Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal awarded to Aspen Medical Pty Ltd personnel in Iraq 2017 to 2018

Trav S made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Currently waiting for a response from Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

In 1999, the Sovereign instituted an Australian medal for the purpose of according recognition to persons who have given humanitarian service in hazardous circumstances outside Australia.

However the Minister responsible for honours policy claims that this medal was instituted to recognise members of "not-for-profit" organisations. The Letters Patent and regulations governing the medal do not prescribe the term 'not-for-profit'.

The Minister also states he is unwilling to recommend changes to extend the medal to commercial contractors who are providing essential support services to humanitarian operations.

Contrary to the Ministers claims, the public record shows that the medal was awarded to commercial contractors to humanitarian operations in:

1) Iraq 2003 to 2005

2) Indian Ocean 2004 to 2005

3). West Africa 2014 to 2016

From 2017 to 2018, Aspen Medical Pty Ltd provided services at field hospitals in Iraq during the offensive against ISIS. This was on behalf of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund. This was the first time either organisation had contracted with a commercial company to deliver humanitarian healthcare assistance.

We're informed the medal may also have been awarded to the Aspen Medical personnel contracted to support the afore mentioned humanitarian operation in Iraq from 2017 to 2018.

If this is the case, we would like a copy of the briefing documents justifying the award of the medal to these commercial contractors.

Yours faithfully,

Trav S

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL

 

FOI/2020/171

 

Dear Mr Trav S

 

Thank you for your email dated 24 July 2020, received by the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) in the following terms:

 

In 1999, the Sovereign instituted an Australian medal for the purpose of
according recognition to persons who have given humanitarian service in
hazardous circumstances outside Australia.

 

However the Minister responsible for honours policy claims that this medal
was instituted to recognise members of "not-for-profit" organisations. The
Letters Patent and regulations governing the medal do not prescribe the
term 'not-for-profit'.

 

The Minister also states he is unwilling to recommend changes to extend
the medal to commercial contractors who are providing essential support
services to humanitarian operations.

 

Contrary to the Ministers claims, the public record shows that the medal
was awarded to commercial contractors to humanitarian operations in:

 

1) Iraq 2003 to 2005

 

2) Indian Ocean 2004 to 2005

 

3). West Africa 2014 to 2016

 

From 2017 to 2018, Aspen Medical Pty Ltd provided services at field
hospitals in Iraq during the offensive against ISIS. This was on behalf of
the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund. This
was the first time either organisation had contracted with a commercial
company to deliver humanitarian healthcare assistance.

 

We're informed the medal may also have been awarded to the Aspen Medical
personnel contracted to support the afore mentioned humanitarian operation
in Iraq from 2017 to 2018.

 

If this is the case, we would like a copy of the briefing documents
justifying the award of the medal to these commercial contractors.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 24 July 2020 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 24 August 2020. The period
of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise you if
there is any extension of time.

 

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is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
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We will write again when the Department has more information. Further
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the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

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