Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal - seeking "relevant stakeholder' correspondence and input

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

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear PM&C,

This a request for information under the FOI Act.

On 14 May 2020, PM&C’s Honours Department wrote to the Minister for honours policy staff stating:

"In 2010, PM&C was approached by AusAID to consider a request (s47F name redacted) for these contractors to be considered for the award of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. The honours team assessed the information and sought input from relevant stakeholders in forming a view for recommendation to the Minister for honours policy".

Regarding PM&C's statement, please provide the following documents for review:

1. the information the honours team assessed. Please don’t include the HOSM application submitted by (s47F name redacted).

2. PM&C's correspondence seeking the input from the “relevant stakeholders”.

3. the correspondence from the “relevant stakeholders” in which they provide their input to PM&C, and the input they provided.

4. PM&C’s correspondence to the commercial organisation under consideration seeking their input, and the input provided.

5. PM&C’s correspondence, occurring between April 2012 and 25 March 2013, to the Minister responsible for honours policy regarding their recommendations to the Minister.

In April 2012 PM&C informed AusAID they would deliver a document titled “amendment of humanitarian overseas service medal (Iraq) declaration 2004 to extend to specified commercial contractors” to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister [PSPM] Senator Jan McLucas.

Regarding that document, please provide the following for review:

6. PM&C’s correspondence to PSPM McLucas

7. PSPM McLucas's correspondence regarding the document.

8. PM&C’s correspondence to AusAID regarding the document.

On 14 May 2020, PM&C’s Honours Department wrote to the Minister for honours policy’s staff and stated:

“( s47F name redacted ) was furnished with internal communications between AusAID and PM&C dating from 2012. Unfortunately, this communication pre-dated final input from stakeholders and the final Ministerial decision by the then responsible Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP”.

Regarding PM&C's statement, please provide the following documents for review:

9. The correspondence providing the “final input from stakeholders”, and their input.

Thanks for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Trav S

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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OFFICIAL

 

FOI/2020/211

 

Dear Trav S

 

Thank you for your email dated 9 September 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:

 

On 14 May 2020, PM&C’s Honours Department wrote to the Minister for
honours policy staff stating:

 

"In 2010, PM&C was approached by AusAID to consider a request (s47F name
redacted) for these contractors to be considered for the award of the
Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. The honours team assessed the
information and sought input from relevant stakeholders in forming a view
for recommendation to the Minister for honours policy".

 

Regarding PM&C's statement, please provide the following documents for
review:

 

1. the information the honours team assessed. Please don’t include the
HOSM application submitted by (s47F name redacted).

 

2. PM&C's correspondence seeking the input from the “relevant
stakeholders”.

 

3. the correspondence from the “relevant stakeholders” in which they
provide their input to PM&C, and the input they provided.

 

4. PM&C’s correspondence to the commercial organisation under
consideration seeking their input, and the input provided.

 

5. PM&C’s correspondence, occurring between April 2012 and 25 March 2013,
to the Minister responsible for honours policy regarding their
recommendations to the Minister.

 

In April 2012 PM&C informed AusAID they would deliver a document titled
“amendment of humanitarian overseas service medal (Iraq) declaration 2004
to extend to specified commercial contractors” to the Parliamentary
Secretary to the Prime Minister [PSPM] Senator Jan McLucas.

 

Regarding that document, please provide the following for review:

 

6. PM&C’s correspondence to PSPM McLucas

 

7. PSPM McLucas's correspondence regarding the document.

 

8. PM&C’s correspondence to AusAID regarding the document.

 

On 14 May 2020, PM&C’s Honours Department wrote to the Minister for
honours policy’s staff and stated:

 

“( s47F name redacted ) was furnished with internal communications between
AusAID and PM&C dating from 2012. Unfortunately, this communication
pre-dated final input from stakeholders and the final Ministerial decision
by the then responsible Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP”.

 

Regarding PM&C's statement, please provide the following documents for
review:

 

9. The correspondence providing the “final input from stakeholders”, and
their input.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

Your request was received on 9 September 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 9 October 2020. The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise
you if there is any extension of time.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [2][DPMC request email].  If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

·         any person’s signature;

·         the names and contact details of Australian Public Service
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);

·         the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;

·         the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level
below Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [3][DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information.  Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [5][DPMC request email] | w. [6]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[8]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[9]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [10]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

The Department acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country
throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, waters and
community. We pay our respect to their Cultures, Country and Elders both
past and present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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Attachment FOI 2020 211 PRCN.pdf
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OFFICIAL

 

Dear Trav S

 

Please find attached a practical refusal reason consultation notice in
relation to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [1][DPMC request email] | w. [2]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[6]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[7]Title: Reconcilation branding and acknowledgment: The Department
acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia
and their continuing connections to the land, waters and community. We pay
respect to their Cultures, Country and Elders both past and present. -
Description: Reconcilation branding and acknowledgment: The Department
acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia
and their continuing connections to the land, waters and community. We pay
respect to their Cultures, Country and Elders both past and present.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DPMC request email]
2. http://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
5. https://twitter.com/indigenous_gov
6. https://www.facebook.com/indigenous.gov....

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From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear FOI

Thank you for your notice of intention, please accept this amended request.

On 14 May 2020, PM&C stated:

"In 2010, PM&C was approached by AusAID to consider a request (s47F name redacted) for these contractors to be considered for the award of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. The honours team assessed the information and sought input from relevant stakeholders in forming a view for recommendation to the Minister for honours policy".

1. Please provide a copy of PM&C’s correspondence to the relevant stakeholders seeking their input.

“(s47F name redacted) was furnished with internal communications between AusAID and PM&C dating from 2012. Unfortunately, this communications pre-dated final input from stakeholders and the final Ministerial decision by the then responsible Minister."

2. Please provide a copy of the 'communications between AusAID and PM&C dating from 2012'.

3. Please provide a copy of the final input.

Yours sincerely,

Trav S

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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Attachment FOI 2020 211 Final Decision.pdf
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OFFICIAL

 

Dear Trav S

 

Please find attached the decision on your request to the Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

e. [1][DPMC request email] | w. [2]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[6]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

[7]Title: Reconcilation branding and acknowledgment: The Department
acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia
and their continuing connections to the land, waters and community. We pay
respect to their Cultures, Country and Elders both past and present. -
Description: Reconcilation branding and acknowledgment: The Department
acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia
and their continuing connections to the land, waters and community. We pay
respect to their Cultures, Country and Elders both past and present.

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DPMC request email]
2. http://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...
5. https://twitter.com/indigenous_gov
6. https://www.facebook.com/indigenous.gov....

Link to this

From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear FOI,

I'd like to ask for an internal review.

I reduced the scope of my FOI request and offered reasonable advice to help reduce the burden of the request following consultation.

As noted, the SES public service officer who produced the advice in Paragraph 6.b. appears to be the same person who rejected this FOI request, which seeks to assess the veracity of their advice. It appears reasonable that they should be able to produce such evidence when called to do so.

It is unreasonable to propose a SES public service officer would need to review 20,100 pages of documents to find the documents informing their advice to a Minister 6 years ago. If such documents existed it appears reasonable they should be able to locate them without such an extensive search. The public should be able to expect an SES officer charged with administering the HOSM for around a decade to be able to produce such basic documents if they existed.

The Department recalled the folders/files specifically pertaining to the HOSM from National Archives towards the end of 2019. In September 2020, the National Archives confirmed these documents had not yet been returned. The public is as such unable to access this information until the Department returns them to National Archives.

As noted, the advice in Paragraph 6.b. is unsubstantiated. It conflicts with evidence available at the time the advice was formed. It unreasonably claims to know the opinion of the general public and implies this opinion would be universally critical. It claims to know the opinion of other medal holders but is unable to provide a single document evidencing this claim. It appears to conflate the HOSM's legislative purpose with the types of organisation it is principally awarded to.

The decision-maker has consistently failed to provide documentary evidence with which to substantiate their advice in Paragraph 6.b. However they are ideally placed to access such documents if they existed. They have requisite HOSM specific knowledge to know where such documents should be.

It appears reasonable to believe the advice in Paragraph 6.b. is based on the decision-maker's unsubstantiated opinion unless the documentary evidence can be produced.

Yours sincerely

Trav S

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From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Please disregard the previous reasonings cited in my request for an IR, they pertain to a related but separate request for information.

I will correct my request later this evening.

Yours sincerely,

Trav S

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From: Trav S

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Cancel this request please.

Yours sincerely,

Trav S

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From: Trav S

Delivered

thank you

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet only: