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Schedule of Documents for LEX 45443

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Dear Department of Veterans' Affairs,

On 22 November 2021 the Department issued a FOI decision and statement of reasons for FOI reference number LEX 45443.

Paragraph 21 of that decision stated that the FOI had captured 238 documents, which the Department had already taken 25 hours to search and collate ("Searching and collating documents has taken 25 hours"), and that it would take 10 hours to prepare a schedule of documents listing those 238 documents.

In that FOI decision, the Department did not provide a document schedule as is normal.

As a FOI is for documents I apply for the first page of each of those 238 documents, but exclude any of the 238 documents that is just an email or draft or duplicate as irrelevant to the scope of this FOI.

Now the Department could consider and assess each first page of these less than 238 individual documents already collated by the Department, but as I only desire the document schedule itself, the Department could significantly reduce the time required to process this FOI by producing such a document schedule under s 17, and it would not be necessary to assess and consider anything but the title/subject of these less than 238 individual documents (given emails and drafts and duplicates are excluded). That saves everyone time and effort.

If the Department does not wish to do this, then I specify that for each first page of the less than 238 documents in scope (since emails and drafts and duplicates are excluded), all details other than the title/subject of the document are irrelevant and not required to be considered for release.

Yours faithfully,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.LAW, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane,

 

I refer to your FOI request, received by the Department of Veterans’
Affairs (the department) on 14 January 2022 , for access under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to the following:

 

I have understood your request to be a request for the following documents

·       Referring to LEX 45443 – The first page of each of the 238
documents referred to in the decision. You wish for any document that is
an email, draft or duplicate to be excluded.

·       You are seeking a schedule of documents and that you give
permission to the department to prepare a document of schedule.

 

Your request was received by the department on 14 January 2022 and the 30
day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day
after that date. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to
consult third parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We
will advise you if this happens.

 

Your address

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your email address is
[1][FOI #8307 email] Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.

 

Exclusion of employee details

 

To the extent the department has documents in its possession that fall
within the scope of your request, we will treat the names, signatures,
position titles and direct contact details of Commonwealth employees as
irrelevant in accordance with section 22 of the FOI Act, unless you tell
us otherwise by 24 January 2022

 

Further assistance

 

If you have any questions about your request, please email
[email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

Oliver (Position Number 62329530)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [2][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #8307 email]
2. mailto:[email address]

Campbell, Molly, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane,

 

Freedom of Information Request: LEX 47465

 

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 14 January 2022
and was made in the following terms (as per revised):

 

·         Referring to LEX 45443 – The first page of each of the 238
documents referred to in the decision. You wish for any document that is
an email, draft or duplicate to be excluded.

·         You are seeking a schedule of documents and that you give
permission to the department to prepare a document of schedule.

 

In accordance with section 15(5)(b) of the FOI Act, the due date for a
decision on your request is 14 February 2022

 

I have consulted with relevant business areas regarding the contents of
the documents falling within scope of your request. The relevant business
areas have advised that the Department will require further time to
undertake consultations with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
in relation to the potential disclosure of this material under the FOI
Act, noting that your request captures a large number of documents.

 

When the processing period may be extended or suspended

 

Accordingly, we seek your agreement to a 30 day extension of time under
[1]section 15AA of the FOI Act.

 

If you are agreeable, this would make the new decision date for your
request 16 March 2022.

 

Please advise as soon as possible if you agree to the extension of time.
If we do not receive correspondence by midday 14 February 2022, we will
proceed to seek an extension of time from the OAIC under section 15AB of
the FOI Act on the basis that you request is complex and voluminous.

 

Further information on FOI processing can be found at the website of the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at
[2]https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

 

Regards

 

Oliver (Position Number 62329530)

Information Access Officer

Information Law Section

Legal Services and Audit Branch

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [3][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewd...
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. mailto:[email address]

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ22/00765

Agency reference: 47465

Ms Verity Pane

Sent by email: [FOI #8307 email]

Extension of time application by Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane

I write to advise that on 14 February 2022 the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from
Department of Veterans' Affairs (the Department) for an extension of
time, to process your FOI request of 14 January 2022.

 

The Department has applied for an extension of time under s 15AB of the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because your request is considered
to be voluminous and complex.

 

The Department has advised the OAIC that:

o it sought your agreement to an extension of time under s 15AA of the
FOI Act, however a response was not received
o the request is for the first page of 238 documents which are held
within FORTRESS
o there are access issues with FORTRESS and therefore the document
collation is a voluminous and complex task
o the Department is required to consult with the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet to determine whether the documents are considered
to be cabinet material, and
o if granted, the Department will utilise the additional time to collate
documents and to adequately confer with the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet.

The Department has requested an extension to 16 March 2022. The decision
maker will take any comments you may have to make into account when
deciding on the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 8 March 2022. If I do
not hear from you by this date, the decision maker will make a decision on
the basis of the information provided to the OAIC by the Department.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [1]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact Irene
Nicolaou via [email address]. Please quote OAIC reference: RQ22/00765 in
all correspondence.

 

Kind regards

 

[2][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au
[7]Subscribe [8]Subscribe to
[4]Facebook | [5]LinkedIn | [6]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

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1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
5. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
6. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
8. https://www.oaic.gov.au/updates/sign-up/

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ22/00765

Agency reference: 47465

Ms Verity Pane

By email: [1][FOI #8307 email]

Notification to : [2][email address]

Extension of time under s 15AB

Dear Applicant and FOI Contact Officer

 

Please see attached a decision regarding the Department of Veterans'
Affairs application for an extension of time to process FOI request 47465.

 

Sincerely

 

[3][IMG]   Jasmin Clarke  |  Assistant
Review and Investigation
Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [4]oaic.gov.au
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #8307 email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
5. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
7. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

Dear FOIDR,

What is FORTRESS and why is it an issue I should be penalised for?

Can you send me the EoT application you based this decision on, noting an earlier EoT granted by the OAIC resulted in a third party consultation being claimed by DVA on the last day of the extended period in an outright abuse of process.

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Verity Pane,

 

Please find attached the Statement of Reasons in response to your FOI
application made to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

 

Kind regards,

 

Joanna (Position Number 62329542)

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [1][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear FOIDR,

As was forecast, the extension of time granted by the OAIC under s 15AB only led to a refusal decision that DVA was aware it was going to issue at the time it sought the s 15AB extension.

Why the OAIC enables such abuses of s 15AB by DVA, when it is well aware of DVA's unethical pattern of practice contrary to the objects of the FOI Act is something that that remains unanswered by the OAIC. The conclusions that can be drawn from this though...

Verity Pane

Dear INFORMATION.LAW,

I apply for internal review of this refusal decision on providing access.

This FOI was about the Department's practical refusal decision given to Alan Ashmore on 22 November 2021, following his request made on 2 September 2021 (which DVA took 81 days to give to Mr Ashmore, or also three times the normal processing time, after receiving a s 15AA EoT from Mr Ashmore, which DVA took before then applying to the OAIC for and receiving a additional s 15AB extension to further delay decision, and which DVA extended again by issuing notice of practical refusal intention 74 days past the FOI request date before refusing access).

In that decision for LEX 45443 no schedule of documents in scope was produced, but the original decision maker claimed there were 'over 238 documents identified as being relevant' to that FOI.

For this FOI (LEX 47465) original decision maker identified 45 documents as being in scope (considerably down from the '238 documents' claimed by the Department in LEX 45443, which this FOI applied for the details of, highlighting that DVA knowingly made false claims in its practical refusal decision to Mr Ashmore, exaggerating the scope of his request by nearly 200 documents) but refused access in to copies of the documents in full because they claimed they were all cabinet documents.

The original decision maker did not consider at all the explicit request to produce just a listing of the document names in a new document created under s 17, because that would negate their exemption claim.

The unethical gaming and outright lying by FOI delegates of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is not only blatant but a systemic practice adopted by the Information Law section and the executive management of the Department.

It is therefore no surprise that almost identical delaying tactics were used in this FOI as well, with not to different falsehoods. Even with a Royal Commission examining DVA, it continues in its usual day to day deceit and deception, taking all steps to avoid scrutiny.

Verity Pane

6 Attachments

Our reference: AR22/00020

 

Dear Ms Pane

 

Please find attached a copy of the document you have requested below.

 

You may wish to direct you queries regarding FORTRESS to the Department,
as it is in a better position to respond to queries about its document
management systems.

 

Kind regards

 

[1][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [2]oaic.gov.au
[6]Subscribe [7]Subscribe to
[3]Facebook | [4]LinkedIn | [5]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ22/00765

Agency reference: 47465

Ms Verity Pane

By email: [1][FOI #8307 email]

Dear Ms Pane

 

Thank you for your email.

 

If you disagree with the Department’s decision, you may wish to seek
Information Commissioner review [2]here.

 

Further information on [3]applying for IC review is available on the OAIC
[4]website.

 

Kind regards

 

[5][IMG]   Shelley Napper  |  Assistant
Director

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of Information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [6]oaic.gov.au
[10]Subscribe [11]Subscribe to
[7]Facebook | [8]LinkedIn | [9]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

show quoted sections

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

Dear Ms Pane

 

I refer to your email dated 23 March 2022, provided below.

 

Could you please confirm that you are seeking an internal review of the
Department’s decision LEX 47465?

 

I note that your request for internal review also refers to LEX 45443,
being a decision issued by the Department in November 2021, in relation to
a request made by Mr Alan Ashmore. I note that you are not able to request
an internal review of a decision that was issued to another FOI applicant.

 

Kind regards

 

Molly

Legal Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

e [1][DVA request email]

 

 

show quoted sections

Julie left an annotation ()

Looks like Veterans Affairs and Molly Campbell are playing games with you, given you did clearly state you were seeking internal review of this FOI in your post of 23 March 2022 given you stated 'I apply for internal review of this refusal decision on providing access' immediately following the access refusal decision given by Veterans Affairs.

It is clear that you sought IR to this FOI, not one from another page.

You should remind Veterans Affairs that section 54B of the FOI Act only requires that a request for internal review must be made in writing and within 30 days. Veterans Affairs can't simply make up additional requirements.

Attn Molly Campbell

Attn INFORMATION.LAW,

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

On 23 March 2022 I notified the Department, through Right to Know that Internal Review was required of the access refusal decision made by the Department on 16 March 2022 published on the FOI application page that it referred to https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

A full history of that specific FOI request and all its correspondence is published on the Internet on Right to Know on a discrete page for that FOI at: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

Section 54B of the Freedom of Information Act requires only that an application for internal review must be made within writing and within the prescribed period.

As the Department is well aware that the Internal Review related to the FOI located at that page, which contrary to the Department's claims was made by me, the Department is reasonably aware the clock on this Internal Review commenced on 24 March 2022, despite this unethical and dishonest dealing by the Department.

Decision is therefore due Friday 22 April 2022 and as extensions of time do not apply to Internal Reviews, you better stop wasting your own time with these ridiculous games.

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

 

Dear Verity Pane

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the department) has received your
request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act). I note you have requested access to the following:

“On 23 March 2022 I notified the Department, through Right to Know that
Internal Review was required of the access refusal decision made by the
Department on 16 March 2022 published on the FOI application page that it
referred to
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

A full history of that specific FOI request and all its correspondence is
published on the Internet on Right to Know on a discrete page for that FOI
at:
https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

Section 54B of the Freedom of Information Act requires only that an
application for internal review must be made within writing and within the
prescribed period.

As the Department is well aware that the Internal Review related to the
FOI located at that page, which contrary to the Department's claims was
made by me, the Department is reasonably aware the clock on this Internal
Review commenced on 24 March 2022, despite this unethical and dishonest
dealing by the Department.

Decision is therefore due Friday 22 April 2022 and as extensions of time
do not apply to Internal Reviews, you better stop wasting your own time
with these ridiculous games.”.

 

Your request was received by the department on 13 April 2022 and the 30
day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day
after that date. The period of 30 days may be extended if we need to
consult third parties or for other reasons permitted under the FOI Act. We
will advise you if this happens.

 

Charges

 

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. No
charge is payable for providing a person with their own personal
information.

 

Your address

 

The FOI Act requires that you provide us with an address that we can send
notices to. You have advised your electronic address is
[FOI #8307 email]. Unless you tell us
otherwise, we will send all notices and correspondence to this address.

 

Disclosure log

Information released under the FOI Act may be published on a disclosure
log on our website, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions
include where publication of personal, business, professional or
commercial information would be unreasonable.

 

Further assistance

 

If you have any questions about your request, please email
[1][DVA request email]

 

Yours sincerely

Derek (Position Number 62255248)

Information Access Officer

Information Access Unit

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

[2][DVA request email]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DVA request email]
2. mailto:[DVA request email]

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Pane,

 

I refer to your request for internal review dated 24 March 2022 (LEX
48660).  I understand that you seek a review of the Department's
'decision' not to create a list of documents under section 17 of the FOI
Act.  This is not a valid request for internal review under section 53A or
53B of the FOI Act.  On that basis, the Department will not process your
request for internal review,  because it is invalid. 

 

To the extent that you seek a review of the Department's decision in LEX
45443, as previously advised you cannot seek internal review of a decision
where you were not the applicant.

 

Regards

 

Jodie

Information Access Officer - Information Access Unit

Client Access & Rehabilitation Branch

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D29344.C02E1370

Postal: GPO Box 9998   BRISBANE  QLD  4001

Ph: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) 

Website: [2]www.dva.gov.au

 

 

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.dva.gov.au/

Dear INFORMATION.ACCESS,

As you are well aware the IR was for the decision of the delegate of 16 March 2022 https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

That was a reviewable decision and your unethical and deceptive attempts to claim otherwise are untenable

Yours sincerely,

Verity Pane

INFORMATION.ACCESS, Department of Veterans' Affairs

3 Attachments

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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 Verity Pane please sign in and let everyone know.