Request for agreement signed by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August 2018

Josh Morrison made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Defence

Waiting for an internal review by Department of Defence of their handling of this request.

From: Josh Morrison

Delivered

Dear Department of Defence,

1. Please take this letter as my request under the Freedom of Information Act documents that you and or your department holds.

2. The attached media release from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel
and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC where it states, “Following an agreement signed by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August 2018, YDDS will train and provide three rescued dogs and their associated equipment to Air Force.”

3. This request is for the documents mentioned by the minister and referred to in paragraph 2 of this email.

Yours faithfully,

Joshua Morrison

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr. Morrison,

 

I refer to your correspondence, dated 26 October 2018, in which you sought
access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), to:

 

“The attached media release from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs,
Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister
for the Centenary of ANZAC where it states, “Following an agreement signed
by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and Young Diggers’ Dog
Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August 2018, YDDS will train and
provide three rescued dogs and their associated equipment to Air Force.”

This request is for the documents mentioned by the minister and referred
to in paragraph 2 of this email.

 

The Department of Defence excludes personal email addresses, signatures,
personnel (PMKeyS) numbers and mobile telephone numbers contained in
documents that fall within the scope of a FOI request unless you
specifically request such details. Defence also excludes duplicates of
documents.

 

If you do require these personal details, please inform us within five
days of receipt of this email so that the decision maker can consider your
request.

 

On 01 November 2018, Mr Cos Cameron, Assistant Director Defence FOI,
decided to waive charges associated with processing your request.
Accordingly, the statutory deadline for you to receive a response to your
request expires on 25 November 2018.

 

I note that the above mentioned due date is a Sunday.  In accordance with
the FOI Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner, if
the last day for notifying a decision falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a
public holiday, the timeframe will expire on the first day following which
is none of those days.  As such, the due date for you to receive a
response is 26 November 2018.

 

Should you have any questions relating to your request, please do not
hesitate to contact our office via email to [1][email address].

 

Regards,

 

Case Management

 

 

Freedom of Information

Information Management and Access

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

PO Box 7910 Canberra ACT 2610

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

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From: FOI
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mr Morrison,

1.      I refer to your correspondence dated, 26 October 2018 in which you
sought access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), to:

“Documents referred to in the media release by Minister Darren Chester on
24 October 2018 regarding the Workplace Welfare Dogs Program, specifically
the agreement signed by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies,
and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August
2018”.

2.      In our email dated 01 November 2018, you were advised that the
statutory deadline for a response to this request was 26 November 2018. 

section 27 Consultation – business documents

3.      Your request was forwarded to the Royal Australian Air Force for
consideration. The Accredited Decision Maker, GPCAPT Davies, has advised
that your request covers documents which contain information of a
commercial nature of third parties.  GPCAPT Davies has therefore
determined that there is a requirement to consult with the third parties
under section 27 of the FOI Act before making a decision on the nature of
the release of the documents. 

4.      Subsection 15(6) of the FOI Act provides for an extension of 30
days to the statutory time limit for processing requests with the deadline
for your decision now being 25 December 2018.

 

5.      I note that the above mentioned due date is a public holiday. In
accordance with the FOI Guidelines issued by the Australian Information
Commissioner, if the last day for notifying a decision falls on a
Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the timeframe will expire on the
first day following which is none of those days.  As such, the due date
for you to receive a response is 27 December 2018.

 

6.      I would be grateful if you could confirm whether the FOI
Directorate could disclose your identity as the applicant to the third
party for the purpose of consultation. While you are under no
obligation to reveal your identity as the applicant and we will not
disclose your identity without consent, in our experience, third parties
will generally be more likely to object to the release of their
information if they do not know who the applicant is.

 

section 15AA Extension of time with agreement

 

7.      Further, the Department observes a period of reduced activity and
staffing during the Christmas/New Year period, therefore it may not be
possible to finalise your FOI request by 27 December 2018.   As such, our
office is seeking your agreement to a 21 day extension of the statutory
deadline under section 15AA [extension with agreement] of the FOI
Act. Should you agree, the statutory deadline for you to receive a
response to your request will expire on Tuesday 15 January 2019.  Your
earliest consideration and response regarding the extension of the
statutory deadline would be appreciated.

 

8.      Should you have any questions relating to your request, please do
not hesitate to contact our office via telephone on (02) 6266 2200 or via
email to [1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andy Smith

 

Case Manager

Freedom of Information

Governance and Reform Division

Department of Defence

CP1-6-008 | PO Box 7910 | Campbell Park  CANBERRA  ACT  2610

E-mail:   [2][email address]

Phone: 1300 333 362

[3]http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp
file:///tmp/blocked::http:/www.defence.gov.au/FOI/privacy.asp

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From: Josh Morrison

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Please note that as you have already given yourself extension of time though the consolation process (I note that you took 20 days to do this) I am not approving with consolation the 15AA Extension of time request that you have asked for. If the department was more open and transparent with the processing of the documents there would have been no issue with this request.

In relation to sharing my Identity with Young Diggers (I am guessing they are the third party here) I do not approve for my name to be shared with them - Regardless of this I am using an persudium so even sharing the name would be of no use. However once again in an avoidance of doubt, I do not approve for you to share the information with the Third Party.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Morrison

Link to this

From: Smith, Andrew MR 61
Department of Defence


Attachment FOI Your Review Rights.pdf
58K Download View as HTML

Attachment 169 1819 Statement of Reasons.pdf
411K Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr. Morrison,

Please find attached the Statement of Reasons relating to FOI 169/18/19.

Third party consultation

As advised by email on 20 November 2018, the decision maker decided to
consult with third parties regarding their information which was contained
in the documents.  In response to this consultation, some of the third
parties have objected to the release of their business information.

In accordance with subsection 27(6) [decision to give access] of the FOI
Act, I am required to advise the third parties of the decision makers
decision.

The Department is prevented by paragraph 27(7) [access not to be given
until review or appeal opportunities have run out] of the FOI Act from
providing the documents to you until it becomes apparent that the third
parties do not propose to exercise their right to seek review of the
decision.  The third parties have until 18 January 2019 to appeal the
decision.  Accordingly, I will write to you after this date to inform you
of the outcome.

Rights of Review

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you are entitled to
request a review of this decision. Your review rights are attached.

 

Should you have any questions in regard to this matter please contact this
office.

 

Regards,

 

Andy Smith

 

Case Manager

 

Freedom of Information

Information Management and Access

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

PO Box 7910 Canberra ACT 2610

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

Link to this

From: Josh Morrison

Delivered

Mr Smith

I ask that the department agree by consent for an extension of time in my appeal rights as no documents have been provided even though you have provided an statement of reasons.

This request is to remove any doubt in relation to the Review Rights under the act for myself.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Morrison

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From: Smith, Andrew MR 61
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr. Morrison, I can confirm that once you have received the documents, you will receive appeal rights again. In effect, you'll still have 30 days to request an internal review or 60 days for an OAIC review from that date.

Regards,

Andy Smith

Case Manager
Freedom of Information
Information Management and Access
Governance and Reform Division
 
Department of Defence
CP1-06-005
PO Box 7910 Canberra ACT 2610

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email.

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From: Smith, Andrew MR 61
Department of Defence


Attachment 169 1819 Statement of Reasons.pdf
411K Download View as HTML

Attachment DFOI Applicant Review Rights.pdf
58K Download View as HTML

Attachment 169 1819 Morrison Documents.pdf
1.9M Download View as HTML


UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mr. Morrison,

 

As notified on 19 December 2018, third parties objected to the release of
their business information contained in the documents relating to your
Freedom of Information request regarding RAAF and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad
documents. 

The Department has been prevented by paragraph 27(7) [access not to be
given until review or appeal opportunities have run out] of the FOI Act
from providing the documents to you until it became apparent that the
third parties did not propose to exercise their right to seek review of
the decision.  This review period ended at midnight on 18 January 2019 -
no notification of appeal has been received

Please find attached the documents relating to your request.  I’ve also
attached a copy of the previously sent decision for your reference.

FOI Disclosure Log

In accordance with the requirements of section 11C of the FOI Act, Defence
is required to publish details of information released under the FOI Act.
Defence publishes identified documents relating to requests within five
working days of receipt by the applicant. Defence will also publish the
statement of reasons with privacy deletions.

Rights of Review

Under the provisions of section 54 of the FOI Act, you are entitled to
request a review of this decision. Your review rights are attached.

 

Should you have any questions in regard to this matter please contact this
office.

 

Regards,

 

Andy Smith

 

Case Manager

Freedom of Information

Information Management and Access

Governance and Reform Division

 

Department of Defence

CP1-06-005

PO Box 7910 Canberra ACT 2610

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence
and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914.
If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the
sender and delete the email.

Link to this

From: Josh Morrison

Delivered

Dear Department of Defence,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Defence's handling of my FOI request 'Request for agreement signed by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August 2018'.

The exclusion of the name that of the business that has agreed on the MOU as well as the briefing documents appear to be Young Diggers. This information was publicly decimated in the Ministers own Media Release.

I note that you are claiming an exemption under Section 47G of the act in relation to this. You use a very very loose vide of the world 'could' in your view on this section of the act. I also note that you have what appears to have consulted Young Diggers in order to get their approval to release their name and they appear to have declined this.

The relevant section of the act states that its conditional exempt if it discloses information if it would or could reasonably be expected to unreasonably affect the person adversely. In this case this could never be the case as the Department has publicly stated the parties that are working on this initiate and therefore the it would be preposterous for the department to state that the release of this name again though these documents could affect the professional or financial affairs.

Furthermore based on collateral information obtained it is clear that this agreement no longer stands and the MOU has been disolved by the Department due to several incorrect or misleading statements made by MOU parties (external to Defence).

Based on this I propose that the following Public Intrest Factors favouring disclosure would exist for ALL information the department has redacted under section s47G and to most extents 47D (please note I am happy to ignore my objection to 47D if no money has been transfered to the parties listed in the MOU)

- reveal the reason for a government decision and any background or contextual information that informed the decision
-enhance the scrutiny of government decision making
-allow or assist inquiry into possible deficiencies in the conduct or administration of an agency or official
- promote effective oversight of public expenditure

I would refute that this information would fall under any "Public Intrest factors against disclosure". There could be a very small case for any financial discussions in the documents to be exempt as it "could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive commercial activities of an agency". However in this instance I believe the that Public Intrest Factors favouring disclosure outweigh the ones against disclosure.

At this stage I am not asking for review on any decisions under the following sections.
- Documents affecting Commonwealth-State relations (s 47B)
- Documents affecting personal privacy (s 47F) - except for positions and ranks of persons mentioned.

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

Yours faithfully,

Josh Morrison

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From: FOIReview
Department of Defence

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Morrison

1. I refer to your email below received on 21 January 2019, in which you requested an internal review under section 54 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), of the decision dated 11 December 2018 by GPCAPT Peter Davies.

2. The decision you received related to your request for access, under the FOI Act, to:

“The attached media release from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC where it states, “Following an agreement signed by the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and Young Diggers’ Dog Squad (YDDS) Chairman of Directors on 10 August 2018, YDDS will train and provide three rescued dogs and their associated equipment to Air Force.”

This request is for the documents mentioned by the minister and referred to in paragraph 2 of this email.”

excluding personal email addresses, signatures, PMKeys numbers and mobile telephone numbers, contained in documents that fall within the scope of the FOI request.

3. The statutory deadline for you to receive a response from Defence is 20 February 2019, which is 30 days from the date in which your application for internal review was received.

4. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions.

Regards

Freedom of Information Review Team
Governance and Reform Division
Department of Defence
CP1-6-008 | PO Box 7910 | Campbell Park  CANBERRA BC  ACT  2610
Phone:  (02) 6266 4434
E-mail:   [email address]

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