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Promotion notices for Murray Belcher and Russell Trott and other documents

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Dear Federal Court of Australia,

I refer to the following things:

• the selection report for the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD position published here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...
• the selection report for the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA position published here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...
• documents associated with PA2925-06/9 on the Federal Court’s disclosure log where it is apparent that Murray Belcher and Russell Trott, the successful candidates for the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD and SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA positions, respectively, are not SES Band public servants in the Federal Court;
• Promotion Notice NN 10736921 in Gazette No PS 43 – 25 October 2018, p 36 noting Mr Tim Luxton’s promotion to the Senior Executive Service upon being selected as National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – VIC position;
• Top judge warned of registrar overhaul, an article published in the Australian on 10 February 2022, in which the acting assistant commissioner of the Australian Public Service Commissioner stated, in relation to the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD position, that “a role review process … had resulted in certain positions being found suitable for” either the “Legal 2” or SES Band 1 classifications;
• past annual reports of the Federal Court demonstrating that Mr Belcher and Mr Trott were APS employees for many years prior to being promoted to the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD and SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA positions respectively; and
• the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976, which, at s 18N(4), provides that deputy district registrars and registrars must be engaged under the Public Service Act 1999.

I request access to the promotion notices published when Mr Belcher and Mr Trott were respectively promoted to fill the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – QLD and SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar – WA positions in the Federal Court.

Yours faithfully,

Marcus

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Marcus

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Marcus

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Hammerton Cole,

That can't be right. Both Murray Belcher and Russell Trott were long standing registrars of the Federal Court. Both were ongoing employees before being selected for the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar positions in Queensland and Western Australia. The selection processes for those SES Band 1 roles were certified by Kerryn Vine-Camp. As in Mr Luxton's case, promotion notices should have been published in the Public Service Gazette for both Murray Belcher and Russell Trott.

Ohhhhhhhhh ... wait a minute.

Are you suggesting that Justice Greenwood, the third most senior judge in the Federal Court of Australia, wasn't talking out of his rear end when he went on the record, in The Australian, to state that Warwick Soden and Sia Lagos conspired with one another to deny Murray Belcher career progression to the senior executive service?

Let's try this once more.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Federal Court of Australia's handling of my FOI request 'Promotion notices for Murray Belcher and Russell Trott and other documents'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Marcus

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Marcus

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Marcus

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

Federal Court of Australia

 
 
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Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

Our reference: MR22/00967

 

By email: [FOI #8661 email]

Receipt of your IC review application  

Thank you for your application for Information Commissioner Review (IC
review).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is
considering your application.

If you wish to advise the OAIC of any changes to your circumstances,
including your contact details or if your FOI request has been resolved,
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Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

 

 

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OAIC - FOI DR,

5 Attachments

Our reference: MR22/00967

Agency reference: N/A

Mr Marcus Manthopoulos
By email: [1][FOI #8661 email]

Dear Mr Manthopoulos

Thank you for your application for review. We have today informed the
Federal Court of Australia that the Information Commissioner will
undertake an IC review and requested information to assist with
progressing the review.

We will provide you with an update when we have heard from the Federal
Court of Australia.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Jennifer Zhou

 

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Dear Ms Zhou,

Thank you for this update.

To assist the OAIC, redacted copies of the selection reports prepared by the Federal Court selection committees (which consisted of Sia Lagos, David Pringle and Andrea Jarratt) for the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - QLD and SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - WA vacancies that Murray Belcher and Russell Trott were selected to fill can be found on the Federal Court of Australia's disclosure log: https://fedcourt.gov.au/disclosurelog. The selection reports are associated with disclosure PA2925-06/48.

The Public Service Commissioner's representative's (Kerryn Vine-Camp) certifications for the selection processes associated with the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - QLD and SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - WA vacancies can also be found on the Federal Court of Australia's disclosure log: https://fedcourt.gov.au/disclosurelog. The certifications are associated with disclosure PA2925-06/23.

There also appear to be references to:

a) an agency determination that was issued by the agency head of the Federal Court in relation to Mr Belcher's 'promotion' to the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - QLD vacancy (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/m... and

b) a re-assignment of duties with an associated independent flexibility arrangement in relation to Mr Trott's 'promotion' to the SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar & District Registrar - WA vacancy (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/m...).

It is suggested that the agency determination issued to Mr Belcher is worded as follows:

"AGENCY DETERMINATION 2018/8

I, Warwick Soden, Agency Head, Federal Court of Australia, acting under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act (the Act) make the following determination.

Dated: 31-10-2018 ...

1. CITATION

1.1 This determination may be cited as Agency Determination 2018/8.

2. COMMENCEMENT

2.1 This determination will take effect from the date it is signed by the Agency Head.

3. EMPLOYEE OR EMPLOYEES COVERED

3.1 This determination covers the following employee: Murray Belcher

4. CLASSIFICATION

4.1 Classification level: EL/Legal 2

5. REMUNERATION

5.1 Base Salary and Salary for Superannuation Purposes

The Employee's base salary is [mercifully redacted] per annum.

This Agency Determination 2018/8 will operate in conjunction with the prevailing Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA).

6. REVIEW OF DETERMINATION

This determination will be reviewed as necessary in light of government policy, between the employee and the Agency.

[End]"

A redacted version of the agency determination issued to Mr Belcher can be found on the Federal Court of Australia's disclosure log: https://fedcourt.gov.au/disclosurelog. The agency determination is associated with disclosure PA2925-06/35.

If Alex is correct, then it would appear that Murray Belcher was allocated an Executive Level 2 classification under rule 6 of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000, despite having been selected to fill an SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar and District Registrar - QLD vacancy following a merit based selection process that was certified by Kerryn Vine Camp, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's representative.

If Alex is correct, then it would appear that Russell Trott was allocated an Executive Level 2 classification under rule 6 of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 and issued with an independent flexibility arrangement, despite having been selected to fill an SES Band 1 National Judicial Registrar and District Registrar - WA vacancy following a merit based selection process that was certified by Kerryn Vine Camp, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's representative.

Perhaps that is why neither Mr Belcher's nor Mr Trott's name is to be found on a promotion notice published in the Public Service Gazette. That might also explain why both Mr Belcher and Mr Trott were denied lawful promotion to the Senior Executive Service of the APS despite each having been selected for promotion to the Senior Executive Service following a merit based selection process that was certified by Kerryn Vine Camp, the Australian Public Service Commissioner's representative.

It appears as though there is an IC review request in relation to the agency determination request (see https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/r...). The IC review request for the agency determination pertaining to Mr Belcher (agency determination 2018/8) is MR22/00988.

Yours sincerely,

Marcus

OAIC - FOI DR,

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OAIC - FOI DR,

Dear Mr Manthopoulos

Thank you for your response.

Kind regards

Carl English
Intake and Early Resolution Team
Freedom of Information Regulatory Group
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |  oaic.gov.au
1300 363 992  |  [email address]

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