Request for email document

G Coles made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Public Service Commission

The request was successful.

From: G Coles

Delivered

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

I refer to the following articles:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national...

https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/24/lib...

https://www.themandarin.com.au/85236-thr...

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national...

which tend to suggest that the Public Service Commissioner has breached a range of obligations imposed on him by the Public Service Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act.

I refer to a question posed of the APSC by the Finance and Public Administration Senate Committee on 26 February 2018 which the Public Service Commissioner took on notice:

https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...

where the Senate Committee requested that the Public Service Commissioner provide to the Senate, email correspondence between the Public Service Commissioner and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) over the past eighteen months. In response to that request, the APSC/IPA identified one relevant email as being sent/received on 24/10/2017 with the subject "PR for IPA".

Under the FOI Act, I request a copy of that document.

I give consent for the personal information of anyone who's not a public servant a member of parliament to be redacted from the relevant document so no third party consultation should be necessary.

Noting that the Public Service Commissioner is a former senior staffer and current member of the IPA, that the IPA's policy and lobbying agenda is anti public servant and that the Public Service Commissioner has a history of using Commonwealth resources to support and advance the political agenda of the IPA, it is clearly in the public interest that access be provided to the document identified.

In processing this request, I remind APSC staff of the obligations imposed on them by the Public Service Act.

Thank you.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

UNCLASSIFIED

FOI Reference:  C18/889

 

Dear G Coles

 

Acknowledgement of FOI request

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) acknowledges
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
(FOI Act), seeking access to the documents in summary being:

 

                ‘…I refer to a question posed of the APSC by the Finance
and Public Administration Senate Committee on 26 February 2018 which the
Public Service Commissioner took on notice:

 

               [1]https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...

 

where the Senate Committee requested that the Public Service Commissioner
provide to the Senate, email correspondence between the Public Service
Commissioner and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) over the past
eighteen months. In response to that request, the APSC/IPA identified one
relevant email as being sent/received on 24/10/2017 with the subject "PR
for IPA".

 

             Under the FOI Act, I request a copy of that document.

 

The statutory timeframe for responding to your request under the FOI Act
is 30 days from the date of receipt. Your decision will fall due on 24 May
2018.  There may be occasions when the timeframe is extended in certain
circumstances, and we will advise you if such circumstances arise, or if
there is a need to conduct formal consultation with affected third
parties.  Such consultation may also extend the processing time in
accordance with sections 27 and 27A [Consultation – business documents and
personal privacy] of the FOI Act.

 

Please note, section 22(a)(i)(ii) [irrelevant material] of the FOI Act
allows agencies to exclude or redact certain information from an FOI
request if it is deemed that material is irrelevant to the scope of a
request.

 

The Commission’s policy is to exclude the personal details of the
Commission’s or APSC officers; such as names, signatures, direct phone and
mobile numbers, where contained in documents that fall within the scope of
an FOI request, unless you specifically request access to such details.

 

The Commission’s policy is also to exclude duplicates of documents, and
documents sent to, or received from you, as the FOI applicant.

 

Should you have any questions relating to your request, please do not
hesitate to contact our office via email to [2][email address] .

 

Kind regards,

 

 

FOI Officer

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600

GPO Box 3176, Canberra ACT 2601

Email:  [email address]

 

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From: G Coles

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thanks for your reply. I note your advice that:

"The Commission’s policy is to exclude the personal details of the
Commission’s or APSC officers; such as names, signatures, direct phone and
mobile numbers, where contained in documents that fall within the scope of
an FOI request, unless you specifically request access to such details."

As stated, I'm willing for the personal information of anyone who's not a public servant a member or a member of parliament to be redacted from the relevant documents. It's clearly in the public interest however, to identify any public servant or MP who thinks it appropriate to use Commonwealth resources to engage in correspondence with the IPA (the propagandist/lobbyist arm of the Liberal Party) on matters such as "PR for IPA". In other words, I specifically request access to such details.

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From: G Coles

Delivered

Dear FOI,

This was due last week - what happened?

Link to this

From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

UNCLASSIFIED
FOI Reference: C18/889

Dear G Coles

Thank you for your email below relating to your FOI request.

You will recall when the Commission wrote to you on 26 April 2018 acknowledging receipt of your request, we advised that there are times when an FOI statutory time frame may be extended.

Pursuant to section 27A of the FOI Act, as your request captures documents that contain personal information of third parties, the Commission is required to consult with relevant individuals before making a decision on release of documents. The consultation mechanism under section 27A applies when we believe the individuals may wish to contend that the requested documents, or parts of the requested documents are exempt for reasons of personal privacy.

Section 15(6) of the FOI Act provides that the timeframe for processing your FOI request is extended by a further period of 30 days to allow for such consultation. As such, the statutory time frame for you to receive your decision falls on 23 June 2018.

The Commission confirms that while the decision-maker will take into account any submissions received from consulted individuals, the final decision to grant access rests with the decision-maker.

Should you have any questions in relation to the processing of your request, please contact the FOI team by reply email.

Kind regards,

FOI Officer
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600
GPO Box 3176, Canberra ACT 2601

Important: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipients only and may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that any review, re-transmission,
disclosure, dissemination or other use of, or taking any action in reliance upon this information is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all electronic and hard copies of this transmission together with any attachments.

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From: G Coles

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Your email of 28 May 2018 states:

“You will recall when the Commission wrote to you on 26 April 2018 acknowledging receipt of your request, we advised that there are times when an FOI statutory time frame may be extended.

Pursuant to section 27A of the FOI Act, as your request captures documents that contain personal information of third parties, the Commission is required to consult with relevant individuals before making a decision on release of documents. The consultation mechanism under section 27A applies when we believe the individuals may wish to contend that the requested documents, or parts of the requested documents are exempt for reasons of personal privacy.”

In response, you will recall that my request of 24 April 2018 stated:

“I give consent for the personal information of anyone who's not a public servant a member of parliament to be redacted from the relevant document so no third party consultation should be necessary.”

I also understand from media reports that the email at issue was sent by John Lloyd to his boss at the Institute of Public Affairs, John Roskam. Also, that there are no other persons mentioned in the email.

So why are you now consulting when I’ve given consent for John Roskam’s personal information to be redacted?

Also, given the decision was due last week, the effect of s.15AC of the FOI Act is that John Lloyd has personally refused to give access to the document and that your decision to consult under s.27A (made days after the due date of my request) was made unlawfully.

Unless the APSC: i) provides access to the email document the subject of my request (again, I’m happy for you to redact John Roskam’s details); and/ or ii) provides substantive information indicating that anything I’ve set out above is incorrect – I intend to seek IC review of John Lloyd’s access refusal decision by the end of the week.

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Australian Public Service Commission left an annotation ()

Good morning G Coles, I have sent through two emails in response to this request and providing you with a copy of the document which is the subject of this request. Unfortunately we have received notification that the email address is no longer valid. Could you please contact our office via FOI@apsc.gov.au to confirm you have received these emails. I note they are not appearing on this site.

Regards
FOI Coordinator
APSC

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

There was a technical issue which prevented responses from appearing on the site - If a response isn't received in a few hours, we have asked the APSC to re-send their original response to the Right to Know email address.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

UNCLASSIFIED

 

From: FOI
Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2018 10:51 AM
To: 'G Coles' <[FOI #4532 email]>
Subject: Document tabled in Parliament - Freedom of Information request -
Request for email document Ref: C18/889 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

FOI Reference C18/889

 

Dear G Coles,

I refer to your FOI request as described below.

 

The document which is the subject of your request was tabled in Parliament
in Senate Estimates on 21 May 2018.

The document is publicly available to download at
[1]https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus...
Click on the link  to tabled documents for the Australian Public Service
Commission (PDF 155KB )

[2]https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Estimates...

 

Documents publicly available

Section 12 (1)(b) of the FOI Act, states that access to certain documents
are not deemed to apply, specifically to documents which are publicly
available or in the public domain. 
As such, and as the document is now publicly available, your request for
access to this document under the FOI Act will now be closed.

 

If you have any questions relating to this matter, please do not hesitate
to email our office at [3][email address]

 

Kind regards

FOI Coordinator

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building

Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600

E: [4][email address]

 

Important: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipients only and
may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or
subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient you are
notified that any review, re-transmission,

disclosure, dissemination or other use of, or taking any action in
reliance upon this information is prohibited. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all
electronic and hard copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

UNCLASSIFIED

FOI Reference C18/889

 

Dear G Coles,

I refer to your FOI request as described below.

 

The document which is the subject of your request was tabled in Parliament
in Senate Estimates on 21 May 2018.

The document is publicly available to download at
[1]https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus...
Click on the link  to tabled documents for the Australian Public Service
Commission (PDF 155KB )

[2]https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Estimates...

 

Documents publicly available

Section 12 (1)(b) of the FOI Act, states that access to certain documents
are not deemed to apply, specifically to documents which are publicly
available or in the public domain. 
As such, and as the document is now publicly available, your request for
access to this document under the FOI Act will now be closed.

 

If you have any questions relating to this matter, please do not hesitate
to email our office at [email address]

 

Kind regards

FOI Coordinator

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building

Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600

E: [3][email address]

 

Important: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipients only and
may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or
subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient you are
notified that any review, re-transmission,

disclosure, dissemination or other use of, or taking any action in
reliance upon this information is prohibited. If you have received this
e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all
electronic and hard copies of this transmission together with any
attachments.

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From: G Coles

Delivered

Dear FOI,

For the purposes of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 and the Legal Profession (Solicitors) Conduct Rules 2015 (ACT) can you please confirm the decision maker for this request was Ms Jo Motbey.

Thanks.

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

UNCLASSIFIED
Good afternoon G Coles,

Thank you for your email below.

The document which is the subject of this request is publicly available. I had therefore assumed that you would no longer wish to proceed with your FOI request. As such, I made the decision to provide you with a link to the document which is relevant to your request.

Kind regards

K Tulloch

FOI Coordinator
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building
Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600
E: [email address]

Important: This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipients only and may contain information that is confidential, commercially valuable and/or subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that any review, re-transmission,
disclosure, dissemination or other use of, or taking any action in reliance upon this information is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all electronic and hard copies of this transmission together with any attachments.

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I have marked this request as "Successful", or "all the information has been sent". It is not strictly true, but the agency has told the applicant that the information has been published online and told the applicant how to access the information.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Public Service Commission only: