Review of Freedom of Information laws

Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

Attorney-General's Department did not have the information requested.

From: Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

I hereby request, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), copies of the following:

(1) the report of the "Review of Freedom of Information laws" which was conducted by Dr Allan Hawke and which the Attorney-General's Department has advised was completed by the deadline of 30 April 2013, and
(2) any documents (including internal memos) explaining why this report has not yet been tabled by the Attorney-General or published by the Attorney-General's Department.

I also make the application that all costs for the processing of this request be waived on the grounds that the release of this information is in the public interest.

--
Warm regards,

Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer
Deputy Secretary
Pirate Party Australia

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to advise you that
your email has been received by the Attorney-General's Department's FOI
Coordinator.

 

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in
writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act
and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to
access. The FOI Coordinator will acknowledge your request within 14 days.

 

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED

13/9711

 

Dear Mr Olbrycht-Palmer

 

Freedom of Information request FOI13/078

 

I refer to your request for access to documents to the Attorney-General’s
Department (the Department) relating to the Hawke Review under the Freedom
of Information Act 1982. I have taken your request to be for:

1.       ‘the report of the "Review of Freedom of Information laws" which
was conducted by Dr Allan Hawke and which the Attorney-General's
Department has advised was completed by the deadline of 30 April 2013, and

2.       any documents (including internal memos) explaining why this
report has not yet been tabled by the Attorney-General or published by the
Attorney-General's Department.’

 

We received your request on 21 June 2013 and the 30 day statutory period
for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. The 30
day statutory period expires on Monday 22 July 2013. The period of 30 days
may be extended if we need to consult third parties or for other reasons.
We will advise you if this happens.

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log
[1]http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtection...,
subject to certain exceptions. (For example, personal information will not
be published where this would be unreasonable.)

 

We will contact you using the email address you provided. Please advise if
you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI and Privacy Section

Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department

3-5 National Circuit | Barton ACT 2600
[2][AGD request email]

 

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment MARK DREYFUS MEDIA RELEASE REPORT INTO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMPLETED 1 JULY 2013 SEC UNCLASSIFIED.html
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Olbrycht-Palmer

 

I am writing in regards to your request for documents relating to the
Hawke Review under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. For your interest,
on 1 July 2013 it was announced that the Hawke Review had been completed
and Dr Hawke’s report had been submitted to the Attorney-General (see
attached media release).

 

Kind regards

 

FOI and Privacy Section

Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department

3-5 National Circuit | Barton ACT 2600
[1][AGD request email]

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

It is maybe worthwhile to thank the Attorney-General's Department for the information but also to tell them it does not change your application.

It was required for Dr Hawke to complete his review by 30 April, 2013 (http://foi-privacy.blogspot.de/2013/06/d.... Separately, it is required for the Attorney-General to lay the report "before each House of the Parliament" within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.

Now the Minister (the Attorney-General) has received the report. Now Parliament is not sitting so the Minister has not to table the report! When will the Parliament next sit?

Det er en tilfældighed!

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From: Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer

Delivered

Attention: FOI and Privacy Section,

Given this information, I wish to withdraw my request.

Yours sincerely,

--
Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer
Deputy Secretary
Pirate Party Australia

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Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer left an annotation ()

According to correspondence between Brendan Molloy and the Attorney-General's Department, the FOI Review was complete at least as early as 14 June 2013.

However, the report was not provided to the Attorney-General until 1 July 2013. In June, a motion from the Greens to have the Attorney-General produce the report was defeated based on a statement given by Senator Wong that the "document does not exist."

The email to Mr Molloy states "Dr Hawke has completed his review. His
report has not been tabled by the Attorney-General. The FOI Review
Secretariat is unable to provide an estimated tabling date at this stage."

This has led to some confusion, as the completion of the review was not differentiated from the completion of the report. It seems evident that although the Review was completed, no report had been finished, even though the implication was that the Attorney-General had the report but had not yet tabled it. This appears to contravene the terms of reference, but nothing else as far as I can tell.

Section 93B of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) states that the review must be completed within 6 months, in accordance with the deadline in the Review's terms of reference. However, "The Minister must cause a written report about the review to be prepared" seems to give some discretion as to how much time may elapse between the completion of the review and the report being tabled.

Given that the Attorney-General now has the report, it must be tabled within 15 sitting days after July 1. This appears to be just after the election, so hopefully it doesn't get buried amid the hysteria.

A disappointing result, but at least the report will surface eventually.

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From: FOI Requests
Attorney-General's Department

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Olbrycht-Palmer

 

Thank you for your response. We will take your FOI request to be withdrawn
and not continue to process it.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions on this.

 

Kind regards

 

Ken Menz | FOI Officer

Office of Corporate Counsel

Attorney-General's Department

3-5 National Circuit | Barton ACT 2600
Tel + 61 2 6141 2674

[1][AGD request email]

 

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