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Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
This article in the Guardian concerns endemic lawlessness in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s FOI team - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-ne.... Presumably that corruption has been carried out at the request of the Prime Minister.
I note from the Department’s organisational chart that Stephanie Foster has oversight of and is responsible for the Department’s FOI processing team.
As I understand, Stephanie Foster developed her particular brand of public sector ethics as Deputy Public Service Commissioner under the tutelage of former Public Service Commissioner and corrupt Liberal Party / IPA grub, John Lloyd.
I note that in Senate Estimates in June last year, https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/sea... Ms Foster seems to have actively defended and ran interference for Mr Lloyd’s corruption in public office.
For example, despite being aware:
i) of the particulars of Mr Lloyd’s corrupt conduct in public office;
ii) that it was the view of Mr Robert Cornall, (who, in contrast, is a highly respected and esteemed public servant) that Mr Lloyd’s conduct was prima facie illegal; and
iii) that Mr Lloyd was the subject of an ongoing investigation into his corruption -
Ms Foster gave evidence, effectively sub judice, to the Australian Parliament, that Mr Lloyd had conducted his role “professionally and objectively”.
Less than two months later, entirely predictably for anyone that has had anything to do with Mr Lloyd, the Merit Protection Commissioner found Mr Lloyd to be corrupt.
Noting the corruption to which the Guardian article mentioned above refers has presumably been carried out under Ms Foster’s watch, coincidentally or otherwise, it seems that wherever Ms Foster goes, public sector corruption follows.
I note that under the Public Service Act 1999 and the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016, it is illegal for a public servant to turn a blind eye, to conceal, or to fail to take action to address, corruption.
Under the FOI Act, I seek copies of any emails in Ms Foster’s email account that relate to the matters referred to in the above-mentioned Guardian article. I constrain my request to documents dated between Monday 24 June 2019 to Friday 28 June 2019 (inclusive). These dates should capture when Guardian journalists made inquiries of the Department in relation to these matters and how the fallout was dealt with by Ms Foster, being the highly paid senior executive with oversight of the Department’s corruption identified in the article. The documents the subject of my request are in the public interest because they will provide evidence as to whether a highly paid, very senior, public servant in the Prime Minister’s Department has countenanced public sector corruption.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Thank you for your email dated 5 July 2019 to the Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in which you made a request to the
Department under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) in the
Under the FOI Act, I seek copies of any emails in Ms Foster’s email
account that relate to the matters referred to in the above-mentioned
Guardian article. I constrain my request to documents dated between Monday
24 June 2019 to Friday 28 June 2019 (inclusive). These dates should
capture when Guardian journalists made inquiries of the Department in
relation to these matters and how the fallout was dealt with by Ms Foster,
being the highly paid senior executive with oversight of the Department’s
corruption identified in the article. The documents the subject of my
request are in the public interest because they will provide evidence as
to whether a highly paid, very senior, public servant in the Prime
Minister’s Department has countenanced public sector corruption.
Timeframe for receiving your decision
We received your request on 5 July 2019 and the 30 day statutory period
for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You
should therefore expect a decision from us by Monday 5 August 2019. The
period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise
you if there is any extension of time.
Agencies may decide that an applicant is liable to pay a charge in respect
of a request for access to documents. If the Department 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
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 [DPMC request email]. If you
do wish to object to the publication of information, you would need to
provide supporting reasons.
Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details
For documents that fall within scope of the request, it is the
Department’s policy to withhold:
• any person’s signature;
• the names and contact details of Australian Public Service
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
• the mobile or direct numbers of SES officers;
• the names and contact details of Ministerial staff at a
level below Chief of Staff.
The names and other details of SES officers will not be withheld unless
there is some reason for that information to be exempt from release. If
you require signatures, the names and contact details of non-SES officers
or Ministerial staff below the level of Chief of Staff, or the mobile or
direct numbers of SES officers please let us know at [DPMC request email] so
the decision-maker may consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree
to that information being excluded from the scope of your request (that
is, the information will be treated as irrelevant and redacted from any
documents for release).
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
FOI and Privacy Section| Legal Policy Branch
Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
p. +61 2 6271 5849
e. [DPMC request email] | www.dpmc.gov.au
2. mailto:[DPMC request email]
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