Non-ASL public service staff

John Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Human Services

Waiting for an internal review by Department of Human Services of their handling of this request.

From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of Human Services,

I seek the following under FOI;

- A document that contains the total number of non-APS staff, filling equivalent roles to actual APS staff in your department.

- A document that contains a list of all position titles within your department, that are currently filled by non-APS staff.

Typically these non-APS employees are ostensibly employed through labour hire agencies, and fulfil functionally equivalent roles to their colleagues.

If no such document exists please advise.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 56248 Communication Final Acknowledgement and Charges.pdf
143K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (LEX 56248).

 

Kind regards

 

Samantha

Authorised FOI Decision Maker

Freedom of Information Team

Employment Law and FOI | Legal Services Division
Services Australia

 

Email: [1][email address]

 

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: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I seek an internal review, in the hope that this charge will not be imposed.

The use of labour hire services in the public service is a matter that has been discussed by many outlets, in both the mainstream and independent media.

Further clarity on the use of labour hire employees throughout government departments, (both Commonwealth and State) is of interest to a substantial section of the public.

Information about the number of labour hire employees working APS-equivalent roles, is not currently available within the DHS annual reports. That is why this FOI request is necessary.

To substantiate this point, let me point out a number of recent articles written about public sector use of labour hire:

Sydney Morning Herald:
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/...

ABC News:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-03/a...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-06/n...

Michael West Media:
https://www.michaelwest.com.au/boomers-v...

It is also a topic that has been of interest to the CPSU, a union that represents a substantial section of the public (namely, public servant union members)

https://www.cpsu.org.au/campaigns/scrap-...

In light of the above, please waive the fee associated with this request; on the ground that this is a public interest inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your email.

We note that at this stage, we have only advised you of a preliminary assessment of the charge. As no decision has been made on the charge, we have taken your email to be a request for a reconsideration of charges under section 29(1)(f)(ii) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982, rather than a request for internal review.

Meanwhile, thank you for providing your reasons as to why you consider that the subject matter of your request would be in the interest of a substantial section of the public. Before we prepare a decision on the reconsideration of charges, we invite you to also provide reasons on whether the payment of the charge, or part of it, would cause financial hardship to yourself.

We would be grateful if you can provide any reasons in support of this by COB 29 July 2020. If no reasons are provided, we will proceed to base our decision on the public interest reason you have set out in your earlier email.

Kind regards

Samantha
Authorised FOI Decision Maker
Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and FOI | Legal Services Division Services Australia

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: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I'll forgo pursuing a fee waiver on the financial hardship ground, instead please just process my fee waiver request on the basis of the public interest reasons; as stated above.

Thank you for your correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 56248 Charges Final reconsideration of charges.pdf
461K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your request for a reconsideration of the preliminary assessment of charges.

Kind regards

Samantha
Authorised FOI Decision Maker
Freedom of Information Team
Employment Law and FOI | Legal Services Division Services Australia

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: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

I will pay this charge but I will also be appealing this decision to the OAIC in an attempt to obtain a fee waiver greater than 20%

The reason I will be appealing it to the OAIC is the following:

Stated within your reasons you have mentioned that my request is merely about 'the number' of people employed as contractors. This is false. In addition to numbers, my request asks for the position titles and roles that are being outsourced.

You have also stated that the articles linked only discuss concerns regarding the amounts being spent on the public service. This is also false. The articles also raise the issue of whether it is a good idea for the Australian government to be outsourcing its core functions, and whether the outsourcing of senior level roles within the public service is good government policy.

That is why my request which asks for position titles & the for extent to which departmental roles have been privatized; firmly fits within the public interests raised within the articles that you have linked.

The extent of the use of labour hire within the public service is not only a matter of numbers. It is also of interest to the public to know whether labour hire is only in low-level roles, or even in high level roles (e.g. Assistant director roles at the department of agriculture are outsourced to labour hire.) The value to the taxpayer in outsourcing senior roles is questionable. That is why I am asking for a list of positions in which labour hire has taken place within your department.

Additionally, your reasons inadequately characterizes the already available information on the procurement expenses of labour hire in the public service. Existing labour hire figures are only provided at an aggregate level for the department. Neither are parliamentary documents available that detail the extent and breadth of labour hire within your department.

The detail is important; because there is a qualitative difference in taxpayer value for money between different levels of outsourcing. For example, the outsourcing of a security guard has different qualitative costs associated with it; than the outsourcing of more senior level roles. Outsourcing senior level roles within the public service causes a loss of public sector expertise, a concern that is raised **repeatedly** within the articles I have cited in furtherance of my argument that this is a public interest request.

Thank you for your help thus far.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

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From: John Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI.LEGAL.TEAM,

Actually, before I go to the OAIC; please perform an Internal review for the aforementioned reasons.

i.e. I am requesting an internal review of this decision. The reasons for my internal review are those mentioned within my previous email.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Link to this

From: FOI.LEGAL.TEAM


Attachment LEX 58080 Registration Acknowledgement Letter.pdf
126K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Smith

 

Please see a letter about your FOI request attached.

 

Kind regards

 

Authorised FOI Officer

FOI Team

Employment Law and Freedom of Information Team

 

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