Dear Federal Court of Australia,

This is a request for documents under the FOI Act. Documents can be provided to me by email.

Part 1

According to the Australian Public Service Classification Guide (page 30):

An agency with new or revised broadbanding proposals are (sic) required under the bargaining framework for APS enterprise agreements to consult with the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) to ensure that the proposals:

i) meet the APS Values and Employment Principles - relating to merit, community access to employment opportunities and leadership
ii) meet the APS legislative requirements - such as the Classification Rules
iii) are consistent with the bargaining framework for APS enterprise agreements. This includes that salary advancement for individuals within classifications and broadbands is subject to at least satisfactory performance.

Under the FOI Act, please provide the last three broadbanding proposals the Federal Court of Australia provided to the Australian Public Service Commission to ensure that the proposals conformed to the requirements set out at (i) – (iii) above.

Part 2

According to an article in the Australian published on 9 February 2022 (Federal Court boss warned on job rule sidestep), acting assistant commissioner Kate McMullan concluded that appointments to the National Judicial Registrar positions in the Federal Court were proper because “the recruitment processes which resulted in the appointment of eight registrars because there had been ‘a role review process that had resulted in certain positions being found suitable for either a Legal 2 or (SES1) position, depending on the relative complexity and workload.’”

According to the same article, the acting deputy principal registrar of the Federal Court stated that he had some concerns regarding responses provided by the Court to Ms McMullan particularly because of the way those responses “[sat] against the Public Service Rules 2000, particularly Rules 6 to 10.”

According to a decision provided under the FOI Act by Bridie Dawson, Assistant Secretary in the Attorney-General’s Department (FOI22/028; CM22/2133 – https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...), in response to the following request:

documents that set out how it is that positions/roles in the AGD may be classified over more than one classification depending on the complexity of the group of duties to be performed, and where one of those classifications in an SES classification,

Ms Dawson responded:

Duties cannot be classified over more than one classification, as per Public Service Classification Rules 2000 which states the following:

… (4) If a group of duties to be performed in an Agency involves work value applying to more than one classification, the Agency Head may allocate more than one classification (called a broadband) to the group of duties.

(5) However, subrule (4) does not apply to a group of duties to be performed by an SES employee.

Both Ms McMullan and Ms Dawson cannot be correct. One of them is wrong and the text of the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 and Mr Tredwell’s concerns lead me to believe that Ms McMullan was wrong to conclude that appointments to the National Judicial Registrar positions in the Federal Court were proper because “the recruitment processes which resulted in the appointment of eight registrars because there had been ‘a role review process that had resulted in certain positions being found suitable for either a Legal 2 or (SES1) position, depending on the relative complexity and workload.’”

If Ms McMullan is right, then one would expect that the Australian Public Service Commission would regularly receive new or revised broadbanding proposals to ensure that the proposals:

i) meet the APS Values and Employment Principles - relating to merit, community access to employment opportunities and leadership
ii) meet the APS legislative requirements - such as the Classification Rules
iii) are consistent with the bargaining framework for APS enterprise agreements. This includes that salary advancement for individuals within classifications and broadbands is subject to at least satisfactory performance.

Accordingly, under the FOI Act, please provide the last three broadbanding proposals the Federal Court of Australia provided to the Australian Public Service Commission (from any agency or Department) to ensure that the proposals conformed to the requirements set out at (i) – (iii) above where one of the classifications across which a proposed broadband was effected was an SES classification (e.g. a broadband over the Executive Level 2 and SES1 Band).

Yours faithfully,

Allan

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Allan

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Allan

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Hammerton Cole,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Federal Court of Australia's handling of my FOI request 'Request for broadbanding proposals'.

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,

Allan

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Allan

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Allan

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections