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Royal Commission Legal Team Cost and Breakdown

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Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

I've heard DVA has a DVA Royal Commission Legal Team of about 25 people working in DVA's General Counsel Division.

There is interest in the community as to what the purpose of this DVA Royal Commission Legal Team is, what it does, what law firms have seconded their staff to it, and how much this is all costing the taxpayer.

I seek copy of the following documents (it is likely to be easier for DVA to do as a table rather than provide copy of the source documents as it will mean a lot less work for DVA in redaction/consideration):

* the cost of all contractors employed within the DVA Royal Commission Legal Team, broken down by law firm/personnel agency seconded from (with number of contractors from that law firm/personnel agency) - cost may be at fortnightly, monthly, or yearly basis as suits DVA

* the cost of all APS staff employed within the DVA Royal Commission Legal Team, broken down by classification - cost may be at fortnightly, monthly, or yearly basis as suits DVA

* copy of any position/duty statement for the positions within the DVA Royal Commission Legal Team

* any other document directly relevant to what the purpose of this DVA Royal Commission Legal Team is, what it does, what law firms have seconded their staff to it, and how much this is all costing the taxpayer, that DVA reasonably believes gives such context

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Verity Pane,

 

Freedom of Information Request: FOI 47338

 

I refer to your request for access to documents held by the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (department) under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(FOI Act). Your request was received by the department on 23 December 2021
and was made in the following terms:

 

‘ … I've heard DVA has a DVA Royal Commission Legal Team of about 25
people working in DVA's General Counsel Division.

 

There is interest in the community as to what the purpose of this DVA
Royal Commission Legal Team is, what it does, what law firms have seconded
their staff to it, and how much this is all costing the taxpayer.

 

I seek copy of the following documents (it is likely to be easier for DVA
to do as a table rather than provide copy of the source documents as it
will mean a lot less work for DVA in redaction/consideration):

 

* the cost of all contractors employed within the DVA Royal Commission
Legal Team, broken down by law firm/personnel agency seconded from (with
number of contractors from that law firm/personnel agency) - cost may be
at fortnightly, monthly, or yearly basis as suits DVA

 

* the cost of all APS staff employed within the DVA Royal Commission Legal
Team, broken down by classification - cost may be at fortnightly, monthly,
or yearly basis as suits DVA

 

* copy of any position/duty statement for the positions within the DVA
Royal Commission Legal Team

 

* any other document directly relevant to what the purpose of this DVA
Royal Commission Legal Team is, what it does, what law firms have seconded
their staff to it, and how much this is all costing the taxpayer, that DVA
reasonably believes gives such context....’

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 22 January 2022.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

The current due date may be extended by up to 30 days if agreed by you
(section 15AA of the FOI Act). Also, the due date may be extended by an
additional 30 days in each instance, if your request is considered
voluminous or complex (section 15AB of the FOI Act) or if the department
is required to undertake a third party consultation (sections 26A, 27 or
27A of the FOI Act). If any of these extensions apply, the department will
notify you.

 

Additionally, there are occasions where the time to process your request
may be suspended. This will usually take place if a practical refusal
consultation process takes place (section 24AB of the FOI Act) or if a
charges notice is issued to process your request (section 29 of the FOI
Act). If the department decides that either of these apply to your
request, the department will notify you.

 

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 at [1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Publication of documents

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[2]https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
subject to certain exceptions, such as if the documents relate to your own
personal information. The Department will advise you in its decision
whether details of your request will be published on the disclosure log or
not.

Contacting us about your request

 

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

 

If you have any questions, please contact us using the following details:

 

Post:                  Information Law Section, Legal Services & Audit
Branch

GPO Box 9998 CANBERRA   ACT   2601

Facsimile:         (02) 6289 6337

Email:                [3][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sneha (Position number: 62315639)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

t 1800 838 372 | e [4][email address] | [5]www.dva.gov.au

p GPO Box 9998, Canberra ACT 2601

[6]cid:image001.png@01D0027A.1DAB84F0

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

IMPORTANT: This document contains legal advice and may be subject to legal
professional privilege. Unless it is waived or lost, legal professional
privilege is a rule of law that, in part, provides that the client need
not disclose confidential communications between a legal practitioner and
client. To keep this privilege, the purpose and content of this advice
must only be disclosed to persons who have a need to know and on the basis
that those persons also keep it confidential.

You should consider this advice and take it into account when forming a
decision on how best to proceed. If you decide to adopt a position that
does not align with this advice, you should not state that DVA Legal
Services & Audit Branch has cleared or endorsed a particular position.

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
2. https://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/freedom...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.dva.gov.au/

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Pane,

 

I have received an error message so I am resending the email below and
attached.

 

Regards

 

Chantal (Position Number 62212962)

Senior Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [1][email address]

 

 

 

From: INFORMATION.LAW <[email address]>
Sent: Monday, 24 January 2022 5:05 PM
To: [email address]
Cc: INFORMATION.LAW <[email address]>
Subject: LEX 47338 - Primary Decision [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Please find attached our decision of even date.

 

Regards

 

 

Chantal (Position Number 62212962)

Senior Legal Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [2][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

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