Notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application

Waiting for an internal review by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of their handling of this request.

Please accept this request for information in accordance with the FOI Act.

On 28 July 2021, your department served notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application on a member of the public engaged in scrutinising your department’s administrative decision-making regarding the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal.

On 1 August 2021, the member of the public replied refuting your department’s allegations and implications. The reply informed your department of significant errors in their administrative processes associated with the HOSM that were revealed through FOI. The response respectfully asked your department to take a number of actions.

Please provide a copy of:

1. the 28 July 2021 and 1 August 2021 letters
2. all departmental correspondence between 1 August and 19 October 2021 related to this matter
3. draft and final documents created by the department in response to the 1 August 2021 letter.

Thank you for your time. Yours faithfully, Trav S

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

OFFICIAL
Dear Mr S

Thank you for your request of 19 October 2021 to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) in the following terms:

"On 28 July 2021, your department served notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application on a member of the public engaged in scrutinising your department’s administrative decision-making regarding the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. On 1 August 2021, the member of the public replied refuting your department’s allegations and implications. The reply informed your department of significant errors in their administrative processes associated with the HOSM that were revealed through FOI. The response respectfully asked your department to take a number of actions. Please provide a copy of:
1. the 28 July 2021 and 1 August 2021 letters
2. all departmental correspondence between 1 August and 19 October 2021 related to this matter
3. draft and final documents created by the department in response to the 1 August 2021 letter."

Your request is for a letter to the Department dated 28 July 2021 and the Department's correspondence in response dated 1 August 2021. As that correspondence, and related documents, concern the personal information of another individual, the relevant parts of the documents are the personal information of that individual, and would be exempt from release, under section 47F of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Unless you can provide the Department with proof that you are the same individual as the individual to which that correspondence relates, most of the information within the scope of the request will be exempt under section 47F of the FOI Act.

We request this clarification by no later than COB Wednesday 3 November 2021, in order to process your request in accordance with statutory deadlines.

Yours sincerely

FOI Section
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet p. (02) 6271 5849 Ngunnawal Country, One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600 e. [DPMC request email] w. pmc.gov.au


The Department acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and emerging Elders and Traditional Custodians of Country, and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

rom: Trav S <[FOI #7986 email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 19 October 2021 9:08 AM
To: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application

Please accept this request for information in accordance with the FOI Act.

On 28 July 2021, your department served notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application on a member of the public engaged in scrutinising your department’s administrative decision-making regarding the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal.

On 1 August 2021, the member of the public replied refuting your department’s allegations and implications. The reply informed your department of significant errors in their administrative processes associated with the HOSM that were revealed through FOI. The response respectfully asked your department to take a number of actions.

Please provide a copy of:

1. the 28 July 2021 and 1 August 2021 letters

2. all departmental correspondence between 1 August and 19 October 2021 related to this matter

3. draft and final documents created by the department in response to the 1 August 2021 letter.

Thank you for your time. Yours faithfully, Trav S

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Thank you. I am happy to provide proof again. Please note, I do not consent to my name, email, address or phone number being disclosed. Regarding your statement ‘Your request is for a letter to the Department dated 28 July 2021 and the Department's correspondence in response dated 1 August 2021. As that correspondence, and related documents’. To amend and clarify our request, we would like to ask for copies of:

1. PMC's 28 July 2021 letter serving notice of intent to consider a vexatious declaration application with the Information Comissioner
2. The 1st August 2021 letter ‘Response to PMC notice of intent to consider vexatious declaration applicaiton proceedings’
3. All departmental (as in PMC) correspondence occuring from 1 Aug to 19 Oct 2021 related to this vexatious declaration matter
4. The department’s draft and final responses to the 1st August 2021 letter ‘Response to PMC notice of intent to consider vexatious declaration applicaiton proceedings’

Thank you for your time. Yours sincerely, Trav S

Dear PMC, I do not agree to the request for extension of time under section 15AA for the FOI Act.
Your department initiated these proceedings. I seek to have the matters brought before the Information Commissioner and other external agencies as quickly as possible. The documents are to hand and your department has satisfied themselves to my identity. Please proceed with the request for information in accordance with the FOI Act. Thank you for your time, yours sincerely, Trav S

Summen Sarwar,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/03617

Agency reference: FOI/2021/266

Mr Trav S

By email: [1][FOI #7986 email]

Extension of time application by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Dear Mr S

Please find attached a decision of today’s date for an extension of time
from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Sincerely

 

 

 

[2][IMG]   Summen Sarwar   |  Administrative
Assistant (Legal)

Significant and Systemic Reviews and
Regulatory Advice
Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

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

+61 2 9284 9815  | 
[4][email address]  
[5][IMG] | [6][IMG] | [7][IMG] |   [8]Subscribe to Information
Matters

 

 

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Dear Summen,
Please note that I reply to PMC's request for an extension. I will be grateful if you amend the record to show that on 12 Nov 2021 I provided the following response to PMC:

"Dear PMC, I do not agree to the request for extension of time under section 15AA for the FOI Act.
Your department initiated these proceedings. I seek to have the matters brought before the Information Commissioner and other external agencies as quickly as possible. The documents are to hand and your department has satisfied themselves to my identity. Please proceed with the request for information in accordance with the FOI Act. Thank you for your time, yours sincerely, Trav S"

Thank you for your time

Trav S

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2 Attachments

OFFICIAL
Please find attached a decision letter and documents released to you in regard to your FOI Request FOI/2021/266.

Kind regards

FOI Advisor
FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch
Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
FOI Team (02) 6271 5849
[DPMC request email]
www.pmc.gov.au
One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

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Dear PMC
We have no confidence in your department’s willingness to provide truthful unbiased advice to government on this matter. However you will understand we are required to request an internal review before we can request an external review. Therefore please accept our internal review request. We will be grateful if you will take the following information into consideration.
1. We contend the public interest factors favour disclosing all conditionally exempt material, except the names and addresses of members of the public.
2. The integrity of the HOSM and its associated processes is in doubt as a result of your department's actions and omissions. We have inquired into less than 10% of the HOSM eligible operations and FOI documents reveal alarming errors in assessments and advice to government.
3. We note your department’s unwillingness to accept reasonable public scrutiny and requests for external review of decisions that are clearly affected by an apparent bias. This is at odds with good governance and the values your department purports to uphold.
4. Your department obstructs reasonable FOI requests from affected members of the public seeking to reasonably and respectfully scrutinise your department’s decision making.
5. In 2004 your department failed to consult with relevant stakeholders they ought to have consulted with before the HOSM declaration for Iraq was drafted and promulgated. Despite this, your department advises government they consult all relevant stakeholders.
6. In 2009 your department failed to inform government that the GE contingent included commercial security contractors. They were rightly awarded the HOSM. The assistant secretary was informed of this but it is unclear if he informed his superiors in accordance with his duty to do so.
7. In 2012 your department provided a written agreement to AusAID that your department may have dishonoured. The assistant secretary may have taken it upon themselves to make a ministerial policy decision that was the Minister's to make.
8. In 2013 the assistant secretary provided unsubstantiated and manifestly unreasonable information to government. They also withheld written agreements and materially relevant documents that should have been included in their brief.
9. At least 3 senior executive service public servants in your department has been informed of substantial matters that appear to warrant investigation but nothing has happened.
10. Your department conflates legislative instruments and makes statements that are not supported by facts.
11. In matters related to this case, your department operates more like a cabal than a transparent government department.
As noted, we have no confidence in your department’s willingness to provide truthful unbiased advice to government on this matter. Regrettably the integrity of the HOSM and its associated processes is doubt.
Thank you for your time. Have a great weekend.
Yours sincerely,
Trav S