Records of inter agency meetings held on 17 July 2013, 29 October 2013 and 5 November 2013 on the Open Government Partnership.

Peter Timmins made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was partially successful.

From: Peter Timmins

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I am seeking access to the record of each of the inter agency meetings on the Open Government Partnership held on 17 July 2013, 29 October 2013, and 5 November 2013, dates meetings were held as indicated by Senator Brandis in Senate estimates, and of any subsequent inter agency meeting or meetings.

Please treat this request for specific documents as an administrative access request of the kind suggested in guidance from the Office Of Australian information Commissioner.

If you are unable to deal with the request in that way please treat it as an application under the Freedom of Information Act.

If this proves necessary I seek waiver of any charges on public interest grounds, noting the announcement of the decision of intention to join the OGP in May 2013,the limited public references to the initiative in the period since, the potential for transparency and scrutiny to encourage efficient public administration, and if access is granted, the contribution disclosure of the records would make to informed public discussion about the way Australian democratic practices could be improved.

My address for the service of notices is this email address.

Thank you in anticipation.

Peter Timmins.

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

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If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom
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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
14/3641

5 March 2014

Mr Peter Timmins
Email:[FOI #552 email]

Dear Mr Timmins

Freedom of Information Request no. FOI14/037

I refer to your request for access to documents relating to Open Government Partnership under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. I have taken your request to be for:

Access to the record of each of the inter agency meetings on the Open Government Partnership held on 17 July 2013, 29 October 2013, and 5 November 2013, dates meetings were held as indicated by Senator Brandis in Senate estimates, and of any subsequent inter agency meeting or meetings.

If you disagree with our interpretation of your request, please let me know as soon as possible.

We received your request on 5 March 2014 and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 4 April 2014. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to consult third parties or for other reasons. We will advise you if this happens.

It is the usual practice of the Department to not release the names and contact details of junior officers of the Department and other government agencies, where that personal information is contained in documents within scope of a request. The names and contact details of senior officers will generally be released. We will take it that you agree to the removal of junior officers’ personal information unless you advise that you would like us to consider releasing that information as part of the documents you have requested.

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be published online on our disclosure log http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection..., subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not be published where this would be unreasonable.)

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact. If you have any questions, please contact the FOI Section by email [AGD request email].

Kind Regards

FOI Contact Officer

Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Email: [AGD request email]

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mr Timmins

Re: AGD FOI matter no. FOI 14/037

I refer to your FOI request of 5 March 2014 with the Attorney-General's Department.

Please consider this e-mail as ‘notice of partial-transfer of request’ in accordance with section 16(4) of the FOI Act.

PARTIAL-TRANSFER TO FINANCE
On 19 March 2014, part of your FOI request (specifically, the terms regarding Meeting No. 2 of 29/10/2013) were partially-transferred to the Department of Finance (Finance) under section 16 of the FOI Act, as the documents are not in the possession of this department, and are, to our knowledge, in the possession of Finance, as Finance co-chaired Meeting No. 2 and the subject-matter of the documents are more closely connected with Finance. The terms of your FOI request transferred to Finance, include: ‘the record of each of the inter agency meetings on the Open Government Partnership held on ... 29 October 2013, dates meetings were held as indicated by Senator Brandis in Senate estimates, and of any subsequent inter agency meeting or meetings’.

POINTS OF CONTACT AT FINANCE
To discuss your FOI request with Finance, please e-mail [email address] or call the FOI Coordinator on (02) 6215 1783.

REMAINING FOI REQUEST WITH AGD
Following partial transfer to Finance, your remaining FOI request with AGD concerns OGP meeting no. 1 and 3 documents. The department’s decision is due by cob Friday 4 April 2014.

With regards,

AGD FOI & Privacy
[AGD request email]

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From: Peter Timmins

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,
I have to take your word for the fact that because Finance co-chaired the meeting of 29 October but not apparently the meeting on 5 November, AG's doesn't hold a copy of the record of the October meeting. Don't copies of the record get circulated even to the co-chair? It would be helpful if someone could say publicly who has carriage of this issue which has been kicking around within government for 30 months since Australia was invited to join.

Needless to say I look forward to the determinations.
Yours sincerely,

Peter Timmins

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From: FOI Requests


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment FOI14 24 Decision Letter.pdf
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Attachment FOI14 24 Document 1 Redacted.pdf
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Attachment FOI14 24 Document 2 Redacted.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Timmins,

Please see attached, correspondence in regards to your FOI request (our
reference number FOI14/24).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Peter Timmins

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,
Tx Finance for prompt attention and release of the relevant documents. Any chance of a word to AG 's encouraging a similar response to the record of the other two meetings particularly the November meeting so those of us on the outside know where things stood 5 months ago? Even better a word in someone's ear suggesting a public statement now to bring everyone up to date regarding the upcoming meetings in Bali and what Australia intends about the national action plan, that the OGP still thinks is due for submission in the next few weeks?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Timmins

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From: FOI Requests


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

 

You may view further information relating to Freedom of Information on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [1]website.

 

[2]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

 

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1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_...

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From: Constant, Margarita
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment FOI decision Mr Timmins 4 April 2014.pdf
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Attachment 1.OGP Meeting of 17 July 2013 Outcomes R.PDF.pdf
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Attachment 2.OGP Meeting of 17 July 2013 Attendees R.PDF.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED
Good afternoon Mr Timmins

Freedom of Information Request no. FOI14/037

I refer to your request for access to documents relating to Open Government Partnership under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, specifically:

'access to the record of each of the inter agency meetings on the Open Government Partnership held on 17 July 2013, 29 October 2013, and 5 November 2013, dates meetings were held as indicated by Senator Brandis in Senate estimates, and of any subsequent inter agency meeting or meetings'.

Please find attached the Department’s decision, a schedule of documents and the documents being released to you as part of this request.

Please contact the FOI section via email if you have any questions.

Kind Regards

FOI Contact Officer
Freedom of Information and Privacy Section | Office of Corporate Counsel Attorney-General's Department | 3 - 5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Email: [AGD request email]

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From: Peter Timmins

Delivered

Dear AGD,
Thanks for the response. as you will appreciate, it's puzzling that you turn out not to have a copy of the record of two of the three inter agency meetings that The Attorney told Senate Estimates had been held regarding Australian membership of the OGP. I have written to Senator Brandis pointing out this seems somewhat offhand , given other governments that belong treat this matter as something of importance all the way to head of government level.

And while I agreed that I didn't want the names of junior officers who attended these meetings who was to know that the only people at the July meeting from Ausaid,DBCDE, Finance, and PM&C would be junior officers? If they were senior enough to represent their agencies, they should be able to cope with their names being disclosed.

I take it Finance may have carriage of the matter now although outsiders would be forgiven for not knowing as nothing has been said publicly to this effect.

Cheers.

Peter Timmins

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