Jan 2018 - May 2018 CLU/CCS referrals

Verity Pane made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Veterans' Affairs

The request was successful.

From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

Under s 17 of the FOI Act, I apply for a one page summary document to be compiled from information held in your agency’s information systems, that sets out the number of DVA clients, by age group, that were referred to SPOC management by the Coordinated Care unit and Client Liaison Unit (to be listed separately) for the months of Jan 2018 to May 2018, by month.

As per the relevant ANAO report, the Client Liaison Unit (CLU) was established by DVA in Setptember 2007, and the Coordinated Care (CC) unit in January 2010, following criticisms made by various preceding reviews.

DVA implemented the Case Coordination program to case manage clients identified (Level 3 or Level 2) as being at increased risk of self‐harm or harm to others, who have multiple complex needs (although recent veterans who were at risk, such as Jesse Bird, were not managed by this unit). The Client Liaison Unit was established to case manage clients identified (Level 1) as vulnerable or having complex behaviours.

DVA breaks veterans into age groups referred to as ‘young veterans’ (64 and under) and ‘veterans’ (65 and over), based on historical retirement age. For the purpose of this FOI, we will stick to this age split.

Format of compiled document:

Unit....................FY15/16...................FY16/17..................FY17/18
CLU - >65
CLU - 65+
CC - >65
CC- 65+

The purpose of this FOI is to determine what DVA itself has determined are the numbers of vulnerable veterans, by age group, it has, by reference to the number of referrals it makes (which, as the Jesse Bird case reflects, will be a lower number than the actual number of vulnerable veterans DVA is communicating with, but gives some indicative evidence).

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Good afternoon Verity Pane,

FOI 24561 - Acknowledgement of FOI request

We acknowledge receipt of your FOI request received by the Department on 18 September 2018. A decision on your request will be due by 18 October 2018.

Kind Regards,
 
Information Law Team
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn DVA,

Yet again, without excuse, the corrupt DVA throw another FOI on the deemed refusal pile. It really is getting beyond the bad joke that is DVA ethics (or more to the point, the complete abscene of).

The history of this FOI is published here on Right to Know, https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/j...

This FOI, having been received by DVA on 18 September 2018, fell due for decision under s 15(5)(b) on Thursday 18 October 2018, which has not been made and is now a deemed refusal response.

DEEMED REFUSAL

The obligation on an agency or minister to notify a decision on the FOI request within the statutory timeframe commences upon receipt of a request that meets the formal requirements in ss 15(2),(2A).

Your agency has failed to do so, having failed to make any further update to this FOI on Right to Know since 19 September 2018. No third party consultation notice, practical refusal notice or charges notice or s 15AA or s 15AB extension has been delivered to the address for notices for this FOI (as evidenced by the lack of any published update on this Right to Know FOI page). Therefore there has been no stopping of the clock on s 15(5)(b).

Despite DVA acknowledging this FOI on 19 September 2018, and correctly affirming the due date of response as Thursday 18 October 2018, you have failed to provide a decision notice before the expiry of s 15(5)(b), nor given a reason for your non-compliance.

An agency or minister must, as soon as practicable, and no later than 30 days after receiving a request, take all reasonable steps to enable the applicant to be notified of a decision on the request (s 15(5)(b)). Section 15(5)(b) provides that the 30-day processing period commences on the day after the day the agency or minister is taken to have received a request that meets the formal requirements of s s15(2), (2A).

In the absence of any valid notification of a statutory ground that extended that processing period, thr statutory date for decision therefore expired on today on 18 October 2018, and the DVA breached s 15(5)(b).

A ‘deemed refusal’ occurs if the time for making a decision on a request for access to a document has expired and an applicant has not been given a notice of decision. If this occurs, the principal officer of the agency or the minister is taken to have personally made a decision refusing to give access to the document on the last day of the ‘initial decision’ period (s 15AC). A notice of the deemed decision is taken to have been given on the last day of the decision period.

The consequence of a deemed refusal is that an applicant may apply for IC review (s 54L(2)(a)). An applicant or third party can also apply for IC review of a deemed affirmation of a decision on internal review (ss 54L(2)(b), 54M(2)(b)). In addition, once the time has expired and there is a deemed decision, the agency or minister cannot impose a charge for access.

Where an access refusal decision is deemed to have been made before a substantive decision is made, the agency or minister continues to have an obligation to provide a statement of reasons on the FOI request. This obligation to provide a statement of reasons on the FOI request continues until any IC review of the deemed decision is finalised. The competing view — that a decision maker is functus officio if a deemed decision arises — would have the consequence that an applicant’s right of access under the FOI Act would be impeded through delay on an agency’s part and could only be revived by an application for IC review. This result would be contrary to the objectives and requirements of the FOI Act.

When will DVA stop playing it’s corrupt unethical games, and just get on with satisfying the requirements of the FOI Act, like it is supposed to. Your repeated bad faith behaviour is disgraceful.

Ms Pane

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

Given notice of deemed refusal due to your failure to adhere to the s 15(5)(b) deadline was given 5 days ago, and you have made no attempt to make contact, I seek confirmation as to whether or not you have an intent on rectifying.

Ms Verity Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Attachment FOI 24561 Charges notice.pdf
766K Download View as HTML


Good afternoon Verity Pane,

Thank you for the below email. Please be advised that a charges notice was issued to you on 28 September 2018. We have had a look over our records and note this was sent to [email address], being the email you have used for a different FOI matter; that was active at the same time.

There are numerous FOI requests the Department was/is managing from you and it appears the above email was inserted. We note that as it was active at the time and because you have responded to other emails we have sent to that email, you would have received the charges notice.

You have until 29 November 2018 to raise any matters you would like the Department to consider in relation to the charges notice for FOI 24561. Please find it attached again for your consideration.

Kind Regards,
 
Information Law Section
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Apologises Verity,

You have until 28 October to respond to the charges notice.

Kind Regards,

Information Law Section
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

While I know DVA’s Information Law area have a ever-ending set of dirty tricks and corrupt tactics, a charges notice that never was is a new one.

Where is this charges notice if you sent it then? You don’t even provide any evidence, just a vague waving of hands.

I’ve received no such correspondence from you, that you claim I have, and if I did, it would be published here, as each FOI on Right to Know has a unique email for notices.

I’ll think you’ll find at law, despite your arrogant high handed response, if you did send something to the wrong address, you haven’t served anything.

Stop playing your stupid games - there is no charge notice here, yet again you just ignored a valid FOI and forced a deemed refusal.

Again, are you going to rectify your deemed refusal or are you going to continue with your corrupt conduct?

Ms Pane

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW (Mr George [Last Name Redacted] - Mr Bad Faith himself)

George, these repugnantly corrupt games you play are disgraceful

You leave little choice but to IC Review, which I suspect is entirely your intention, because all you care about is causing as much delay as possible, to subvert the FOI Act responsibilities.

Your conduct is just outrageous.

Ms Pane

From: Verity Pane
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:02 pm
To: [email address]
Subject: IC Review - Deemed Refusal of DVA FOI 24561 - Jan - May 2018 CLU/CCS referrals

Attn OAIC,

You know, if you stopped giving DVA reasons to ignore FOI law, you wouldn’t be getting these IC Reviews in the first place. Really you are letting DVA dump its work on you, but hey these are the games you choose to play.

This one is slightly more unusual - DVA pulling out a new dirty trick. This time, backdated charges notices never sent, after the FOI goes deemed refusal (when no such charges can apply).

This history of this FOI is here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/j...

The FOI went deemed refusal 5 days ago. I chased up DVA on the day of deemed refusal. It ignored the correspondence. I chased up again today, and now it has attempted to put a backdated charges notice on the FOI, claiming it had been sent before (but if it had been, it would have been published on the FOI page).

Every time an FOI is made on Right to Know, the address for notices is generated, with a unique Right to Know email address (therefore not a personal email address, and I don’t correspond with DVA myself, so they wouldn’t even know my UoW email address).

There has been no correspondence from DVA about that FOI since 19 September 2018 (s 15(5)(a) acknowledgement) until today for this FOI, as evidenced by the Right to Know chronology of correspondence.

I have not received nor being advised by DVA of any charges notice until today, and I have checked my spam folder to confirm. Either DVA is outright lying or failed to give notice by deliberately sending to the wrong person or invalid address for notices.

The law is clear here, where an address for notices is given in respect of an FOI, notices must be given to that address, and it is well covered by Regs and the Guidelines that the consequences of s 15(5)(b) expiry deemed refusal is no charges can be levied.

DVA need to stop being little corrupt dickheads, and get on with it. This is just another case where the OAIC needs to say enough to DVA, to tell them stop making more unnecessary work for everyone, and tell DVA it needs to get on with the FOI and do it honestly.

Verity Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

To: INFORMATION.LAW,

You sent a blank email. If you meant to say something, you’ll need to repost

Ms Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Attachment image001.png
15K Download


Good morning Verity Pane,

 

FOI 24561 – Charges notice

 

Further to previous emails about this matter, can you please advise if you
would like more time to respond to the charges notice. As previously
advised, a response from you is due today. However, noting the issues
raised regarding the email addresses, we are willing to allow further time
for you to respond. Grateful if you could confirm as soon as practical as
to whether you do wish to have more time.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Information Law Section | Legal Services and General Counsel Branch

Legal Assurance and Governance Division

Department of Veterans’ Affairs
E: [1][email address] | W: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

I don’t appreciate your game playing.

You can’t levy charges on a deemed refusal.

As shown by this page no charges notice was sent to the address for notices before the FOI went to deemed refusal.

You cannot backdate or claim it got lost in the post or do any other corrupt thing.

The backdated charges notice is invalid and it unable to be enforced.

Your obligation to substitute the deemed refusal remains.

Stop the bad faith games

Ms Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Good afternoon Verity Pane,

FOI 24561

Further to your FOI request received by the Department on 18 September 2018, please be advised that in accordance with section 29(1)(g) of the FOI Act, your request is taken to have been withdrawn.

Kind Regards,

Information Law Section | Legal Services and General Counsel Branch
Legal Assurance and Governance Division
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
E: [email address] | W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

The FOI request has not been withdrawn and no amount of bad faith fraud by DVA changes this.

Your unlawful handling of this FOI has already been referred for IC Review, and given the clear breach, I will take it where required to deal with DVA’s and your outrageous bad faith conduct. Such corrupt behaviour from you highlights your appalling attitude and DVA’s rotten core.

Ms Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Please Note: FOI Request  ‘Referrals to Coordinated Care and Client
Liaison Units for FY15/16-FY17/18 by age group’ dated 8 August 2018
(registered No. FOI 23863) was identically worded to FOI Request ‘Jan 2018
- May 2018 CLU/CCS referrals’ dated 18 September 2018 (registered No. FOI
24561) except latter request included at the end of its first paragraph:
‘for the months of Jan 2018 to May 2018, by month’

 

The Information Law Team’s charges notice for FOI 24561, on 28 September
2018, was sent to the email address for FOI 23863 which can be viewed @
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/r...
(after its ‘closing’ emails of 19 September 2018)  

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

The FOI Act is explicit about the requirements for addresses for notices.

If the Department would no more accept an FOI start date as following the date an FOI application was incorrectly sent to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, due to the requirements of the Act, the same applies in reverse.

When this FOI was made, an explicit address for notices was provided. DVA, in a bad faith attempt to obscure another fraudulent charges assessment, intentionally sent it to another FOI already closed and no longer monitored, which was not the address for notices for this FOI.

No matter your fraud or deception, this FOI received a deemed response as DVA sent no correspondence to the address for notices for this FOI after its acknowledgement, and charges cannot be levied after an agency has let the FOI go deemed refusal.

DVA had every opportunity to give proper notice, but did not do so deliberately, to yet again cause further unlawful delay.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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Verity Pane left an annotation ()

IC Review applied for 23 October 2018

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From: [Last Name Redacted], Leia
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment FOI 24561 Decision and Statement of Reasons 20.9.19.pdf
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Attachment FOI 24561 Section 17 document.pdf
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Good evening Verity Pane,

 

Please find attached a decision and document released to you in relation
to FOI 24561. As noted within the decision, we would like to apologise for
the delay.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Leia (Position Number 62209913)

Acting Director

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Ms [Last Name Redacted],

As you are aware, this FOI is over a year old, from when it was first made.

Disappointingly, that extensive amount of time was overwhelmingly used by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to dispute both me first, then the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, that sending a charges notices to an address other than the other one given for notices under the Act, met the strict requirements of the Act for such notices.

This has always been an untenable position and it is regrettable that the the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was forced to order the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to issue an FOI decision in this matter, via a s 55E order to the Department to remedy the finding that the DVA devision maker had given inadequate reasons.

This is particularly so when the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner prefers to encourage agencies, rather than use coercive tools, to comply with their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.

It was a poor use of Commonwealth resources and funds, of both the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and that of the time of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, to unnecessarily be that combative and unwilling to heed the preliminary advice of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

And while I take your apology for the delay involved on the face of it, this FOI titled “Jan 2018 - May 2018 CLU/CCS referrals”, has received a response that is only for the Jan 2018 to April 2018 period, contrary to the scope of the FOI. This is rather petty and childish, even if you do have your nose out of joint about the OAIC forcing DVA to issue a decision in this matter.

I would like to think it won’t take another year and another coercive order from the OAIC to remedy, but your Department doesn’t seem to like to approach FOIs with good faith.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Pane

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From: [Last Name Redacted], Leia
Department of Veterans' Affairs

[Last Name Redacted], Leia would like to recall the message, "FOI 24561 - Decision and Statement of Reasons [SEC=OFFICIAL]".

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Good evening Verity,

Thank you for your reply. Omitting the data for May 2018 was a genuine oversight. I apologise for that and will arrange for the remaining data to be collated. Once received, I will re-issue a revised table to you.

Kind Regards,

Leia (Position Number 62209913)
Acting Director
Information Law Section
Legal Services and Audit Branch
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
T: 1800 555 254 | E: [email address]| W: www.dva.gov.au

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Ms [Last Name Redacted],

I acknowledge your response and note (without anything further implied) the reasons you have given for this occurring.

While the s 55E order issued by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs required a correct response today, after having already given an additional 30 days from the date of the order to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, I won’t begrudge the Department a few extra days (note, not weeks) to remedy.

I note the decision letter used the correct scope, but the table title in the s 17 document used the incorrect ‘Jan 2018 to April 2018’ one. Given the extra 30 days provided by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to produce this FOI, it is very unclear how this could have happened for the reasons you have gave (compared to a rush job, where normal legal checks might not have occurred due to extreme time pressure), but soonest mended the best for everyone I think Leia.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Pane

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From: INFORMATION.LAW
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Attachment image001.png
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Attachment FOI 24561 Section 17 document updated.pdf
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Good afternoon Verity Pane,

 

Further to our previous emails, please now find attached an updated
document, which includes data for the month of May 2018.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Leia (Position Number 62209913)

Acting Director

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

T: 1800 555 254 | E: [1][email address] | W: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear Ms [Last Name Redacted],

While it took longer than expected, I am glad that this long overdue FOI has finally received the response that at law it was always required to receive.

I would encourage the Department to exercise due care in future (if only for pride in professionalism sake), and to heed the guidance of the Information Commissioner in future (it was unnecessary and overly combative to force the Commissioner to make a s 55E order).

This information will be useful in understanding the extent of the number of vulnerable veterans the Department has obligations to.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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From: Verity Pane

Delivered

Dear [—REDACTED—],

In relation to this FOI, given it effectively works as a scoping study for a future like request, could LECR provide a fairly accurate estimate of the necessary time taken to produce one month of the requested data.

It would be good to get an idea of whether numbers are changing over time, or are remaining relatively the same, to understand what percentage of new intake is vulnerable (because nowhere does the Department provide any numbers or analysis on this particular split).

This would improve the efficiency of any future request, and gives some firm guidance to both myself (and anyone else interested), and processing staff.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

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