Liberal Democratic Party

Michael Galbraith made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Electoral Commission

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Australian Electoral Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Michael Galbraith

Delivered

Dear Australian Electoral Commission,

This is an application to access documents held by the Australian Electoral Commission (“AEC”) pursuant to s15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth).

Please provide copies of documents that are held in relation to the application for registration of the Liberal Democratic Party under Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) (“Electoral Act”), specifically:

1. Documents held that relate to the consideration or determination by the AEC of matters arising under s129(1)(c)-(da) of the Electoral Act, and

2. Documents held by the AEC pursuant to the operation of s132(2)(b)(iv) of the Electoral Act, that is, any submission received by the AEC believing that the application for registration should be refused under s129(1)(c)-(da) (“Submissions”), and any replies received to the Submissions for the purposes of s132(5)(b) of the Electoral Act (“Replies”), and

3. Documents held by the AEC in relation to any considerations of the Submissions and Replies pursuant to s132(7)(d) of the Electoral Act.

Copies of the documents can be supplied via return email.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Galbraith

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Australian Electoral Commission

Thank you for contacting us.

This is an automatic response from the Australian Electoral Commission to confirm we have received your email.

For more information on enrolling to vote, federal elections or the AEC, visit www.aec.gov.au.

Please do not respond to this email.

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From: Owen Jones
Australian Electoral Commission


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For-Official-Use-Only

Dear Mr Galbraith

I refer to your email of 18 November 2014 9:25 PM  in which you request
(your ‘FOI Request’) access under the [1]Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the ‘FOI Act’) to documents relating to the application for registration
of the Liberal Democratic Party for registration as a party under the
[2]Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the ‘Electoral Act’).

I have taken your request to be for:

documents that are held in relation to the application for registration of
the Liberal Democratic Party under Part XI of the Commonwealth Electoral
Act 1918 (Cth) (“Electoral Act”), specifically:

1.       Documents held that relate to the consideration or determination
by the AEC of matters arising under s129(1)(c)-(da) of the Electoral Act,
and

2.       Documents held by the AEC pursuant to the operation of
s132(2)(b)(iv) of the Electoral Act, that is, any submission received by
the AEC believing that the application for registration should be refused
under s129(1)(c)-(da) (“Submissions”), and any replies received to the
Submissions for the purposes of s132(5)(b) of the Electoral Act
(“Replies”), and

3.       Documents held by the AEC in relation to any considerations of
the Submissions and Replies pursuant to s132(7)(d) of the Electoral Act.

We received your request on 18 November 2014 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 19 December 2014. The
period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties,
impose a charge or for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

You will be notified of any charges in relation to your request as soon as
possible, before we process any requested documents or impose a final
charge.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[3]http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/foi/foi...., subject to certain
exceptions. (For example, personal information will not be published where
this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address that you provided. Please
advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact. If
you have any questions, please contact me using the address details below
my signature block.

Regards

Owen Jones

Owen Jones | Senior Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal, Parliamentary and Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4528 | F: (02) 6293 7657

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[4]Australian Electoral Commission logo [5]Australian Electoral
Commission

This email may contain legal advice that is subject to legal professional
privilege. Care should be taken to avoid unintended waiver of that
privilege. The Australian Electoral Commission’s Chief Legal Officer
should be consulted prior to any decision to disclose the existence or
content of any advice contained in this email to a third party.

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From: Owen Jones
Australian Electoral Commission


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Attachment LS5200 Letter to M Galbraith notifying extension for consultation 20141218.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Galbraith

I refer to your request (‘FOI Request’) for access to documents relating
to the application for registration of the Liberal Democratic Party under
the [1]Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the ‘FOI Act’).

I enclose a scanned letter to you dated 18/12/2014 from Mr Paul Pirani,
Chief Legal Officer notifying you that he has extended the processing time
for your FOI Request to enable consultations to occur under sections 27
and 27A of the FOI Act.

Regards

Owen Jones

Owen Jones | Senior Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal, Parliamentary and Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4528 | F: (02) 6293 7657

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[2]Australian Electoral Commission logo [3]Australian Electoral
Commission

This email may contain legal advice that is subject to legal professional
privilege. Care should be taken to avoid unintended waiver of that
privilege. The Australian Electoral Commission’s Chief Legal Officer
should be consulted prior to any decision to disclose the existence or
content of any advice contained in this email to a third party.

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From: Owen Jones
Australian Electoral Commission


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Galbraith

I refer to your FOI Request in this matter and Mr Pirani’s letter of 18
December 2014.

I am writing to inform you that it is unlikely that a decision will be
made on your FOI Request by the due date, namely 19 January 2015. I
apologise for this.

The delay is an outcome of the effect of the Christmas – New Year period
on the availability of staff to progress the matter. We are working
towards making a decision by 23 January 2015.

Accordingly, I seek your agreement to an extension under section 15AA of
the [1]Freedom of Information Act 1982 of the processing time to 23
January 2015. If you agree to the extension, I will inform the Australian
Information Commissioner about your agreement to the extension.

Regards

Owen Jones

Owen Jones | Senior Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal, Parliamentary and Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4528 | F: (02) 6293 7657

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[2]Australian Electoral Commission logo [3]Australian Electoral
Commission

This email may contain legal advice that is subject to legal professional
privilege. Care should be taken to avoid unintended waiver of that
privilege. The Australian Electoral Commission’s Chief Legal Officer
should be consulted prior to any decision to disclose the existence or
content of any advice contained in this email to a third party.

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From: Michael Galbraith

Delivered

Dear Owen Jones,

The extended date is acceptable.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Michael Galbraith

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Vera Lystich left an annotation ()

Any reason why the earlier responses from the AEC were hidden?

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Hi Vera,

The first email was hidden at the request of the AEC as it contained an attachment intended for someone else, and the attachment contained that individual's personal information.

The subsequent 2 emails were the AEC attempting to recall the original email.

Hope that helps!

Ben
Right to Know Volunteer

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Vera Lystich left an annotation ()

I can't see Ben Fairless's annotation on this page from earlier today; can anyone advise what I am doing wrong so that I can't see it?

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Vera Lystich left an annotation ()

Oops, I can see it now. Perhaps it was because I wasn't logged in before?

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

This annotation is specifically in response to those of Vera Lystich shown above. My guess, from the sequence of comments, is that Ms Lystich has seen a comment in the margin of the "View requests" page to indicate that Ben Fairless had made an annotation to this, current, page, or else she has subscribed notifications about updates on this page and received an email indicating that there was a comment from Ben Fairless. So why was the annotation from Ben Fairless not visible despite it having been notified to people in some way?

The explanation is, I think, in the way that Right to Know updates its multiple web pages. My supposition is that Right to Know updates the pages relatively infrequently, and it does so by initially updating the home page of the site, followed by the "View requests" page. After that, emails are sent to notify people of annotations that have been made and responses that have been received. Only after that, and possibly quite some time later, are the individual request pages updated and the annotations and new responses made visible.

All this is supposition on my part but it is a reasonable guess given the kind of content-management system that is used on Right to Know. The problem could be solved reasonably easily, from a technical point of view. The rub, most likely, is money and time. Right to Know relies on volunteers to made changes to its computer code, and in any case, the code is primarily maintained by Alaveteli (http://www.alaveteli.org/). Volunteers have limited time, and the money to employ other people to make the changes might be better spent on something else.

Another solution is to schedule more frequent updates but if the organisation that hosts the Right to Know site is anything like most hosting services, then frequent updates are charged a premium, so again the likely bottleneck is likely to be money. All of which points to the fact that the only way Right to Know can survive is by the good will and monetary support of individuals who value its service. Make a donation today!!! (https://www.openaustraliafoundation.org....

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From: Owen Jones
Australian Electoral Commission


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Attachment LS5200 Letter to M Galbraith notifying decision with annexure 20140128.pdf
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For-Official-Use-Only

Dear Mr Galbraith

I refer to your request (‘FOI Request’) for access to documents relating
to the application for registration of the Liberal Democratic Party under
the [1]Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the ‘FOI Act’). I apologise for
not meeting the extended processing deadline to which you agreed. The
delay was an outcome of applying quality control processes to listing the
documents.

I enclose a scanned letter to you dated 28 January 2015 from Paul Pirani,
Chief Legal Officer, notifying you of his decision about your FOI Request.

Mr Pirani decided to release to you to Document Nos.  4, 8, 9, 12, 25, 26,
27, 34, 42, 82 and 93.

I attach the first trance of the released documents, namely Document Nos. 
4, 8, 9, 12, 25, 26, 27 and 34.

The remaining documents will follow in a separate email.

Regards

Owen Jones

Owen Jones | Senior Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal, Parliamentary and Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4528 | F: (02) 6293 7657

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[2]Australian Electoral Commission logo [3]Australian Electoral
Commission

This email may contain legal advice that is subject to legal professional
privilege. Care should be taken to avoid unintended waiver of that
privilege. The Australian Electoral Commission’s Chief Legal Officer
should be consulted prior to any decision to disclose the existence or
content of any advice contained in this email to a third party.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Owen Jones
Australian Electoral Commission


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Attachment LS5200 Released Document No.34.pdf
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Attachment LS5200 Released Document No.42.pdf
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Attachment LS5200 Released Document No.82.pdf
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Attachment LS5200 Released Document No.93.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Galbraith

I refer to your request (‘FOI Request’) for access to documents relating
to the application for registration of the Liberal Democratic Party under
the [1]Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the ‘FOI Act’). I apologise for
not meeting the extended processing deadline to which you agreed. The
delay was an outcome of applying quality control processes to listing the
documents. I also refer to my email to you dated 29 January 2015 11:30 AM.

As promised in my email of 29 January 2015 11:30 AM , I attach the second
trance of the released documents, namely Document Nos.  34, 42, 82 and 93.

Regards

Owen Jones

Owen Jones | Senior Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal, Parliamentary and Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4528 | F: (02) 6293 7657

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[2]Australian Electoral Commission logo [3]Australian Electoral
Commission

This email may contain legal advice that is subject to legal professional
privilege. Care should be taken to avoid unintended waiver of that
privilege. The Australian Electoral Commission’s Chief Legal Officer
should be consulted prior to any decision to disclose the existence or
content of any advice contained in this email to a third party.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Michael Galbraith

Delivered

Dear Owen Jones,

Thank you for your letter dated 27 January 2015, your reference LS5200.

I accept your offer to provide the documents listed in paragraph 8 of your letter, edited in accordance with s22 of the FOI Act.

The documents can be supplied by return email.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Galbraith

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