Register of external scrutineers' recommendations

Patrick Conheady made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Taxation Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Patrick Conheady

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

The ATO's submissions to the House Tax and Revenue Committee's inquiry into external scrutiny of the ATO contain various details and statistics about recommendations made by external scrutineers such as the Inspector-General of Taxation. The ATO appears to record information which is not publicly available, such as the time taken to implement each recommendation.

Please provide the ATO's register of external scrutineer recommendations, including the length of time taken to implement each recommendation.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Conheady

Wilson-Otto, Jordan, Australian Taxation Office

Dear Mr Conheady,


We have received your email of 2 May 2016 requesting the ATO’s register of
external scrutineer recommendations, including the length of time taken to
implement each recommendation. Our reference for this request is


We will consider your request and respond as soon as possible. FOI
requests are required to be processed within 30 days from the date we
receive an application. While we aim to achieve this timeframe, certain
requests that are large or involve complex issues may take longer. If this
is the case we will contact you to discuss when the material can be made


Further, unless your request is for personal information, charges may
apply depending on the size and complexity of your case. We will notify
you if there are charges and what those charges will be. We will obtain
your consent to any additional charges before processing the request.






Jordan Wilson-Otto

Lawyer, General Counsel, ATO Corporate

Australian Taxation Office
P 03 9285 1129  

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Dann, Nicole, Australian Taxation Office

Dear Mr Conheady

Re: Freedom of Information request for documents dated 2 May 2016

Our Reference: 1-8305V8R

I am seeking from you an extension of time to process the above mentioned

Request for an extension of time under section 15AA of the FOI Act.

I note that the processing time for your application is due to expire on 1
June 2016. I am writing to obtain your consent to agree to an extension of
time until 1 July 2016 to process your application. I am currently in the
process of searching for the material that will satisfy your request.


If you consent to the extension of time, would you please let me know by
return email at your earliest convenience.

If you have any questions about this email please don't hesitate to
contact me.



Nicole Dann

Legal Adviser, General Counsel, ATOC

Australian Taxation Office
P 03 8632 4788  


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Patrick Conheady

Dear Nicole,

I do apologise for the delay in responding. However, I cannot in good conscience grant an extension. I did consider the slight potential unfairness of my late reply (the deadline is three days away) but the lack of justification for your request does outweigh that.

You indicated in your email that, as of 20 May, nearly three weeks after you received the request, you were 'in the process of searching for the material that will satisfy your request'. That is, you had not found the document and you had not even begun the decision-making process.

This was a request for a very specific document. The recent references to the documents by the agency in public House of Representatives proceedings (referred to in my request) mean that you could find the document in no time at all with a phone call to the agency's 'parliamentary services' (or equivalent) team. Every agency has a parliamentary services team and they are all very efficient.

Without my agreement, the only other way to get an extension is from the OAIC for a 'complex or voluminous' request. This request does not fall into that category.

It is not clear to me why this request should take more than the ordinary statutory timeframe. It is not an unusual request. In fact it is probably one of the simpler cases contemplated by the Act.

I think that requests for an extension should be accompanied by a statement of what the agency is doing and what steps remain in the process, and how long they are expected to take, and why the request should fall outside the ordinary statutory timeframe. Otherwise the impression is given that the agency has simply not devoted sufficient resources to fulfilling its functions under the FOI Act.

Accordingly, your request for an extension is denied.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Conheady

McCafferty, Mary, Australian Taxation Office

2 Attachments


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Patrick Conheady

Dear Mary,

Thanks for your email.

The released document appears to be a PDF file created from a spreadsheet such as an Excel file.

The original machine-readable table would be substantially more useful than a PDF image of the table.

Is it at all possible for you to provide the table in its original machine-readable form?

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Conheady