Section 12 of Members of Parliament (Staff) Act

Elias Housen made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Finance

The request was refused by Department of Finance.

From: Elias Housen

Delivered

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to request under the Freedom of Information act copies of any determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

Yours faithfully,

Elias Housen

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From: FOI

FOI/PMO/2014/004

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Thank you for your email of 29 January 2014, to the Prime Minister, in
which you made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 in the
following terms:

 

I write to request under the Freedom of Information act copies of any
determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff)
Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

 

Handling of request

 

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) provides
administrative support to the Prime Minister and his office in relation to
freedom of information (FOI) requests made to him.  I am writing to advise
you of further information on the processing of your request to the Prime
Minister, set out below.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision and request for extension of time

 

We received your request on 29 January 2014 and the 30 day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that
date.  You should therefore expect a decision by 28 February 2014.  The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. 

 

Charges

 

An agency or Minister may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a
charge in respect of a request for access to documents.  If the
decision-maker decides that you are liable to pay a charge, we will send
you a preliminary assessment of the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]http://www.dpmc.gov.au/foi/ips/disclosur... subject to certain
exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any objections to the
publication of any of the information which may be released to you please
contact us by email at [2][email address].  If you do wish to object to the
publication of information, you would need to provide supporting reasons.

 

The Department will write again when we have further information. 
Otherwise, further information on FOI processing can be found at the
website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at
[3]http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_....

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Adviser

Legal Policy Branch

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

 

Phone: 02 6271 5849

Email: [email address]

 

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From: FOI

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for your email of 29 January 2014, to the Prime Minister, in
which you made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 in the
following terms:

 

I write to request under the Freedom of Information act copies of any
determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff)
Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

 

Transfer

 

The FOI Act provides a mechanism to transfer requests to another agency
where the documents being sought are in the possession of another agency
or the subject-matter of the request is more closely connected with the
functions of that agency.  This ensures that a decision on the request is
made by the most appropriate agency.  The Department of the Prime Minister
and Cabinet has sought to transfer your request to the Department of the
Finance under this mechanism. 

 

The Department of Finance has accepted transfer of your request (in full),
in accordance with paragraph 16(1)(b) of the FOI Act, to make a decision
in relation to relevant documents held by them.  The Department of
Finance’s reference number for your request is FOI14/14 and if they have
not already done so, we expect that they will contact you soon in relation
to your request.  Any further correspondence you receive in relation to
this matter will be from the Department of Finance.

                                          

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Adviser

Legal Policy Branch

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

 

Phone: 02 6271 5849

Email: [email address]

 

 

 

From: FOI
Sent: Thursday, 6 February 2014 3:13 PM
To: 'Elias Housen'
Cc: FOI
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Section 12 of Members of
Parliament (Staff) Act [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

 

FOI/PMO/2014/004

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Thank you for your email of 29 January 2014, to the Prime Minister, in
which you made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 in the
following terms:

 

I write to request under the Freedom of Information act copies of any
determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of Parliament (Staff)
Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

 

Handling of request

 

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department) provides
administrative support to the Prime Minister and his office in relation to
freedom of information (FOI) requests made to him.  I am writing to advise
you of further information on the processing of your request to the Prime
Minister, set out below.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision and request for extension of time

 

We received your request on 29 January 2014 and the 30 day statutory
period for processing your request commenced from the day after that
date.  You should therefore expect a decision by 28 February 2014.  The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. 

 

Charges

 

An agency or Minister may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a
charge in respect of a request for access to documents.  If the
decision-maker decides that you are liable to pay a charge, we will send
you a preliminary assessment of the charge as soon as possible.

 

Publication of documents

 

Please note that information released under the FOI Act may later be
published online on our disclosure log at
[1]http://www.dpmc.gov.au/foi/ips/disclosur... subject to certain
exceptions. If you think you might wish to raise any objections to the
publication of any of the information which may be released to you please
contact us by email at [2][email address].  If you do wish to object to the
publication of information, you would need to provide supporting reasons.

 

The Department will write again when we have further information. 
Otherwise, further information on FOI processing can be found at the
website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at
[3]http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_....

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Adviser

Legal Policy Branch

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

 

Phone: 02 6271 5849

Email: [4][email address]

 

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr
Housen,                                                              

 

Freedom of Information Request – FOI14/14

Thank you for your email to the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet (PM&C) requesting access to the following under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

 

... copies of any determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of
Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

 

PM&C has transferred your request, in full, to Finance in accordance with
section 16 of the FOI Act as the subject matter of your request is more
closely related to the functions of this Department. 

 

The statutory period for processing your request commences from the day
after PM&C received your request.  Your request was received by PM&C on 29
January 2014.  The processing period may be extended if we need to consult
third parties, impose a charge or for other reasons.  We will advise you
if this happens.

 

Liability to pay a charge

You will be notified of any charges in relation to your request as soon as
possible, before we process any requested documents or impose a final
charge.

 

Publication

As required by the FOI Act, any documents provided to you under the FOI
Act will be published on our [1]disclosure log, unless an exemption
applies or the documents are characterised as containing personal
information.  Documents will be published as soon as practicable, but no
later than 10 days after being released to you.

 

Policy to exclude junior departmental officer contact details

Finance has adopted a policy to generally exclude the names and contact
details of junior staff (non-SES officers) from any documents released
under FOI. Finance’s preference is to reach agreement with FOI applicants
to exclude these details from the scope of the request. Where there is no
objection, the names and contact details of junior officers are redacted
under section 22 of the FOI Act, on the basis that these details are
irrelevant to the request. 

 

Please contact the FOI Team on the below contact details if you wish to
discuss your request.

 

Regards,

[2]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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1. http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/disclosure...

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Attachment FOI14 14 Charges Letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached, correspondence in regards to your FOI request (our
reference number FOI14-14).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

HI Elias, I would strongly suggest objecting to the charges email. The first 5 hours is free and they have only said that 1.04 hours is needed (their math is wrong with the charges in the letter).

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From: Elias Housen

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,

I write in regards to FOI Request 14\14 and the recent letter sent to me.

I wish to contest the imposition of a charge for this request as the request is estimated to take a total amount of 1.22 hours which is well within the amount of decision making time which is free of charge.

If the search and retrieval time and the photocopying costs are not considered to be part of the decision making time I still request that that charges be withdrawn due to the relatively low cost of those components.

Yours sincerely,

Elias Housen

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information section of the
Department of Finance. We have received your email and will endeavour to
respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You may view further information relating to Freedom of Information on the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s [1]website.

 

[2]Signature blocks-blue bar.jpg

Freedom of Information

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

 

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1. http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_...

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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Attachment FOI14 14 Decision in Relation to Contention Submission.docx.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon,

 

Please see attached correspondence in regards to your FOI request (our
reference number FOI14-14).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: Elias Housen

Delivered

Dear Prime Minister,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Prime Minister's handling of my FOI request 'Section 12 of Members of Parliament (Staff) Act'.

Perhaps this was my mistake, but I believe the decision maker should have undertaken an analysis of whether the information should be freely released under public interest grounds.

I would like an opportunity to submit an argument that the information should be released freely under public interest grounds because:

[a] it is a reasonably standard protocol across Government that Determinations are considered to be Legislative Instruments and published online and in the Government Gazette; and

[b] these particular determinations result in the expenditure of Commonwealth funds on the salaries and other entitlements of those employed with the permission of these MOP(S) Act determinations.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Elias Housen

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From: FOI

Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Thank you for your email of 24 February 2014 to the Prime Minister, in
which you have requested an internal review of the handling of your recent
freedom of information request.
 
Part VI of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) provides for
internal review of decisions by agencies.  Please note the Department
considers that a reviewable decision was not made in relation to your
request; rather the matter was transferred in accordance with paragraph
16(1)(b) of the FOI Act.
 
As we mentioned in our email to you of 14 February 2014, the Department of
Finance accepted transfer of your request (in full), and a decision-maker
in the Department of Finance will we understand make a decision in
relation to your freedom of information request. 
 
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will forward your email
containing the arguments that you have submitted in favour of releasing
the information.  Please kindly direct any future correspondence in
relation to this matter to the Department of Finance.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
FOI Adviser
Legal Policy Branch
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
 
Phone: 02 6271 5849
Email: [email address]
 

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

I've updated Right to Know to reflect that this request has been transferred to Finance

Thanks

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mr Housen,

 

Please see attached, internal review decision in regards to your FOI
request (our reference number FOI14/14).

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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Ben Fairless left an annotation ()

Hi Elias, can you tell us if you have decided to withdraw this request?

Thanks,

Ben

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Housen,

 

Freedom of Information Request – FOI14/14

Thank you for your email to the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet (PM&C) requesting access to the following under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

 

... copies of any determinations made under Section 12 of the Members of
Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 made after September 18, 2013.

 

As previously advised, PM&C transferred your request, in full, to Finance
in accordance with section 16 of the FOI Act as the subject matter of your
request is more closely related to the functions of this Department. 

 

In a letter of 18 February 2014, Finance provided you with an estimate of
charges for processing your request.  The letter indicated that within 30
days of the date of the letter, you were required to pay the charges or
otherwise contact Finance regarding the processing of your request,
otherwise your request would be deemed withdrawn.  You contended the
charges and subsequently requested an internal review of the charges.  An
internal review decision was provided to you on 26 March 2014.  The
decision maker for the internal review affirmed the original decision not
to waive charges.

 

As Finance has not received a response from you within 30 days of the day
you were notified of the internal review decision and has not received
payment of the charges, your request is now deemed withdrawn. 

 

Please contact the Finance FOI Team, on the below details, if you have any
queries regarding this request.

 

Regards,

[1]Department of Finance and Deregulation

FOI Officer

Legal Services Branch

Finance, People and Communications Division

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [2][email address]

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Department of Finance only: