Request for broadbanding proposals

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

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

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.

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 PMC 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

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

4 Attachments

OFFICIAL

FOI/2022/083

 

Dear Allan

 

Thank you for your email dated 13 March 2022, received by the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a
request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) in the
following terms:

 

Accordingly, under the FOI Act, please provide the last three broadbanding
proposals PMC 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).

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision

 

We received your request on 13 March 2022 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 12 April 2022. The period of
30 days may be extended in certain circumstances under the FOI Act. We
will write to you regarding any extension of time that may relate to your
request.

 

Charges

 

Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department decides that you
are liable to pay a charge, we will send you a preliminary assessment of
the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...,
subject to certain exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any
objections to the publication of any of the information which may be
released to you please contact us by email at [2][DPMC request email].  If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details

 

For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:

o any person’s signature;
o the names and contact details of Australian Public Service officers
not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
o the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;
o the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a level below
Chief of Staff.

 

The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [3][DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).

 

We will write again when the Department has more information.  Further
information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the Office of
the Australian Information Commissioner
[4]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Adviser | FOI Section[]

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

Ngunnawal Country, One National Circuit  Barton  ACT  2600  |  PO Box
6500  CANBERRA  ACT  2600
e. [5][email address]  w. [6]pmc.gov.au

[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0[8]cid:image002.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0

[9]cid:image003.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0 The
Department
acknowledges
and pays
respect to
the past,
present and
emerging
Elders and
Traditional
Custodians
of Country,
and the
continuation
of cultural,
spiritual
and
educational
practices of
Aboriginal
and Torres
Strait
Islander
peoples.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
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return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
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______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/depart...
2. mailto:[DPMC request email]
3. mailto:[DPMC request email]
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. https://www.pmc.gov.au/
7. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
8. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

FOI Reference: FOI/2022/083

 

Dear Allan

 

Please find attached the decision regarding your request under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adviser | FOI Section[]

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. (02) 6271 5849

Ngunnawal Country, One National Circuit  Barton  ACT  2600  |  PO Box
6500  CANBERRA  ACT  2600
e. [1][email address]  w. [2]pmc.gov.au

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0[4]cid:image002.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0

[5]cid:image003.jpg@01D78E24.FF2DAFB0 The
Department
acknowledges
and pays
respect to
the past,
present and
emerging
Elders and
Traditional
Custodians
of Country,
and the
continuation
of cultural,
spiritual
and
educational
practices of
Aboriginal
and Torres
Strait
Islander
peoples.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 
IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information 
that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or 
other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message,
you 
must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other 
party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If
you 
have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately
by 
return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the 
message from your computer system. 
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://www.pmc.gov.au/
3. https://twitter.com/pmc_gov_au
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/departm...

Dear Ms Bopping,

Thank you for your correspondence.

Your response is more than 3 weeks late.

In your response you note the following:

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your FOI request, please let us know what we could have done better.

How about responding on time? Failing that, how about contacting me and requesting an extension of time during the 30 day period in which the Department should ordinarily respond? Those are two ways you could have done things better (and by better, I mean lawfully).

For your information, I have applied for IC review because the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet made a deemed refusal decision on 12 April 2022.

As to the response you have provided in your correspondence, I find it difficult to believe that the documents could not be found. I'd ask you to check again but the matter is now with the Information Commissioner for review.

Yours sincerely,

Allan

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

1 Attachment

Our reference: MR22/00746

 

By email: [FOI #8601 email]

Receipt of your IC review application  

Thank you for your application for Information Commissioner Review (IC
review).

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is
considering your application.

If you wish to advise the OAIC of any changes to your circumstances,
including your contact details or if your FOI request has been resolved,
please write to [email address] and quote MR22/00746.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

 

 

 

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