Joint Doorstop Interview - Darwin - 28 February 2014

knav2013 made this Freedom of Information request to Prime Minister

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Prime Minister of their handling of this request.

Dear Prime Minister,

I hereby request, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), a copy of the "original",[1] it's manifestations, [2] and change log [3] of the document [4] titled JOINT DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, DARWIN available at:

with the Prime Minister and Minister Scott Morrison, where Mr Morrison, uttered the words "operation sovereign murders".

Please send (post on this website) the document(s) in .doc (microsoft word 97/2000 version) or .pdf (adobe acrobat) version.

Note that the The Right to Know email address is valid for the purposes of s.15(2)(c) of the FOI Act.

I also request that all costs for the processing of this request be waived on the grounds that transparent and accurate records of these interviews between the prime minister, ministers and the media are important features of a free society, only to be derogated [5] where there are absolute exemptions. [6]

Yours faithfully,

kushra navartne

[1] - The verbatim, unaltered version.

[2] - edited versions, where certain words or phrases, pauses, ummms, ahhhs, false starts...have been edited out.

[3] - version and date-time stamp of change, including the change to electronic copy and website version.

[4] - published on the prime ministers website.

[5] - in terms of withholding information and censor.

[6] - whether providing access would cause embarrassment does not construe as a factor to prevent access.

FOI, Prime Minister

Dear Mr Navartne
Thank you for your request to the Prime Minister, which is being processed.

FOI action officer
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet p. +61 2 6271 5849 e. [Prime Minister request email] PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

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Piper , Ryan, Prime Minister

2 Attachments


Good morning Mr Navartne,


Please see attached correspondence in relation to your FOI request, with
apologies in the delay in transmitting this to you.


Should you have any queries, please contact us.




FOI Administrator

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. 02 6271 5849

e. [1][email address]

[2] | [3]

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600


[4]Description: Description: Description: FOI design element


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1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Peta Credlin,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information (FOI) reviews.

This is to request an internal review of your handling of request reference: FOI/PMO/2014/022. It is also an official complaint about the conduct of your (the officer) handling the request. Therefore, I would urge you to escalate it through to your complaints department.

The two parts are conjoined hence I will provide details together with this e-mail.

a) To begin with, the request was not responded to in a timely fashion. Your response was late. It took over 7 weeks from lodging the request to response by way of producing the documents.

b) The response was timed to coincide with media reports that put Mr Morrison in the spotlight [1][2][3][4][5] for screening asylum seekers at sea. The FOI request was used to show your support for Mr Morrison, thereby abusing the process and using the purposes of the FOI Act (the Act) perversely for personal gratification.[6]

c) The rights, powers and authority vested in you as Chief-Of-Staff (COS) that derive from the Prime Minister were abused, when as part of your response, you said "...Accordingly, I do not support your assertion" [that Mr Morrison uttered the words "operation sovereign murders"]. Not even the Prime Minister can support or defend an "assertion" (as you put it) in relation to the Act. The Act does not allow this. The FOI Act only enables you to produce documents, claim no documents were found, refuse, or partially refuse access to documents.[7]

It (the Act) does not allow, (in terms of rights and powers), anyone acting under the Prime Minister's authority (in making FOI decisions), to air personal opinions in any circumstance(s). You are perfectly entitled to air personal opinions using the media, including social media like facebook, twitter, reddit and the like, but airing your personal opinion in the same breathe as "no documents were found..." goes beyond the rights, authority and powers vested in you through the Act.

d) I am in no position to accept that this incident (join doorstop interview) only caused one e-mail between relevant personnel.

e) The accuracy of the transcript produced is deficient. It lacks authenticity. It is not a true copy of what was said by those involved in the interview.

Yours sincerely,

kushra navartne






[6] - I note that during the initial period of your tenure as COS you had attacked (not supported) Mr Morrison’s "media skills", which caused some friction between some senior figures and yourself (your role as COS). Your response to this request need to be contextualized together (in collaboration) with that particular incident. It is clear that you are attempting to clear up some of the mess left behind with what you now regard as a past mishap.

Indeed, it is somewhat out of context that the COS should reply to this request personally.

[7] - to (re)-emphasize this, the Commonwealth FOI Act is purely about (to do with) documents, not information. That is the status of the Act now. Your response was referring to information. You would be within your rights, powers and authority to defend and/or support the Prime Minister in media interviews and the like, but the FOI Act does not allow supporting/defending the position of the Prime Minister and as you say in your letter you were acting as an officer authorised to make an FOI decision on his behalf. This authority does not extend to making personal opinions and/or remarks as part of the FOI decision.

Vera Lystich left an annotation ()

Are you serious? I don't think Peta Credlin would be fazed by 'the complaints department'.

knav2013 left an annotation ()

I bet Peta Credlin's lost some of her venom now.