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Risk assessment for Save the Children on Nauru

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Dear Department of Home Affairs,

I would like to access a copy of the risk assessment developed for the performance management of Save the Children Australia as part of that organisation's work associated with the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru. According to ANAO report no 32 of 2016-17, p.13, this risk assessment was agreed in December 2014.

If this document is already publicly available or can be released administratively I would be pleased to have notification of its availability. If not, please treat this as a request under the FOI Act. Thank you very much for your assistance.

Yours faithfully,

Eleanor Davey

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

** This is an automated response. Please do not reply to this email **

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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FOI, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL

In reply please quote:
FOI Request: FA 21/03/01196
File Number: OBJ2021/9882

Dear Ms Davey

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Access request

I refer to your correspondence received on 23 March 2021 seeking access to documents held by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act).

Scope of request

You have requested access to the following:

I would like to access a copy of the risk assessment developed for the performance management of Save the Children Australia as part of that organisation's work associated with the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru. According to ANAO report no 32 of 2016-17, p.13, this risk assessment was agreed in December 2014.

If this document is already publicly available or can be released administratively I would be pleased to have notification of its availability. .

Your request was received by the Department on 23 March 2021 and has been allocated FOI request number FA 21/03/01196 . Please include your FOI request number in all correspondence with the Freedom of Information Section.

Timeframe for receiving your decision

The statutory timeframe for processing a request is 30 days from the date upon which your application was received by the Department.

Your review rights in relation to your request are available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner here.

Exclusion of staff details

The Department’s policy is to exclude the personal details of staff not in the Senior Executive Service (SES), as well as the direct contact details of SES staff, contained in documents that fall within scope of an FOI request. If you require personal details of non-SES officers, or direct contact details of SES staff, please inform us so the decision maker may consider your request. Otherwise we will take it that you agree to that information being excluded from the scope of your request.

Duplicate documents

If the FOI decision-maker deems a document to be a duplicate, they will not assess those pages as part of your FOI request. This means that if a there is a decision to release the document to you, you will receive only one copy, even if multiple copies of that document exists.
Publication of document

Where documents are released to you in response to your request, the Department may be required to publish these documents on its website within 10 working days in accordance with section 11C of the FOI Act. Publication will not be required where the documents contain personal or business affairs information.
Contacting the FOI Section

Should you wish to discuss your request you may contact the FOI Section at [Department of Home Affairs request email].

Kind regards,

FOI Officer
Position Number: 60007069MS
Freedom of Information
Department of Home Affairs
E: [Department of Home Affairs request email]

OFFICIAL

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FOI, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL

In reply please quote:

Our Reference: FA 21/03/01196

File Reference: OBJ2021/9882

 

Dear Ms Davey

Request for Extension of Time under section 15AA

I refer to your request received on 23 March 2021 for access to documents
under the FOI Act. The current due date for your request is 22 April
2021. The scope of your request is as follows:

 

I would like to access a copy of the risk assessment developed for the
performance management of Save the Children Australia as part of that
organisation's work associated with the Regional Processing Centre on
Nauru. According to ANAO report no 32 of 2016-17, p.13, this risk
assessment was agreed in December 2014.

 

If this document is already publicly available or can be released
administratively I would be pleased to have notification of its
availability. .

In order for the Department to complete the decision making process in
relation to the documents that fall within the scope of your request, the
Department will require additional time to process your request.

The Department seeks your agreement under section 15AA of the FOI Act to
extend the timeframe for the processing of your request by 30 days. This
would extend the due date for your request to 22 May 2021.

It would assist the Department in managing its FOI caseload if you could
provide a response to this request by close of business, 21 April 2021.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to
contact me by return email.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Officer (DT) | Position number: 60094805

Freedom of Information Section

Department of Home Affairs 

E: [1][Department of Home Affairs request email]

 

OFFICIAL

 

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attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
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Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
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obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  

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Dear FOI,
Thank you for the message. I apologise for the delay, my email system did not deliver it originally.
I am happy to confirm the extension of the deadline for completing the request to 22 May.

Yours sincerely,

Eleanor Davey

Dear FOI,

I am writing to enquire about the status of request FA 21/03/01196. By my records a decision was due on 22 May, 2021, or the next weekday - which was yesterday. Thank you in advance for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Eleanor Davey

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL

Dear Ms Davey,

Thanks for your email.

This decision is in its final stages of processing but should be signed off and ready to be sent to you later this week.
Apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience.

Will
Position No. 60043894
Authorised FOI Officer
Freedom of Information
E: [Department of Home Affairs request email]

OFFICIAL

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FOI, Department of Home Affairs

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Dear Ms Davey

 

FOI request FA 21/03/01196

 

I refer to your FOI request received on 23 March 2021, seeking access to
the following:

I would like to access a copy of the risk assessment developed for the
performance management of Save the Children Australia as part of that
organisation's work associated with the Regional Processing Centre on
Nauru. According to ANAO report no 32 of 2016-17, p.13, this risk
assessment was agreed in December 2014.

If this document is already publicly available or can be released
administratively I would be pleased to have notification of its
availability.

 

The Department has made a decision on this request. Please find attached
the decision record.

 

This request has now been closed.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Will

Position No. 60043894

Authorised FOI Officer

Freedom of Information

E: [1][Department of Home Affairs request email]

 

 

OFFICIAL

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
The Department of Home Affairs and ABF respect your privacy and have
obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

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1. mailto:[Department of Home Affairs request email]

Dear Department of Home Affairs,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Home Affairs's handling of my FOI request 'Risk assessment for Save the Children on Nauru' (FA 21/03/01196). I would like to request internal review on the following grounds related to the sections of the FOI Act cited in the decision letter:

1. Section 33(a)(iii) [part 6.1 of the decision letter] – this ‘permits exemption of a document if disclosure of the document would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth.’ The decision letter also notes that ‘There must be real and substantial grounds for the conclusion that are supported by evidence.’

However, I believe that the refusal is on the basis of assertion rather than evidence, and that the refusal on this grounds should be re-evaluated for the following reasons:
• The document I have requested pertains to the relationship between the Commonwealth of Australia and a service provider, Save the Children Australia. The document is for performance management of the contract between these two parties. No evidence has been given to prove that the terms of performance management pertain to any relationship other than that between the contractor and service provider.
• The contract itself, as well as contracts between the Commonwealth of Australia and other contractors working in the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, have previously been released following FOI requests. This suggests that contractual arrangements, which could reasonably be taken to include arrangements for the management of those contracts, do not fall under Section 33(a)(iii).
• The involvement of service providers on Nauru and certain elements of the handling of their contracts are well established and widely known. See ANAO reports no. 16 and 32 of 2016-17 in the first instance.
• See also the contextual information in my next point below.

2. Section 47E [part 6.2 of the decision letter] – this states that ‘documents are conditionally exempt if disclosure would, or could reasonably be expected to, have a substantial adverse effect on
the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency.’

I believe that the idea that the release of this document could have a ‘substantial adverse effect’ on Department of Home Affairs operations should be re-evaluated due to the following considerations:
• The organisation in question (Save the Children Australia, SCA) is no longer a service provider in offshore detention and has not been since 2015, approximately 6 years ago.
• The primary caseload for which SCA was contracted to provide services, families with children in detention on Nauru, is no longer present. The last 3 children and their families were brought to Australia in February 2019.
• The Nauru Regional Processing Centre has ceased to operate in the form that it did at the time the document was produced and in the manner to which the contract pertains.

The relevant operations have thus changed significantly since the time of the contract and how the release of this contract management document could affect them is very unclear.

3. Section 11A of the Act [part 6.3 of the decision letter] governs the public interest assessment test.

I address the assertions from the decision letter below:
• Finding: ‘Access to the document would promote the objects of the FOI Act.’
Response: Agreed.
• Finding: ‘The subject matter of the document does not seem to have a general characteristic of public importance. The matter has a limited scope and, in my view, would be of interest to a very narrow section of the public.’
Response: Scrutiny, review, and discussion of government activities are of high public importance; immigration policy and the management of immigration detention are of high public importance; as evidenced by parliamentary inquiries, academic research, third-sector work, mass protests, and press coverage, there is strong interest in these issues and this interest cannot be set aside by unsubstantiated claims about an undefined ‘very narrow section of the public’.
• Finding: ‘No insights into public expenditure will be provided through examination of the document.’
Response: the document requested pertains to the management of a significant category of public expenditure. The high costs of offshore detention have been well established. Scrutiny of the contracting process and the management of contracts once established has been shown to be important by the work of the ANAO in successive investigations. These have revealed shortcomings in the processes used by the Department of Home Affairs and its predecessor departments, knowledge of which is strongly in the public interest. Indeed, rather than having potentially adverse effects as claimed in the refusal letter, transparency and accountability (of the kind facilitated by investigations and FOI requests) are likely to improve operations in the future.
• Finding: ‘You do not require access to the document in order to access your own personal information.’
Response: agreed.

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,

Eleanor Davey

FOI, Department of Home Affairs

** This is an automated response. Please do not reply to this email **

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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FOI Reviews mailbox, Department of Home Affairs

OFFICIAL

In reply please quote:

FOI request: FA 21/03/01196-R1

File number: OBJ2021/9882

 

Dear Ms Davey

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information internal review request

This email is to acknowledge that the Department of Home Affairs (the
Department) has received your request for an internal review of an access
refusal decision under section 54 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(the FOI Act).

The decision under review is the Department’s decision on 09 June 2021.

Timeframe for receiving your decision

The statutory timeframe for processing an internal review request is 30
days from the date on which the request was received by the Department.
The Department received the internal review request on 21 June 2021.  

Review rights

Your review rights in relation to your internal review request are
available on the website of the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner [1]here.

Contacting the FOI Section

Should you wish to discuss your request you may contact the FOI Section at
[2][email address].

 

Regards,

 

Dale

Position No. 60107416

FOI Officer, Reviews Team

FOI and Records Management Branch | Data Division

Strategy & Law Enforcement Group

Department of Home Affairs

Email: [3][email address]

 

OFFICIAL

 

 

Important Notice: The content of this email is intended only for use by
the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received
this email by mistake, please advise the sender and delete the message and
attachments immediately.  This email, including attachments, may contain
confidential, sensitive, legally privileged and/or copyright information.
 

Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of this information
by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. 
The Department of Home Affairs and ABF respect your privacy and have
obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.  

Unsolicited commercial emails MUST NOT be sent to the originator of this
email.

References

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Rochelle Dunlop,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/01906

Agency reference: FA 21/03/01196-R1

Ms Eleanor Davey

By email: [1][FOI #7171 email]

Extension of time under s 54D

Dear Ms Davey

 

Please find attached a decision of today’s date for an extension of time
application from the Department of Home Affairs.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

[2][IMG]   Rochelle Dunlop  |  Review and
Investigation Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9783  | 
[4][email address]
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References

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Eleanor Davey please sign in and let everyone know.