National Commissioner - background information

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

Dear Department of Defence,

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 the Defence Department 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

FOI, Department of Defence

1 Attachment

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    Freedom of Information request National Commissioner background information.txt

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OFFICIAL

Good afternoon,

 

Thank you for contacting Freedom of Information at the Department of
Defence.

We have received your email and you will be advised of the status of your
inquiry by an FOI team member soon.

Please note: due to the current impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on Defence’s
ability to process FOI requests, we may seek your agreement to a 30 day
extension of time under section 15AA of the FOI Act. An FOI team member
will be in touch with you to discuss this. We appreciate your patience
during this period.

Kind regards,

Ben | Freedom of Information
Enterprise Transformation Branch | Enterprise Transformation and
Governance Division

Department of Defence

 e: [1][email address]

w: [2]https://defence.gov.au/foi/

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://defence.gov.au/foi/

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Dear Alan,

 

I refer to your correspondence of 2 September 2021 seeking access, under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to documents held by the
Department of Defence (Defence). This email is to advise you that your
request has been received and allocated to a Case Manager.

 

The scope of your request is:

 

“I am seeking all documents including the initial brief/direction, and all
aspects of the development of this policy by the Defence Department 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.”

 

Background information -

 

“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.”

 

Please note that Defence does not release information that is considered
‘personal information’ of individuals other than the applicant; this
includes private email addresses, signatures, personnel (PMKeyS) numbers
and mobile telephone numbers, unless you specifically request such
details. Defence excludes duplicates of documents and any documents sent
to or from you. Furthermore, Defence only considers final versions of
documents.

 

If you are seeking personal details of other individuals, please advise
this office by 10 September 2021 so that the decision maker can consider
your request.

 

Defence may impose a charge for the work involved in providing access to
the documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Charges)
Regulations. You will be notified separately if your request attracts a
charge. Please note that there is no charge for documents that contain the
personal information of the applicant.

 

The statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your request is 2
October 2021.

 

Please note that where the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public
holiday, the timeframe will expire on the next working day. This is in
accordance with the FOI Guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner.

 

I am the Case Manager for this request. Should you have any questions
relating to your request, please do not hesitate to contact me via email
to [1][email address].

 

Regards

 

Chris Simon | Case Manager Freedom of Information

Enterprise Transformation Branch | Enterprise Transformation and
Governance Division | Department of Defence

e [2][email address] w [3]https://defence.gov.au/foi/

 

 

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://defence.gov.au/foi/

Dear FOI Case Management,

I write in response to your email of 8 September 2021 and note the following:

: I have not sought personal information of individuals.
: I have requested ALL documents and not just the final version of documents.
: I made this request as it will assist me in making a submission to the Royal Commission into
Veteran Suicides.
: As it is a matter of public record that $28.9M was allocated to DVA legal in order to expedite
RC-FOI requests in connection with this Royal Commission and as I assume an amount was also
allocated to Defence, it would be inappropriate to impose a charge as it would be double dipping.

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Dear Alan

 

I refer to correspondence of 2 September 2021 requesting access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to the following:

 

“I am seeking all documents including the initial brief/direction, and all
aspects of the development of this policy by the Defence Department 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.”

 

Background information -

 

“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.”

 

The Department of Defence (Defence) has considered this request and it has
been revealed the scope of the request, in its current form contains a
large amount of documents. Specifically, in the initial searches Defence
estimates approximately 300 sensitive documents and approximately
1000 pages that fall within the scope of this request. Currently, this
request will likely attract refusal under section 24AA of the FOI Act
because the workload involved in retrieving the documents within scope,
conduct consultation with various parties both internal and external to
Defence, and complete the decision making process would involve a
substantial and unreasonable diversion of the resources of the agency.

 

Taking the above into consideration, under section 24AA of the FOI Act and
for the purposes of section 24 of the FOI Act, Defence considers that a
'practical refusal reason' exists in relation to this FOI request.
Specifically, Defence considers that the work involved in processing the
request in its current form would substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the Defence from its other operations. In particular, a
significant amount of resources would have to be diverted to retrieve and
review the documents identified as falling within the scope of the
request, conduct consultation both internal and external to Defence, and
finally, to undertake the decision making process on the documents that
met the parameters of the request.

 

This diversion would constitute a significant drain on the resources of
the agency, and would have an unreasonable, substantial and adverse effect
in the ability of areas to conduct their normal business.

 

In accordance with section 24AB of the FOI Act, Defence is required to
consult with you advising of the intention to refuse access to your
request in its current form.

 

In accordance with paragraph 24AB(2)(c) of the FOI Act, I am the nominated
person with whom you should contact with a view to agreeing to one of the
following options:

 

a. withdraw the request;

b. revise the request; or

c. indicate that you do not wish to revise the request.

 

In accordance with section 24AB(9) of the FOI Act, Defence is only
required to undertake this consultation process once, and you must respond
within 14 days.

 

Notwithstanding all of the above, I would suggest the scope of the request
be narrowed. Defence suggests refining the scope of the request in the
following ways:

 

·         limiting the date range to the ‘summer months’, documents
produced from 1 December 2019 to 4 February 2020;

·         documents produced by the Department of Defence; and

·         final versions of documents.

 

I encourage you to contact me so I can assist you in moving forward with
your request.

 

Regards

 

Kathryn | Freedom of Information
Department of Defence
[1][email address]

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear FOI Case Management,

I reply to your correspondence of 24 September 2021.

I have previously noted the following:

: This FOI request was made as it will assist me in making a submission to the Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides, and

: In the May Budget DVA was allocated an additional $28.9 to cover an additional workload associated with this Royal Commission and I assume a budget allocation would also have also been given to Defence.

As an act of good faith I agree to amend the timeline for documents sought from, “up to and including 4 February 2020” to “up to and including 31 December 2019.”

I now look forward to this FOI request being completed in full by no later than Monday 4 October 2021.

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Good afternoon Alan,

 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request with the Department of
Defence.

 

The current statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your FOI
request is 2 October 2021.

 

Due to the processing demands associated with your request, our office is
seeking your agreement to a 30 day extension of the statutory deadline
under section 15AA [extension with agreement] of the FOI Act. We will
endeavour to process your request as soon as we can.

 

Should you agree, the statutory deadline for you to receive a response to
your request will expire on 1 November 2021.

 

It would be much appreciated if you could confirm your agreement to this
extension of time via e-mail by close of business today, 1 October 2021.

 

I am the Case Manager for your request and should you have any questions
regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards,

 

Kathryn | Freedom of Information
Department of Defence
t (02) 6132 7927

[1][email address]

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

FOI Case Management would like to recall the message, "Defence FOI 098/21/22 - 15AA request for extension [SEC=OFFICIAL]".

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Good afternoon Alan,

 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request with the Department of
Defence.

 

The current statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your FOI
request is 2 October 2021.

 

Due to the processing demands associated with your request, our office is
seeking your agreement to a 30 day extension of the statutory deadline
under section 15AA [extension with agreement] of the FOI Act. We will
endeavour to process your request as soon as we can.

 

Should you agree, the statutory deadline for you to receive a response to
your request will expire on 1 November 2021.

 

It would be much appreciated if you could confirm your agreement to this
extension of time via e-mail by today, 1 October 2021.

 

I am the Case Manager for your request and should you have any questions
regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards,

 

Kathryn | Freedom of Information
Department of Defence
t (02) 6132 7927

[1][email address]

 

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

FOI Case Management would like to recall the message, "Defence FOI 098/21/22 - 15AA request for extension [SEC=OFFICIAL]".

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Dear Alan,

 

Please disregard my previous emails as the dates was incorrect, below are
the correct dates for your consideration.

 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request with the Department of
Defence.

 

The current statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your FOI
request is 4 October 2021.

 

Due to the processing demands associated with your request, our office is
seeking your agreement to a 30 day extension of the statutory deadline
under section 15AA [extension with agreement] of the FOI Act. We will
endeavour to process your request as soon as we can.

 

Should you agree, the statutory deadline for you to receive a response to
your request will expire on 3 November 2021.

 

It would be much appreciated if you could confirm your agreement to this
extension of time via e-mail by 3 October 2021.

 

I am the Case Manager for your request and should you have any questions
regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards,

 

Kathryn | Freedom of Information
Department of Defence
t (02) 6132 7927

[1][email address]

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear FOI Case Management,

Thank you for your email of 1 October 2021. I note the following:

: As noted on 8 September 2021 I am seeking this information as:

• Preparation to my submission to the Royal Commission,
• I am not seeking personal information,
• I require all documents, not just the final document, and
• That Defence would have received additional funding for the increased work load caused by the RC.

: On 24 September I was asked to amend or withdraw my request due to the large number of documents identified.

: As an act of goodwill, I responded by significantly reducing the timeline of requested documents.

: On 1 October, at the end of the 30 days, you requested a 30-day extension to finalise this FOI.

: Again, as an act of goodwill I agree to an extension of 7 days only.

I will, under no circumstances, agree to a further modification to my request nor an extension of time beyond what I have agreed to in this response. Be assured I will escalate this matter if I have not received this FOI in full by the close of business on 11 October 2021.

I wish you well and keep safe,

Yours sincerely,

Alan ASHMORE

Shelley Napper,

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/03137

Agency reference: 098/21/22

Mr Alan Ashmore

Sent by email: [FOI #7797 email]

Extension of time application by Department of Defence

Dear Mr Ashmore

 

I write to advise that on 7 October 2021, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
Department of Defence (the Department) for an extension of time, to
process your FOI request of 2 September 2021.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is considered
to be voluminous and/or complex.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

 

o the Department approached you for a 30-day extension of time agreement
under s 15AA of the FOI Act and you agreed to a 7-day extension of
time
o the Department has located a large number of sensitive documents which
require consideration
o the Department will likely need to conduct courtesy consultations with
other government agencies prior to making a decision, and
o the Department is continuing to process the request towards
finalisation.

 

The Department has requested an extension to 3 November 2021. The
decision maker will take any comments you may have to make into account
when deciding the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 13 October 2021. If I do
not hear from you by this date, the decision maker will proceed to make a
decision on the basis of the information provided to me by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [1]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9721 or via
email [2][email address]. In all correspondence please include
reference number at the top of this email.

 

Kind regards

 

[3][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [4]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[5][email address]
[9]Subscribe [10]Subscribe to
[6]Facebook | [7]LinkedIn | [8]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
5. mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
7. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
8. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
10. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

Jasmin Clarke,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/03137

Agency reference: 098/21/22

Mr Alan Ashmore

Sent by email: [1][FOI #7797 email]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Mr Ashmore

Please find attached a decision of today’s date for an extension of time
from Department of Defence

 

Sincerely

 

[2][IMG]   Jasmin Clarke  |  Assistant
Review and Investigation
Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9847  | 
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

 

From: Shelley Napper
Sent: Monday, 11 October 2021 8:17 AM
To: '[FOI #7797 email]'
<[FOI #7797 email]>
Subject: RQ21/03137 - Extension of time application by Department of
Defence - Consultation [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Our reference: RQ21/03137

Agency reference: 098/21/22

Mr Alan Ashmore

Sent by email: [10][FOI #7797 email]

Extension of time application by Department of Defence

Dear Mr Ashmore

 

I write to advise that on 7 October 2021, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
Department of Defence (the Department) for an extension of time, to
process your FOI request of 2 September 2021.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is considered
to be voluminous and/or complex.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

 

o the Department approached you for a 30-day extension of time agreement
under s 15AA of the FOI Act and you agreed to a 7-day extension of
time
o the Department has located a large number of sensitive documents which
require consideration
o the Department will likely need to conduct courtesy consultations with
other government agencies prior to making a decision, and
o the Department is continuing to process the request towards
finalisation.

 

The Department has requested an extension to 3 November 2021. The
decision maker will take any comments you may have to make into account
when deciding the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 13 October 2021. If I do
not hear from you by this date, the decision maker will proceed to make a
decision on the basis of the information provided to me by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [11]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact me on (02) 9284 9721 or via
email [12][email address]. In all correspondence please include
reference number at the top of this email.

 

Kind regards

 

[13][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW
2001  |  [14]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9721  | 
[15][email address]
[19]Subscribe [20]Subscribe
[16]Facebook | [17]LinkedIn | [18]Twitter |   icon to Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

References

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1. mailto:[FOI #7797 email]
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
7. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...
10. mailto:[FOI #7797 email]
11. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
12. mailto:[email address]
13. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
14. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
15. mailto:[email address]
16. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
17. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
18. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
20. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/