Meetings with Department of Human Services

Justin Warren made this Freedom of Information request to Minister for Social Services

Minister for Social Services did not have the information requested.

From: Justin Warren

Delivered

Dear Minister for Social Services,

If possible, please treat this as an informal or administrative request. Otherwise, please treat this as a formal request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

I request the following documents:

1. Diary extracts listing the date, time, and duration of any and all meetings held with the Department of Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and 31 Dec 2016, inclusive.
2. Meeting agendas for any and all meetings held with the Department for Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and 31 Dec 2016, inclusive.
3. Minutes, and other notes for any and all meetings held with the Department for Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and 31 Dec 2016, inclusive.

Yours faithfully,

Justin Warren

Link to this

From: FOI
Minister for Social Services

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) inbox of the
Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS). Your email, should it be
a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act
1982, will be actioned by the appropriate team member.  

If your email is for any other enquiry you should direct it to
[1][email address]. It will not be actioned from this inbox.

GENERAL INFORMATION

If you are seeking general information about FOI, you may find the
following websites useful:

[2]http://www.dss.gov.au/contact/freedom-of...

[3]http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

PROCESS

An FOI officer has received your email and it will be actioned
accordingly. In the case of a valid FOI request, you can expect us to
provide an acknowledgment that the request has been received as soon as
practicable, but in any case no later than 14 days after today.

REQUESTS OUTSIDE OFFICE HOURS

Please note that if this message has been received outside our business
hours of 9am to 5pm (Eastern Standard Time), Monday to Friday or on
a public holiday, your request will be actioned on the next business day.

Kind regards,

DSS FOI Team
Email: [4][Minister for Social Services request email] 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.dss.gov.au/contact/freedom-of...
3. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...
4. mailto:[Minister for Social Services request email]

Link to this

From: MOGER, Paul
Minister for Social Services


Attachment 20170314 FOI acknowledgement Justin Warren.pdf
423K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Warren,

 

Please find attached formal acknowledgement of your 27 February 2017 FOI
request to the Office of the Hon. Christian Porter.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul

 

PAUL MOGER | ADVISOR

 

Office of the Hon. Christian Porter MP

Minister for Social Services

 

MG 51, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone +61 2 6277 7560 | Fax +61 2 6273 4122 | [mobile number]

Email [1][email address]

 

[2]www.christianporter.com.au | [3]http://christianporter.dss.gov.au   

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.christianporter.com.au/
3. http://christianporter.dss.gov.au/

Link to this

From: MOGER, Paul
Minister for Social Services


Attachment 201703291038.pdf
783K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Warren,

 

Please find attached the response to your FOI request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul

 

PAUL MOGER | ADVISOR

 

Office of the Hon. Christian Porter MP

Minister for Social Services

 

MG 51, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone +61 2 6277 7560 | Fax +61 2 6273 4122 |

Email [1][email address]

 

[2]www.christianporter.com.au | [3]http://christianporter.dss.gov.au   

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.christianporter.com.au/
3. http://christianporter.dss.gov.au/

Link to this

From: Justin Warren

Delivered

Dear MOGER, Paul,

Thank you for your letter.

I have emailed the FOI unit at the Department of Social Services, as you have suggested. I include my email below for purposes of transparency and informing the public.

To Whom It May Concern,

I seek your assistance to refine the scope of my Freedom of Information request (your reference: 16/17-017) sent to the Minister for Social Services on 27 February 2017.

I received a notice of intention to refuse my request under s24AB of The Freedom of Information Act 1988 (The FOI Act) on 29 March 2017, and so I seek your assistance to revise my request so that the practical refusal reason no longer exists.

The heart of my request concerns oversight of the Department of Human Services by the Minister and/or his Office, particularly in regard to the operations of Centrelink during 2016.

I can be contacted on the mobile number below.

I am confident that we can work together to define a scope for my request that will not unreasonably divert resources from other work and also provide appropriate transparency for what is a matter of substantial public interest.

[personal information redacted]

Yours sincerely,

Justin Warren

Link to this

From: MOGER, Paul
Minister for Social Services

I am on annual leave and won't be back in the office until 4 April 2017.
If your issue is urgent please comtact the office on (02) 62777560.

Your email has not been forwarded.

 

Link to this

From: MOGER, Paul
Minister for Social Services

Dear Mr Warren

 

I refer to your FOI Request to the Office of the Minister for Social
Services, the Hon Christian Porter MP, of 27 February 2017 for the
following documents:

 

1. Diary extracts listing the date, time, and duration of any and all
meetings held with the Department of Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and
31 Dec 2016, inclusive.

2. Meeting agendas for any and all meetings held with the Department for
Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and 31 Dec 2016, inclusive.

3. Minutes, and other notes for any and all meetings held with the
Department for Human Services between 1 Jan 2016 and 31 Dec 2016,
inclusive

 

This Office holds a great many documents relating to meetings and minutes
and agendas generally and without examining each document individually, we
can’t determine whether they are within the scope of your FOI Request.
Hence we issued you with a section 24AB notice. In response to your
request for assistance in revising your request, the Department of Social
Services called you on 6 April to discuss how you could revise your FOI
request to remove the practical refusal reason.  During this conversation,
it became apparent that you are seeking formal documents, concerning
meetings with the Department of Human Services, relating to governance of
the Online Compliance Intervention, integrity of the welfare system and
the detection of overpayments between May and December 2016.

 

Because the Department of Human Services briefs the Minister for Human
Services, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, I can advise that the documents you seek
would be held by the Office of the Minister for Human Services who has
day-to-day responsibility for your area of enquiry.  You should therefore
revise your request accordingly and re-submit the request to the
Department of Human Services or the Office of the Minister for Human
Services.  

 

However, if you still wish to proceed with your FOI request to this
Office, you will need to revise the request as advised in the section 24AB
notice of 29 March 2017, by no later than 12 April 2017 and provide
written agreement to extend the timeframe under section 15AA of the FOI
Act by 30 days as discussed with the departmental official.

 

Kind Regards

 

Paul

 

PAUL MOGER | ADVISOR

 

Office of the Hon. Christian Porter MP

Minister for Social Services

 

MG 51, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone +61 2 6277 7560 | Fax +61 2 6273 4122 |

Email [1][email address]

 

[2]www.christianporter.com.au | [3]http://christianporter.dss.gov.au   

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.christianporter.com.au/
3. http://christianporter.dss.gov.au/

Link to this

From: Justin Warren

Delivered

Dear MOGER, Paul,

Thank you for your email.

I confirm that yes, I am interested in formal evidence of meetings between the Department of Human Services and the Minister for Social Services. I have already asked the Minister for Human Services for evidence of his oversight of these programs, which is why I sent a separate request to your office as well.

As I told the official from DSS, I am happy to adjust the scope of my request to something tractable, but without knowing more about the internal workings of the Minister's office and its record keeping practices, it is difficult for me to guess at a scope that would be tractable.

As I explained to the department official, I am specifically looking for documents recording oversight of the program (or programs) relating to the Centrelink Online Compliance Initiative, integrity in the welfare system, and related initiatives. I realise that DHS administers a large range of programs, and so I am keen to help narrow the scope to only what I am interested in, but I do not know the internal names that DHS or your Office use to describe this program of work. Given that I am not privy to these internal details I cannot accurately use them to describe the scope of my request without further assistance from your office. I said as much to the department official.

Working through these sorts of details is generally best done by talking them through, which I communicated to the department official. I remain open to such a discussion, and my phone is within easy reach whenever you wish to call.

I admit I am somewhat surprised that your Office is not able to quickly determine which formal meetings have been held with a single department and then readily identify the related agenda and minutes for those meetings. It appears the filing system used by your office is less sophisticated and efficient than I had imagined it would be.

I can confirm that I am looking for formal documents relating to meetings held between your Office and the Department of Human Services. These formal documents are:

- Diary extracts, or similar items, that list the date, time, and duration of these meetings. Something like the Calendar Details Style printout of a calendar from Microsoft Office would be appropriate. I would want this as a PDF or in similar electronic form.
- The formal agenda for each of these meetings. Again, an electronic form of the document, or PDF printout, would be appropriate.
- The formal record of what happened in each meeting, usually known as minutes, which records what was discussed, decisions made, etc. Such a document would normally be circulated to those at the meeting to seek agreement that it is an accurate record of what occurred at the meeting. Again, an electronic form of this document is preferred.

These documents record the existence of these meetings, what was planned to occur in them, and what actually did occur. They should show a record of the Minister's governance of the programs I have described: those relating to the integrity of the welfare system initiatives, such as the Online Compliance Intervention programme. If there are other candidate programs you believe may be in scope, I am happy to discuss ruling them either in or out of scope if you advise me of what they are called and why they might be in scope.

I am also happy to reduce the time frame of my scope if there are a great many meetings held between your Office and DHS in 2016, and therefore a large volume of documents. The critical period is in the lead up to the major launch of the Online Compliance Initiative in July 2016 (so, from 1 May 2016) and subsequent operation (to 31 Dec 2016). I note that I don't actually have an idea of the volume of documents in the full year because you haven't supplied that information as yet, so this reduction in time frame represents a gesture of good faith on my part to work with you to find a scope that is not too burdensome.

I am happy to extend the processing time for this request so that I can assist you to locate the documents I have asked for in your filing system.

I look forward to learning more about the way in which you index documents so that I can more accurately describe them in terms that your filing system can understand.

Yours sincerely,

Justin Warren

Link to this

From: Justin Warren

Delivered

Dear MOGER, Paul,

If it helps, I'm happy to use the title the Senate Community Affairs References Committee is using to describe the scope of what I'm talking about: the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative.

Yours sincerely,

Justin Warren

Link to this

James Baldwin left an annotation ()

Justin,

I think what the Mr Moger is saying is that Mr Porter doesn't meet with staff from human services. Human services reports to the Human Services minister. Mr Porter is the Social Services Minister and Social Services report to him. They are different departments. I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

Link to this

Justin Warren left an annotation ()

If Minister Porter didn't meet with DHS, then there will be no documents within scope. We will also then know that this is the case.

Which would place certain comments made by Minister Porter in public about the conduct of DHS in a different light, would it not?

Link to this

From: MOGER, Paul
Minister for Social Services


Attachment 201705121841.pdf
1.4M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Warren,

 

Please find attached the response to your FOI request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul

 

PAUL MOGER | ADVISOR

 

Office of the Hon. Christian Porter MP

Minister for Social Services

 

MG 51, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone +61 2 6277 7560 | Fax +61 2 6273 4122 |

Email [1][email address]

 

[2]www.christianporter.com.au | [3]http://christianporter.dss.gov.au   

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.christianporter.com.au/
3. http://christianporter.dss.gov.au/

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Minister for Social Services only: