the Information Commissioner (see [1]para 4.77).

 

As such, we invite you to provide any additional information you wish the
department to consider to support your contention that the charge be
reduced or not imposed by no later than 14 April 2020 to assist the
department make its decision within the statutory timeframe. As previously
mentioned, as the Right to Know website makes all correspondence publicly
available on its website, if you elect to provide us a copy of any
evidence containing your personal information, you may wish to use a
personal or business email address to do so.

 

Without pre-empting the decision maker’s decision, if you do not provide
additional information to support your financial hardship arguments at
this stage and the decision maker decides not to reduce or not impose the
charge, you will be given a further opportunity to provide such evidence
in the event that you seek an internal review of that decision.

 

Please contact us at [2][email address] if you have any questions.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear DESE - FOI,

In that case, please proceed immediately with an evaluation of my request on the public interest ground. If denied, I'll attempt to substantiate my financial hardship grounds in a seperate FOI request instead, to be made in the future.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: DESE - FOI


Attachment Decision on charge.pdf
805K Download View as HTML


OFFICIAL

 

Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your FOI request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

Link to this

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear DESE - FOI,

Thank you, I withdraw the request.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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