Method of assessing exemptions for cashless welfare card

Sandra Legro made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

The request was partially successful.

From: Sandra Legro

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

With over 40 people being granted exemption from the cashless welfare card trials, I would like to request the procedural guidelines for assessing this exemption.

In the interest of fairness and equality, it is important to be transparent in assessing the suitability of recipients who may be granted exemptions.
Please provide the information relied upon for making these decisions by departmental staff.

Yours faithfully,

Sandra Legro

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services

Please note that the Department of Human Services' FOI Legal Team is
unavailable from 22 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 (inclusive).

 

This mailbox will not be monitored during this period.

 

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM
Department of Human Services


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Dear Ms Legro

 

I refer to your correspondence received by the Department of Human
Services on 28 December 2017, requesting the following under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982:

 

‘With over 40 people being granted exemption from the cashless welfare
card trials, I would like to request the procedural guidelines for
assessing this exemption.

In the interest of fairness and equality, it is important to be
transparent in assessing the suitability of recipients who may be granted
exemptions.

Please provide the information relied upon for making these decisions by
departmental staff.’

 

Please be advised that the Department of Human Services has transferred
your Freedom of Information request to the Department of Social Services
under section 16 of the FOI Act. The transfer has occurred because the
subject matter of your request is more closely connected with their
department, as they are the policy agency responsible for the measure to
which your request refers.

 

The Department of Social Services will contact you to acknowledge receipt
of your request.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Sarah

Freedom of Information and Litigation Branch | Legal Services Division

Department of Human Services

Email [1][email address]

[2]cid:image001.png@01D15CE0.EE682F50

This email and any attachments may contain information subject to legal
professional privilege or information that is otherwise sensitive or
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are
prohibited from using or disseminating this communication. If you have
received this communication in error please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete this email.

 

 

 

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From: FOI

Good afternoon Ms Legro,

 

Freedom of Information Request No. [17/18-71]

 

As you are aware, the Department of Human Services has transferred your
three requests to the Department of Social Services.    

 

For the purposes of processing, we have combined your three requests into
one with the following scope:

 

Item 1: With over 40 people being granted exemption from the cashless
welfare card trials, I would like to request the procedural guidelines for
assessing this exemption.

 

In the interest of fairness and equality, it is important to be
transparent in assessing the suitability of recipients who may be granted
exemptions. Please provide the information relied upon for making these
decisions by departmental staff.

 

Item 2: A previous FOI request confirmed over 40 people are exempt from
the cashless welfare card.

 

What are the following demographics of those with current exemptions

 

Indigenous / Non Indigenous status

Age

Sex

Payment type

Housing status

 

Item 3: I would like to request information regarding the method of
payment for people receiving rent assistance who are subjected to the
cashless welfare card.

 

To be clear, as I have been unable to find it listed as a restrict-able
payment within the allowing legislation and instruments, is this payment
paid into a recipients chosen bank account and not included as any portion
of the 80/20 split or is it paid as part of the 20% of unrestricted
payment or is it paid as part of the 80% restricted payment.

 

Please provide the procedure or guidelines used when assessing how rent
assistance is paid to those who are subjected to the cashless welfare
card, if rent assistance does form part of the 80/20 split please also
provide evidence of rent assistance being included as a restrict-able
payment within the allowing legislation or instrument.

 

The statutory period for processing your request is 30-days commencing
from the day after your request was received by the Department of Human
Services. Accordingly, the deadline for notifying you of a decision on
access is 27 January 2018. 

 

I note that the abovementioned date is a Saturday. In accordance with the
FOI Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner, if the
last day for notifying a decision falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public
holiday, the timeframe will expire on the first day following which is
none of those days. As such, the due date for you to receive a response is
29 January 2018.

 

This timeframe may be extended by another 30 days under section 15(6) of
the FOI Act if consultation with affected third parties is required.
Should third party consultation be required, you will be notified as soon
as possible.

 

The Department will correspond with you by email in relation to your FOI
request.  Should you have any queries about this matter, please do not
hesitate to contact me on the details below.

 

Kind regards

 

Dr Melanie Beacroft

Assistant Director

Freedom of Information

Government and Executive Services Branch

Department of Social Services
P: 02 6146 0348 | E: [1][email address]

[2][email address]

 

Please note: I work Monday to Thursday

 

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: FOI

Good morning Ms Legro,

 

I am writing in regards to the Freedom of Information requests transferred
from the Department of Human Services and combined to the following:

 

Item 1: A previous FOI request confirmed over 40 people are exempt from
the cashless welfare card.

 

What are the following demographics of those with current exemptions

 

Indigenous / Non Indigenous status

Age

Sex

Payment type

Housing status

 

Item 2: With over 40 people being granted exemption from the cashless
welfare card trials, I would like to request the procedural guidelines for
assessing this exemption.

 

In the interest of fairness and equality, it is important to be
transparent in assessing the suitability of recipients who may be granted
exemptions. Please provide the information relied upon for making these
decisions by departmental staff.

 

Item 3: I would like to request information regarding the method of
payment for people receiving rent assistance who are subjected to the
cashless welfare card.

 

To be clear, as I have been unable to find it listed as a restrict-able
payment within the allowing legislation and instruments, is this payment
paid into a recipients chosen bank account and not included as any portion
of the 80/20 split or is it paid as part of the 20% of unrestricted
payment or is it paid as part of the 80% restricted payment.

 

Please provide the procedure or guidelines used when assessing how rent
assistance is paid to those who are subjected to the cashless welfare
card, if rent assistance does form part of the 80/20 split please also
provide evidence of rent assistance being included as a restrict-able
payment within the allowing legislation or instrument.

 

Given the Department was closed between the Christmas and New Year period
and the number of staff currently on leave from the Department, I am
seeking your agreement under section 15AA of the FOI Act to a 30 day
extension of time to process your request. Should you agree, the new due
date for you to receive a response to your request would be 26 February
2018. Can you please advise as soon as possible if you agree?

 

Thanks in advance,

Dr Melanie Beacroft

Assistant Director

Freedom of Information

Government and Executive Services Branch

Department of Social Services
P: 02 6146 0348 | E: [email address]

 

Please note: I work Monday to Thursday

 

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia,
and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our
respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and
present.            

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From: FOI


Attachment FOI 17 18 071 Access decision.pdf
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Attachment FOI 17 18 071 Documents in the form for release.pdf
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Good afternoon Ms Legro,

Please find attached the decision and documents for your recent FOI request.

Kind regards,

Dr Melanie Beacroft
Assistant Director
Freedom of Information
Government and Executive Services Branch
Department of Social Services
P: 02 6146 0348 | E: [email address]

Please note: I work Monday to Thursday

DSS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.            

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Things to do with this request

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