Open Government Partnership National Action Plan

Evelyn Doyle made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Finance

The request was partially successful.

From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear FOI Section,

I seek, under the FOI Act, a copy of the National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which was due for completion in December 2014. This document was referred to by Secretary Halton at Senates Estimates Hearing in October 2014 as follows:

"Finance has commenced drafting a national action plan [OGP] which is scheduled for completion in December 2014 and will take into account the Government’s e-government and digital economy agenda."

This quote comes from the final paragraph of the OGP Estimates Brief - Hot Issue (which was published on your Freedom of Information Disclosure Log on January 16, 2015).

I request that all fees be waived as this document, which would be easily accessed, is in the public interest. OGP relates to accountability and transparency, an important aspect of public participation in a democracy. It may be easier for the department to treat this as an administrative access request given the simplicity of the scope.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

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Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance

UNCLASSIFIED

Hi Evelyn

We have made some preliminary inquiries with the relevant area.

The National Action Plan that you are interested in is still in draft form. Australia has not joined the Open Government Partnership (this is highlighted in the Estimates Brief that you referred to). When Australia joins the Open Government Partnership, the draft Plan will be made available to the public for consultation.

We also note that, from a preliminary perspective, it is unlikely that any drafts of the Plan (unless made available for public consultation) will be released to you under FOI. It is likely that the material will be exempted under section 47C (deliberative processes) of the FOI Act.

In the light of the above, would you like to withdraw your FOI request?

Please contact me if you wish to further discuss.

Regards,

Chak

FOI Officer
Corporate Services Division | Legal Services Branch Department of Finance
T: 02 6215 1783 | E: [Finance request email]  

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Hi Chak

Thanks for your quick response. I understand Australia has not yet joined the OGP however Finance's own Estimates Brief on this states the National Action Plan will be completed by December 2014.

I am happy to have the document in draft format if it is not yet completed. I imagine that public consultation would take place prior to signing the agreement and as such I am happy to proceed with my request for the drafted version, in preparation for that process.

I would also like to add another component to my FOI request. Could I also request the most recent ministerial brief on the OGP (but not including the Senate Estimates - Hot Issue Brief already released under FOI).

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance

UNCLASSIFIED

Hi Evelyn

As this FOI request is substantially different to your pervious request, we will treat this request as a new request and that your previous request is withdrawn.

This means that the 30 day period for processing your FOI request will start today.

Regards,

Chak

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear Chak

I do not wish to withdraw my earlier request for the OGP National Action Plan. Please let it stand. The new component is not substantially different, it merely seeks to add another document to the original request (on the same topic), making it two simple documents that should be easy to access.

Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance

UNCLASSIFIED

Hi Evelyn

We are treating your new request as a request for the OGP National Action Plan (including drafts) and the OGP briefs. We are saying that this request (plan (including drafts) and brief) supersedes your original request of just the OGP National Action Plan. Does this clear it up for you?

Regards,

Chak

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear Chak

Yes thanks. I look forward to receiving the documents.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Attachment FOI15 15 Charges Letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Ms Doyle,

 

Please find attached, correspondence in regards to your FOI request (our
reference number FOI15/15).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal Services Branch

Corporate Services Division

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear FOI Section

Thank you for your correspondence of 3 March 2015 in which you relay charges of $17.15.

Under Section 29 of the FOI Act I request a waiver of fees in the public interest and query the 4.4 hours decision making time.

Australia was asked to join the OGP in 2011. A commitment to OGP has implications for transparency and accountability of which are in the public interest. Many people see these factors as crucial to deterring corruption in a democratic society, as well as enabling citizens to engage more fully in the process. Transparency means voters are equipped with all the relevant information before casting a vote on who best to represent them.

The OAIC lists reasons why FOI is important as follows:

"FOI enhances the transparency of policy making, administrative decision making and government service delivery.";

"A community that is better informed can participate more effectively in the nation’s democratic processes."; and

"...there is greater recognition that information gathered by government at public expense is a national resource and should be available more widely to the public. This idea was explicitly recognised through the reforms to the FOI Act in 2010 and the creation of the information policy function of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)."

In consideration of these principles, I believe my request certainly fulfills the public interest test about where the Australian Government stands at the moment on consideration of joining the OGP.

Secondly, I would also contest the calculation of 4.4 hours decision making time. I do not believe this cost is one that should be borne by myself (the applicant). This is a simple request, there are no national security, confidentiality or privacy factors that would indicate this level of time to make a decision to release the two relevant documents. I feel strongly that I should not be financially penalised for the department's delay in coming to a decision on this simple request.

I look forward to your decision on reconsideration of these fees.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear FOI Section

Just following up on my earlier email in relation to waiver of fees in relation to my request about the Open Government Partnership. As yet I have not received any correspondence.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


Attachment FOI15 15 Charges Decision letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Ms Doyle

Please see attached correspondence.

Regards,

Chak

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear Chak

Thanks for your email advising of the department's decision not to waive the fee on the basis of public interest.

I have spoken by phone to an FOI officer today and provided my credit card details for payment to the Collector of Public Monies of $17.15.

I look forward to receiving the documents about the OGP.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

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References

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Attachment FOI15 15 Receipt.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mrs Doyle,

 

Thank you for payment of the charges relating to your FOI request (our
reference number FOI15/15).  Please find attached the tax invoice and
receipt.

 

The current due date for a decision to be notified to you is 29 March
2015. 

 

Please contact the FOI Team, on the below details, if you have any queries
in relation to your request.

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal Services Branch

Corporate Services Division

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: FOI Requests
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Ms Doyle,

 

Please find attached, decision and document relating to your FOI request
(our reference number FOI15/15).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal Services Branch

Corporate Services Division

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [2][email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear FOI Section

Thank you for providing the Brief. I am disappointed the Draft Action Plan could not be released after being exempted under 'Deliberative Processes' and after failing the Public Interest Test (partially on the basis that it's release might reasonably be expected to harm the Commonwealth).

I will keep an eye on any updates and may later return to request a copy of the National Action Plan once it has been finalised and is no longer in draft form. Or you may choose to publish it online as part of your department's open data platform.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance (Finance).  We have received your email and will
endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view Finance’s Freedom of Information procedures and processes on
[1]http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

Further information relating to Freedom of Information can be found on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [2]website.

 

[3]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal Services Branch

Department of Finance

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-inform...

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