Payments made or otherwise owing to Richard Cobden SC

anon made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Communications and the Arts

The request was partially successful.

From: anon

Delivered

Dear Department of Communications and the Arts,

This request is an application for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

Could you please provide me with a document or documents that detail:

- total monies paid by the Department of Communications and the Arts (or its predecessors) (the Department) to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department in the three years prior to the day that Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department (some time in 2013 I believe);

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department from the day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date of this application; and

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to senior lawyers who have been awarded the title of Senior Counsel (post-nominal: 'SC') or Queen's Counsel ('QC') in respect of their provision of legal advice to the Department from the day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date of this application.

I'm aware that the Department's financial systems can quickly and efficiently provide the information that I seek and therefore I request that the Department provide that information in accordance with section 17 of the FOI Act.

Thanks.

Link to this

From: anon

Delivered

Dear Department of Communications and the Arts,

I'm writing to check on the status of my FOI request and also to remind you of your obligation under paragraph 15(5)(a) of the FOI Act. I await your advice.

Yours faithfully,

anon

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


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UNCLASSIFIED

FOI 20-1617

 

Dear Applicant

 

I refer to your email sent to the Department at 6:05pm on Friday 27
January 2017, seeking access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act) to:

 

“…a document or documents that detail:

 

- total monies paid by the Department of Communications and the Arts (or
its predecessors) (the Department) to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his
provision of legal advice to the Department in the three years prior to
the day that Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department
(some time in 2013 I believe);

 

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to Richard Cobden
SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department from the
day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date
of this application; and

 

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to senior lawyers
who have been awarded the title of Senior Counsel (post-nominal: 'SC') or
Queen's Counsel ('QC') in respect of their provision of legal advice to
the Department from the day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at
the Department to the date of this application…”

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision:

Please note that we will process your request in accordance with the
Department’s [1]FOI Policy and that the 30 day statutory period for
processing the request commenced the day after the date that your request
was received by the Department, i.e. 28 January, 2017.  You should
therefore expect a decision from us by 27 February 2017.  The period of 30
days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will advise you if
there is any extension of time.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of the request is unclear or is too large for
processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Charges:

Please note that it is the Department’s policy to issue charges for
processing FOI requests and that we will advise you of the estimated
charges when we are in a position to estimate the resources required to
process the request. 

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of the request will require the Department to upload
any documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, I
take this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to
upload documents to the disclosure log on the same day as or as soon as
practicable after the documents are released.  More information on the
Department’s disclosure log is available in the FOI Policy.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact me by return email.

 

[2]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[3]communications.gov.au

[4]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [5]@CommsAu

 

[6]arts.gov.au

[7]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [8]@artsculturegov

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed.  Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in the handling of the
advice, you avoid waiving privilege.  Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.communications.gov.au/who-we...
3. https://www.communications.gov.au/
5. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
6. http://arts.gov.au/
8. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


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Attachment Signed s24AB Notice.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

FOI 20-1617

 

Dear Applicant,

 

Please see attached correspondence sent in relation to your FOI Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[2]communications.gov.au

[3]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [4]@CommsAu

 

[5]arts.gov.au

[6]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [7]@artsculturegov

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed.  Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in the handling of the
advice, you avoid waiving privilege.  Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. https://www.communications.gov.au/
4. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
5. http://arts.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en

Link to this

From: anon

Delivered

Thanks for this.

I must say though, given the small number of external legal service providers used by the Department in the periods the subject of request, I find it difficult to believe that the small amount of effort required to identify those providers would 'substantially and unreasonably divert the resources' of the Department. Indeed, if you happened to ask the small number of lawyers within the Department who managed to survive Ms Flannery's reign the names of the SCs or QCs the Department funnelled taxpayer funds to in the relevant periods, they'd rattle those names off without pausing. Another quick and easy method to efficiently identify the information the subject of my request would be to interogate the Department's financial systems according to cost codes used for external legal service providers. But, for whatever reason, I can see the Department's not keen for this information to be publicly known.

Not to worry though. Pursuant to paragraph 24AB(6)(b) of the FOI Act, I'll revise my request such that it no longer requests documents relating to legal service providers other than Richard Cobden SC. My revised request is for:

- total monies paid by the Department of Communications and the Arts (or its predecessors) (the Department) to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department in the three years prior to the day that Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department (some time in 2013 I believe); and

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department from the day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date of this application (27/1/17).

I know that the Department's financial systems can quickly and easily produce the documents the subject of my (revised) request (be it pursuant to s.17 of the FOI Act or otherwise) and so I look forward to receiving that information next week.

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


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Attachment Freedom of Information Act 1982 sections 24 24AA and 24AB.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

FOI 20-1617

 

Dear Applicant,

 

Please see attached the copies of sections 24, 24AA and 24AB of the FOI
Act as referred to in the notice sent to you earlier today.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[1]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[2]communications.gov.au

[3]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [4]@CommsAu

 

[5]arts.gov.au

[6]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [7]@artsculturegov

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed.  Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in the handling of the
advice, you avoid waiving privilege.  Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:47 AM
To: anon <[FOI #2989 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Payments made or otherwise
owing to Richard Cobden SC [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

FOI 20-1617

 

Dear Applicant,

 

Please see attached correspondence sent in relation to your FOI Request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[8]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [9][Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[10]communications.gov.au

[11]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [12]@CommsAu

 

[13]arts.gov.au

[14]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [15]@artsculturegov

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed.  Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in the handling of the
advice, you avoid waiving privilege.  Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
2. https://www.communications.gov.au/
4. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
5. http://arts.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en
9. mailto:[Department of Communications and the Arts request email]
10. https://www.communications.gov.au/
12. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
13. http://arts.gov.au/
15. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


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Attachment FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 ss 27 and 47G Consultation business documents.pdf
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Attachment Extract from FOI Act 1982 47F and 27A Personal Information.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

FOI Ref: 20-1617

 

Dear Applicant,

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

I refer to your email dated 27 January 2017 seeking access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:

 

“…Could you please provide me with a document or documents that detail:

 

- total monies paid by the Department of Communications and the Arts (or
its predecessors) (the Department) to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his
provision of legal advice to the Department in the three years prior to
the day that Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department
(some time in 2013 I believe);

 

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to Richard Cobden
SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department from the
day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date
of this application; and

 

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to senior lawyers
who have been awarded the title of Senior Counsel (post-nominal: 'SC') or
Queen's Counsel ('QC') in respect of their provision of legal advice to
the Department from the day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at
the Department to the date of this application…”

 

On 21 February 2017, we notified you under section 24AB(2) of the
decision-maker’s intention to refuse to process the request on the basis
that processing of the request would substantially and unreasonably divert
the resources of the department from its other operations.

 

On 21 February 2017, you advised us that:

 

“…My revised request is for:

 

- total monies paid by the Department of Communications and the Arts (or
its predecessors) (the Department) to Richard Cobden SC in respect of his
provision of legal advice to the Department in the three years prior to
the day that Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department
(some time in 2013 I believe); and

 

- total monies paid or otherwise owing by the Department to Richard Cobden
SC in respect of his provision of legal advice to the Department from the
day Angela Flannery commenced her employment at the Department to the date
of this application (27/1/17)…”

 

We have identified that there is a requirement for third party
consultation in relation to your FOI Request as revised by your email
dated 21 February, 2017 arising under:

 

·         section 27 of the FOI Act – business documents; and/or

·         section 27A of the FOI Act – documents affecting personal
privacy.

 

I have attached copies of sections 27 and 47G and section 27A and 47F for
your information.

 

In accordance with section 15(6)(b) of the FOI Act, please be advised that
the timeframe for dealing with your request has been extended by a period
of 30 days.  As such, the new due date for a decision on access is 28
March 2017. 

 

I will endeavour to ensure that the consultation is concluded as quickly
as possible.  Please note that consultation with a third-party does not
confer a right of veto on the release of information or documents.  The
decision-maker will, however, have regard to any comments which are made
by a third-party as part of the consultation process.

 

Should you have any enquiries regarding this matter please don’t hesitate
to contact me by return email.

 

[1]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[2]communications.gov.au

[3]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [4]@CommsAu

 

[5]arts.gov.au

[6]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [7]@artsculturegov

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential information or
legal advice over which legal professional privilege can be claimed.  Such
privilege is not waived and you should ensure that, in the handling of the
advice, you avoid waiving privilege.  Please consult the author of the
advice if unsure about appropriate handling.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. https://www.communications.gov.au/
4. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
5. http://arts.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Communications and the Arts


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Attachment 28.03.2017 FOI 20 1617 Access Decision.pdf
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Attachment foi factsheet 12 your review rights July2012.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Applicant

 

Please see attached Notice of Access Decision in relation to your current
FOI Request (Reference No. 20-1617).

 

Yours sincerely

 

[1]cid:C4234CC5-D32A-44FF-A754-F96227B373F7

 

FOI Coordinator  /  Office of the General Counsel  

Department of Communications and the Arts

E [Department of Communications and the Arts request email]

 

38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601

  

[2]communications.gov.au

[3]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [4]@CommsAu

 

[5]arts.gov.au

[6]cid:17F0759F-5B67-41BB-B991-66700A2CA00A [7]@artsculturegov

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
2. https://www.communications.gov.au/
4. https://twitter.com/CommsAu?lang=en
5. http://arts.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/artsculturegov?lang=en

Link to this

From: anon

Delivered

Thanks for this. Your work is very much appreciated.

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Communications and the Arts only: