Substantiating HOSM advice to government

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

On 26 September 2013 the Assistant Secretary Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch advised the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal's original purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service".

Primary source documents publicly available in National Archives conflict with this assertion. The HOSM's instituting Letters Patent states the Medal was instituted to recognise "persons who have given humanitarian service in hazardous circumstances outside Australia".

Government designed the HOSM to be flexible to accomodate government approval of operations conducted under the authority of international or national agencies. This is stated in primary source documents and evidenced by the Australian contingent to the rehabilitation program in Iraq carried out by the Coalition Provisional Authority being listed as an eligible organisation.

The public record shows for-profit contractors were awarded the HOSM in recognition of their service with this contingent. The public record also shows for-profit contractors have been awarded the HOSM in other operations. Many of the NGOs listed as eligible organisations for the HOSM employ personnel who work for profit. Everyone awarded the HOSM for their service with the Australian contingent in Iraq worked for profit and was well paid for their service.

With these facts in mind, I would like a copy of the document substantiating the Assistant Secretary's advice the HOSM's original purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service"

Yours faithfully,

Trav S

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

7 Attachments

OFFICIAL

 

Dear Trav S

 

We write in relation to your email dated 14 October 2020, and received by
the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department), in
which you made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the
FOI Act) for access to the following:

 

On 26 September 2013 the Assistant Secretary Honours, Symbols and
Territories Branch advised the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal's
original purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service".

 

Primary source documents publicly available in National Archives conflict
with this assertion. The HOSM's instituting Letters Patent states the
Medal was instituted to recognise "persons who have given humanitarian
service in hazardous circumstances outside Australia".

 

Government designed the HOSM to be flexible to accomodate government
approval of operations conducted under the authority of international or
national agencies.  This is stated in primary source documents and
evidenced by the Australian contingent to the rehabilitation program in
Iraq carried out by the Coalition Provisional Authority being listed as an
eligible organisation.

 

The public record shows for-profit contractors were awarded the HOSM in
recognition of their service with this contingent. The public record also
shows for-profit contractors have been awarded the HOSM in other
operations.  Many of the NGOs listed as eligible organisations for the
HOSM employ personnel who work for profit.  Everyone awarded the HOSM for
their service with the Australian contingent in Iraq worked for profit and
was well paid for their service.

 

With these facts in mind, I would like a copy of the document
substantiating the Assistant Secretary's advice the HOSM's original
purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service"

 

Records in the open access period under the Archives Act 1983

 

Any documents within the scope of your request would have been created
during the policy development stage of the Humanitarian Overseas Service
Medal (HOSM), and prior to the signing of the Letters Patent on 16 April
1999.

 

Section 12(1)(a) of the FOI Act provides that a person is not entitled to
obtain access to document, or a copy of a document, which is, under the
Archives Act 1983 (the Archives Act), within the open access period within
the meaning of the Archives Act unless the document contains personal
information (including personal information about a deceased person).

 

Under the Archives Act, records that came into existence on or prior to 31
December 1999 are in the open access period.

 

This means that you have no right of access under the FOI Act to any
documents within the scope of your request as the documents would have
come into existence on or prior to 31 December 1999.

 

If you wish to access records that came into existence on or prior to 31
December 1999, then you will need to contact the National Archives of
Australia (the NAA).

 

More information about access to records under the Archives Act can be
found on the NAA’s website:
[1]https://www.naa.gov.au/help-your-researc....

 

In light of the above, please advise whether you wish to withdraw your FOI
request by Monday, 2 November 2020.

 

If you would like to continue with your request, we expect the Department
will refuse your request on the basis that you have no right of access to
the documents under section 12(1)(a) of the FOI Act.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy Section| Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

[2]http://www.dcducks.com/wp-content/themes...
6271 5849 |
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|
[5]https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/...

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[8]cid:image002.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00[9]cid:image003.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00 [10]cid:image004.jpg@01D30607.6CF4DA00

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for replying and notifying me of your intention to refuse my FOI request.

We visited to National Archives in Canberra earlier this year and reviewed what was publicly available.

We were unable to find a primary source implying/demonstrating that the HOSM's original purpose is different to that prescribed by the relevant legislative instruments.

Noted PM&C will likely refuse access to the documents as they are now governed by the National Archives Act. However, as we understand it the National Archives returned the HOSM related file/folder to PM&C last year. Despite this material being in the open access period it remains unavailable to the public as a result.

Given this quandary, is there a way we can all have access to the documents to review?

Thanks for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Trav S

FOI, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

OFFICIAL
Dear Trav S

Thank you for your email.

If you believe the Department holds a file/folder that is in the open access period, we suggest that you contact the NAA and request access to that file/folder and we would expect that the NAA would then contact the Department to return the file/folder to the NAA to enable your request to be dealt with.

If you wish to withdraw your FOI request, your advice would be appreciated by 10 November 2020.

Yours sincerely

FOI and Privacy Section | Legal Policy Branch
Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
p. (02) 6271 5849
e. [DPMC request email] | w. www.pmc.gov.au
One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

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Dear FOI,

Ok, we will do that. Thank you.

Please cancel my FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Trav S