Revised APSC social media guideliness to federal public servants

George Orwell made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Public Service Commission

The request was refused by Australian Public Service Commission.

From: George Orwell

Delivered

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

This is a Freedom of Information request.

I seek all documents that provide clear examples of how an APS employee may publicly criticise government or members of parliament within the constraints outlined in the Public Service Act.

Specifically I'd like to see actual examples of what an an employee CAN do, rather than what they cannot.

Yours faithfully,

George Orwell

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

Dear applicant,

I refer to your request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (the FOI Act), as below.

Your request was received on 8 August 2017 and the statutory timeframe for responding to your request under the FOI Act is 30 days from the date of receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise you if such circumstances arise.

The department will advise you if a charge is payable to process your request and the amount of any such charge as soon as practicable.

Please feel free to contact the FOI team at the Commission if you have any questions in relation to your request, quoting the reference number above.

Kind regards,

FOI Officer
Legal Services

Australian Public Service Commission
Level 6, Aviation House, 16 Furzer Street, PHILLIP ACT 2606

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission


Attachment Decision C17 1507.pdf
154K Download View as HTML


Dear applicant,

Please find attached correspondence relating to your FOI request dated 8 August 2017, as below.

Kind regards,

FOI Officer
Legal Services

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

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Refused on the ground of s 24A(1) of the Act:
24A Requests may be refused if documents cannot be found, do not
exist or have not been received

Document lost or non-existent
(1) An agency or Minister may refuse a request for access to a
document if:
(a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document;
and
(b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document:
(i) is in the agency’s or Minister’s possession but cannot be
found; or
(ii) does not exist.

Now we can say the agency response in plainer English ...
The agency that is responsible for the governance of the Australian Public Service has no information whatsoever on how an employee can criticize the Australian Government! This is extraordinary in a democracy. It is also more extraordinary that the Australian Public Service Commissioner has published guidelines that explain how it is apolitical for a person to say positive things about the government but he cannot explain how a person can criticize the government. From the perspective of a European who only reads the dictionary, this does not sound like the meaning of the word "apolitical".

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Australian Public Service Commission only: