National Commissioner - background information

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Veterans' Affairs, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

BACKGROUND:

On 5 February 2020 the Prime Minister announced the Government, instead of calling a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide, would appoint a National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention to inquire into suicides of serving and former ADF members.

At that press conference then Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds thanked, “the officials of Defence and DVA for their expertise, dedication and passion for developing this policy over the summer months.”

INFORMATION I AM SEEKING:

I am seeking all documents including the initial brief/direction, and all aspects of the development of this policy by DVA up to and including 4 February 2020.

Documentation to include every document/s including internal emails and minutes of meeting/s pertaining to the development of this policy.

Yours faithfully,

Alan ASHMORE

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

***Important message***

Thank you for your email.

 

Your email has been received by National Information Access Processing
Team within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

 

Please note that we only action and respond to access requests made under
the following Acts:

·         Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act)

·         Privacy Act 1988

·         [1]Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related
Claims) Act 1988

·         [2]Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

 

If your email is a request for documents under the FOI Act, we will
contact you within 14 days to acknowledge your request. Please do not send
duplicate emails as this may cause delays in response time-frames.

 

We are committed to processing all requests as quickly as possible. We
will contact you if there are any delays and if more time is needed to
finalise your request. Further information will be provided to you when
the Department responds to your request.

 

For more information about Information Access please visit the
Department’s website at [3]Freedom of information | Department of
Veterans' Affairs (dva.gov.au)

 

For more information about Freedom of Information generally, please visit
the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website at
[4]Freedom of information — OAIC

 

Important note: For matters not relating to Information Access, please
refer to the ‘Contact us’ page on the Department’s website at [5]Contact
us | Department of Veterans' Affairs (dva.gov.au)

 

Thank you.

 

National Information Access Processing Team

Client Access and Rehabilitation Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

References

Visible links
1. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C1...
2. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2...
3. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-us/overview...
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
5. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/contact...

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ashmore

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 45443

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the Department on 2 September 2021
and was made in the following terms:

 

“On 5 February 2020 the Prime Minister announced the Government, instead
of calling a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide, would appoint a
National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention to
inquire into suicides of serving and former ADF members.   

 

At that press conference then Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds thanked,
“the officials of Defence and DVA for their expertise, dedication and
passion for developing this policy over the summer months.”

 

INFORMATION I AM SEEKING:

 

I am seeking all documents including the initial brief/direction, and all
aspects of the development of this policy by DVA up to and including 4
February 2020.

 

Documentation to include every document/s including internal emails and
minutes of meeting/s pertaining to the development of this policy.”

 

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 4 October 2021.

 

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the Department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the Department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the Department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the Department will notify you.

 

We will write again when the Department has more information. Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[2]https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
subject to certain exceptions, such as if the documents relate to your own
personal information. The Department will advise you in its decision
whether details of your request will be published on the disclosure log or
not.

 

Contacting us about your request

 

We will contact you using the email address you have provided. Please
advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

 

If you have any questions, please contact me via email at
[3][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kind Regards

Jessy (Position Number 62320730)

Information Access Officer

Information Law | Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

P: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | [5]www.dva.gov.au

M: GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

 

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

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.dva.gov.au/

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ashmore,

 

I am writing to you with regard to FOI 45443.

 

Several business areas have been approached for documents in relation to
your request, and have advised that a voluminous number of records are
expected to be identified. For this reason, the Department would
appreciate additional time to ensure that adequate searches can be
undertaken.

 

Request for extension of time

The FOI Act states that an FOI request must be processed within 30 days of
receipt in the first instance.

 

Under [1]section 15AA of the FOI Act, an extension of time is possible if
the applicant agrees in writing.

 

We are seeking your agreement to a 30 day extension of time to process
this request, to enable thorough searches to be undertaken.

 

This extension would make the new decision date for your request: 3
November 2021.

 

We will of course make every effort to resolve this matter for you earlier
than that date.

 

Your response sought

Please respond to this email by Thursday 30 September 2021, to let me know
whether you are agreeable to this extension of time request.

 

If you do not agree to this extension of time, the Department may need to
apply to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for an
extension of time under [2]section 15AB of the FOI Act.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me
at [3][email address].

 

 

Kind Regards

Jessy (Position Number 62320730)

Information Access Officer

Information Law | Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

P: 1800 555 254 | E: [4][email address] | [5]www.dva.gov.au

M: GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

 

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

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...
2. http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

I made this FOI request that has the potential to form part of my submission to the Royal Commission.

You noted that a voluminous number of records are expected to be identified.

I also understand that DVA received an additional $28.9M in the May Budget to cover additional staffing and other costs due to the increased workload due to the Royal Commission.

As an act of good faith I agree to an extension of 30 days.

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE