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Question Time Briefs

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Dear Department of Health,

I seek access under the FOI Act 1982 to Question Time briefs (however described) prepared for Ministers within the Health and Aged Care portfolio. This request is limited to Question Time briefs for the 47th Parliament (ie Question Time briefs prepared for 27 – 28 July and 1-4 August).

I also request a copy of the Department’s current indexes of Question Time briefs.

Duplicate copies of the same document are not required, although different or updated versions of a document are. If a document contains tracked changes or comments, it is requested that the document be provided in a form where all tracked changes and comments are visible.

Names and contact details for departmental staff below the SES level are not required and can be treated as irrelevant under s22 of the Act for the purposes of this request.

Yours faithfully,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

2 Attachments

Good morning

Acknowledgement of receipt of Freedom of Information request and
notification of practical refusal reasons

I refer to your request received by the Department of Health and Aged Care
(the department) for access to documents under the Freedom of Information
Act 1982 (FOI Act). You have requested access to:

 1. Question Time briefs (however described) prepared for Ministers within
the Health and Aged Care portfolio.  This request is limited to
Question Time briefs for the 47th Parliament (ie Question Time briefs
prepared for 27 – 28 July and 1-4 August). 
 2. A copy of the Department’s current indexes of Question Time briefs.  

Duplicate copies of the same document are not required, although different
or updated versions of a document are.  If a document contains tracked
changes or comments, it is requested that the document be provided in a
form where all tracked changes and comments are visible.

The reference number for your request is FOI-3902. Please ensure that you
quote this number in future correspondence with us concerning this
request.

Timeframes

Your request was received on 8 August 2022. The statutory timeframe for
processing your request commenced on that date and was initially 30
calendar days.

Practical Refusal Reasons

I have attached a notice advising you that the department considers that
the work involved in processing your request in its current form would
substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of the department from
its other operations due to the large number of documents captured by it.

You have 14 days to respond to this notice in one of the ways set out in
it, and the statutory processing clock will be hold during this request
consultation period.

Other information

The department may impose a charge for the work involved in providing
access to the documents.  If this request attracts a charge you will be
notified in writing.

We note that you have advised that:

·        duplicate copies of the same document are not required and as
such these will be excluded from the scope of your request, and

·        any public service employee names below Senior Executive Service
level and direct telephone numbers of all staff will be excluded from the
scope of your request under s22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log
[1]www.health.gov.au/resources/foi-disclosure-log, subject to certain
exceptions. (For example, personal information will not be published where
this would be unreasonable.)

You can contact the FOI team via email at [2][email address] or by phone
on 02 6289 1666, should you have any questions.

 

Kind regards,

 

Daniel

FOI Officer – Freedom of Information Section

Legal Advice and Legislation

Legal and Assurance Division | Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666 | E: [3][email address]

PO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges the traditional owners
of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land,
sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to
elders both past and present

 

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

I confirm that I agree with your suggestion to limit the scope to the current version of each QTB as per the suggestion in your letter.

In addition, I confirm that I continue to request the index of QTBs as per my original request. In your letter you indicated that this was something you may be able to provide to assist in refining the scope further. If you are able to provide the index today, I am willing to see if the scope can be further refined. However if this will delay the process then I will proceed to limit the scope as per your original suggestion.

Yours sincerely,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

2 Attachments

Good afternoon

 

I refer to your request to the Department of Health and Aged Care (the
department) of 8 August 2022 seeking access to information under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

Please find attached the index of the department’s Question Time Briefs
for the period specified in your request. If you would like to reduce the
scope of your request further to certain briefs on the list, it would
assist if you could let us know by COB Monday, 29 August 2022.

 

If you have any questions regarding any of the matters discussed in this
email, please do not hesitate to contact the FOI Section at
[1][email address].

 

Kind regards

Ella

 

FOI Case Officer

 

 

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [2][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI,

Thank you for the index. I will review and come back to you with any change by COB 30/8/2022.

Yours sincerely,

BE

Dear FOI,

I confirm that I agree to reduce the scope to the following QTBs from the list provided:

1. Care Minutes and 24/7 election commitments
2. Home Care Packages access
3. Aged Care Funding
4. Aged Care Wages
5. Aged Care Workforce Shortages
6. HIB: Election Commitments
7. Medicinal Cannabis - Overview
8. Workforce challenges in rural and remote Australia
9. Medicare Benefits Schedule - Planned changes
10. Private Health Insurance and Private Hospitals
11. Primary Care Reform

Yours sincerely,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Good afternoon

 

I refer to your request to the Department of Health and Aged Care (the
department) dated 8 August 2022, seeking access to documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

 

The statutory due date for your request is currently 8 September 2022.

Request for extension of time

Following your agreement to reduce the scope of the request, the
department is making progress with it and the decision maker is assessing
the documents you have identified as falling within its scope. The
decision maker and the team supporting them is also responsible for
ensuring adequate assistance is provided to the portfolio Ministers during
Parliamentary Sitting periods, including the daily update and provision of
Question Time Briefs to relevant portfolio Ministers. The coming fortnight
is a Parliamentary Sitting period and the team will be required to manage
a high demand for their services throughout this period. To ensure that
the decision maker has sufficient time to consider the decision in your
request, we are requesting from you a two week extension to the statutory
timeframe.

The department would be grateful if you would agree to an extension of 14
calendar days in accordance with section 15AA of the FOI Act. This will
enable the decision maker to consult with relevant stakeholders throughout
the department, and ensure all documents are assessed appropriately in
order for a well-balanced decision is made.

If you agree to this extension, the statutory due date will be Thursday 22
September 2022.

If you could confirm your agreement to the department by COB Monday, 5
September 2022 this would assist us with the processing of your request.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation as we continue to
process your request.

 

If you’d like to discuss the matters in this email further please don’t
hesitate to be in touch.

 

Kind regards

Ella

 

FOI Case Officer

 

 

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [1][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your email requesting an extension. I am not comfortable agreeing to the extension requested. In particular, I note that the scope of the request has been substantially reduced so that the request is now for a total of 11 discrete documents. Accordingly, given the small number of documents involved I asked that the decision be made in accordance with the statutory time frames. In considering your request for an extension I have also taken into account the delay in receiving a response to my email of 18 August 2022 which has played a significant factor in contributing to the time frames that now apply. I am willing to grant a 1 day extension to 9 September 2022, noting that I took an extra business day to confirm the reduced scope. This will also provide the decision maker with an extra business day that is not a sitting day in which to make the decision.

There is a specific public interest in these documents being released in accordance with the required time frames and I ask that this request be completed in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act. I am concerned that your request for an extension (given the small number of documents) and your delay in responding to emails is an attempt to delay the process until after the parliamentary setting period and undermines the very purpose of the FOI Act and the Government's stated commitment to transparency.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Good morning

 

We refer to your FOI request 3902 and our previous correspondence in
relation to the index of active QTBs held by this department.

 

To reduce any delays in the processing of your request, the index was
initially provided to you whilst the decision maker was on leave. The
decision maker has now returned from leave and had an opportunity to
consider your request further, and has determined that an additional 18
QTBs are relevant to your request as they were active on 4 August 2022.

 

To assist you, we have provided below a list of these additional 18 QTBs,
and wish to provide you with an opportunity to also select any of these
QTBs for inclusion in the scope of your request.

1.            QB22-000421 - HIB: Residential aged care

2.            QB22-000280 - Residential Aged Care

3.            QB22-000287 - Residential Aged Care

4.            QB22-000388 - HIB: Aged Care measures

5.            QB22-000371 - HIB: Disability and Aged Care

6.            QB22-000372 - HIB: Aged Care

7.            QB22-000408 - Health matters

8.            QB22-000406 - Sporting matters

9.            QB22-000302 - Sporting matters

10.          QB22-000303 - Sporting matters

11.          QB22-000258 - Medicare matters

12.          QB22-000373 - HIB: Telehealth

13.          QB22-000415 - Women’s Health

14.          QB22-000365 - COVID-19 Vaccination Program

15.          QB22-000346 - My Health Record

16.          QB22-000348 - Sporting matters

17.          QB22-000349 - Sporting matters

18.          QB22-000386 - Covid Safe App

 

It would assist us with the processing of your request if you could
indicate by COB today, Monday, 5 September whether you would like to
include any of these 18 briefs into your request. We apologise for the
short turnaround for this request.

 

Kind regards,

Ella

 

FOI Case Officer

 

 

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [1][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI,

Thanks for your email. Given that the decision is due this Friday 9 September in order to avoid imposing any additional workload on the decision maker or any further delay in the decision I will proceed with the scope as previously advised.

Yours sincerely,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

1 Attachment

Good afternoon

 

I refer to your request to the Department of Health and Aged Care (the
department) dated 8 August 2022, seeking access to documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act).

Request for extension of time

As you will be aware, the statutory due date for this request is currently
today, 9 September 2022.

We have requested an additional extension of time from the Office of the
Australian Information Commissioner under section 15AB, however at this
point we have not received their decision on that request.

We have been endeavouring to provide you with a decision by today,
however, it has become apparent that the department will not be in a
position to finalise the decision today, and we will require a few
additional days in order to finalise it.

As such, we would be grateful if you could agree to an short further
extension of 5 calendar days in accordance with section 15AA of the FOI
Act. This will move the statutory due date to next Wednesday, 14
September, and will enable the decision maker to finalise your request
within the statutory timeframes.

If the department is not able to meet the current statutory deadline, the
request will become ‘deemed refused’ under section 15AC of the FOI Act,
which in effect means that the department will have been taken to have
refused your request. In the event that this occurs, it will be necessary
for you to request a review by the Information Commissioner under section
54N of the FOI Act of that deemed refusal decision. Once the matter is
subject to review by the Information Commissioner the department would
then be able to finalise its decision on access to the documents captured
by your request under section 55G of the FOI Act.

It would assist if you could confirm your agreement to the department by
COB today.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation as we continue to
process your request.

 

If you’d like to discuss the matters in this email further please don’t
hesitate to be in touch.

 

Kind regards

Ella

 

FOI Case Officer

 

 

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [1][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]

Dear FOI,
i agree to the extension until tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,

BE

FOI, Department of Health

3 Attachments

Dear BE,

 

Please find attached correspondence in relation to your Freedom of
Information request to the Department of Health and Aged Care.

 

Kind regards,

Ella

 

FOI Case Officer

 

 

Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

T: 02 6289 1666  | E: [1][Health request email] 

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

 

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the
sender immediately.

 

"Important: This transmission is intended only for the use of the
addressee and may contain confidential or legally privileged information. 
If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use or
dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you
receive this transmission in error please notify the author immediately
and delete all copies of this transmission."

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Health request email]

OAIC - FOI DR,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ22/03174

Agency reference: FOI 3902

 

Dear BE

 

Please find attached a decision granting the Department of Health and Aged
Care additional time to make a decision on your FOI request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Natalie Vuleta

 

[1][IMG]   Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner

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

1300 363 992 [3][email address]
[4][IMG] | [5][IMG] | [6][IMG] |   [7]Subscribe to OAICnet newsletter

 

Notice:

The information contained in this email message and any attached files may
be confidential information, and may also be the subject of legal
professional privilege. If you are not the intended recipient any use,
disclosure or copying of this email is unauthorised. If you received this
email in error, please notify the sender by contacting the department's
switchboard on 1300 488 064 during business hours (8:30am - 5pm Canberra
time) and delete all copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

References

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are BE please sign in and let everyone know.