Quality of claims processing
Alan ASHMORE made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Veterans' Affairs
Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,
Recommendation 9.3 of the Productivity Commission, June 2019 was, “if DVA’s quality assurance processes identifies excessive error rates (for example, greater than the Department’s internal targets), all claims in the batch which the sample was obtained should be recalled for assessment.”
DVA’s response on their website noted, “Progressing,” then “the implementation of this recommendation will involve on-going improvement.”
I AM NOW SEEKING:
: All documents, including internal emails, prior to the formal commencement of reassessing relevant batches where excessive error rates are noted, and
: All documents, including internal emails, pertaining to the results of all reviews undertaken as a result of Recommendation 9.3.
Dear Mr Ashmore,
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (the department) has received your
request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act). I note you have requested access to the following:
‘I am seeking:
: All documents, including internal emails, prior to the formal
commencement of reassessing relevant batches where excessive error rates
are noted, and
: All documents, including internal emails, pertaining to the results of
all reviews undertaken as a result of Recommendation 9.3.’
Your request was received by the department on 6 March 2023 and the
ordinary 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced
from the day after that date.
Extension of Time
Due to an increase in the number of information access applications
currently being received by the department, we are asking your agreement
to an extension of time for a further 30 days to process this request
under section 15AA of the FOI Act. This would mean that your request is
due on 5 May 2023.
If we are in a position to make a decision on your request earlier than
this date, we will endeavour to do so.
The statutory period may also be extended if we need to consult third
parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We will advise
you if this happens.
If you do agree we will notify the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner (OAIC) of your agreement under section 15AA of the FOI Act.
The Department will notify you within 14 days of an estimate of the
charges that will apply to your request for non-personal information
before we process any requested documents or impose a final charge.
The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your email address is
[FOI #10029 email]. Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.
Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.
Request to treat certain material as out of scope or irrelevant to the
To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we intend to treat the following
information as out of scope or irrelevant to your request, pursuant to
section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act:
1. The surnames, signatures and direct contact details of non-SES
Commonwealth employees and contractors, including clinical staff working
for Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling; and
2. The signatures of third party individuals.
If you agree to the department treating these details as irrelevant, and
to our request for an extension of time in which to process your request,
please advise by 16 March 2023.
If you have any questions about your request, please email
[DVA request email].
Position Number – 62211034
Information Access Registrations Officer
Information Access Unit / Client Access and Rehabilitation Branch
Client Engagement and Support Services Division
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)
[DVA request email]
1. mailto:[FOI #10029 email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]
3. mailto:[DVA request email]
I note your response of 9 March 2023 where you stated, “due to an increase in the number of information access applications being received by the department, we are asking your agreement to an extension of time for a further 30 days to process this request …………”
I note the Information Commissioner’s guideline 3.13 that states, “Agencies should ensure a sufficient number of officers are authorised at appropriatetly senior levels to make both original and internal review decisions.”
Further, the DVA Secretary in FADT evidence post budget 2021 stated that an amount of $28.9M was allocated to DVA legal in order to expedite RC-FOI requests in connection with this Royal Commission.
Accordingly, I do not agree to this extension of time.