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The APS and political lobby groups

M Poler made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Public Service Commission

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From: M Poler

Delivered

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

The Public Service Act 1999 provides that the functions of the Public Service Commissioner include the upholding of high standards of integrity and conduct in the APS and the promotion of the APS Values and APS Code of Conduct.

I’m aware the former Public Service Commissioner, John Lloyd, used Commonwealth resources to correspond and otherwise communicate with the Executive Director (John Roskam) of far right wing, Liberal Party aligned, political lobby group, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Under the FOI Act, I seek access to any emails contained in all of John Lloyd’s email account (including deleted items) that contain the following word (in the body of an email and/or in the addressee fields of an email): “Roskam”.

Relevant documents can be quickly identified by searching “All Outlook Items” in Mr Lloyd’s outlook client for the word: “Roskam”.
I’m happy for the personal information of any person to be redacted from relevant documents except for Mr Lloyd’s and Mr Roskam’s personal information and except for the personal information of any person who was a public servant at the relevant time.

The documents the subject of my request are of significant public interest to the entire APS and the broader Australian public because they will provide clear guidance as to what the APSC /LNP Government considers appropriate, acceptable and legal interactions between those persons subject to the requirements of the Public Service Act 1999 and political lobby groups – whether those lobby groups are the IPA and similar groups such as AMBLA and the United Patriots Front, or more moderate groups such as GetUp! and the Socialist Alliance. Given the role of the APSC, such APSC led guidance, as demonstrated by the Public Service Commissioner, will be invaluable for the entirety of the APS, particularly in the lead up to a Federal election.

Yours faithfully,
M Poler

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From: FOI
Australian Public Service Commission

FOI reference C19/464

 

Acknowledgement of FOI request

 

 

Dear M Poler

 

1.       The Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission)
acknowledges receipt of your request for access to documents under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), as follows:

 

I seek access to any emails contained in all of John Lloyd’s email account
(including deleted items) that contain the following word (in the body of
an email and/or in the addressee fields of an email): “Roskam”.

 

2.       Your request was received on 22 February 2019.  The statutory
timeframe for responding to your request under the FOI Act is 30 days from
the date of receipt.  This timeframe may be extended in certain
circumstances, and we will advise you if such circumstances arise.

 

Charges

 

3.       Section 29 of the FOI Act provides that agencies may apply a
processing charge for access to documents, where the request does not
concern your personal information.  You will be advised if a processing
charges applies.

 

Redaction of junior staff personal information

 

4.       Section 22 of the FOI Act provides that agencies may redact
certain material from documents where the material is deemed irrelevant to
the scope of the request. 

 

5.       The Commission’s policy is to redact the personal information,
including the contact information of public servants who are employed
below the Senior Executive level (SES).  Unless you tell us otherwise, the
Commission will consider that junior agency employees personal information
falls outside the scope of your request, and entries will be redacted.

 

Administrative release

 

6.       Where possible, the Commission will release documents under
administrative access arrangements, outside of the formalities of the FOI
Act.  Unless you advise otherwise, in the processing of your request we
will provide suitable documents to you under these arrangements, and
notify you at the time of release.

 

7.       If you have any questions relating to your request please contact
our office via email to the above address.

 

Regards,

 

 

FOI Officer

Legal Services

 

Australian Public Service Commission

Level 4, B Block, Treasury Building, Parkes Place West, Parkes ACT 2600

GPO Box 3176, Canberra ACT 2601

 

 

Important: This email remains the property of the Commonwealth and is
subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. It may
contain confidential or legally privileged information. If you think it
was sent to you by mistake, please delete all copies and advise the
sender.

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