Travel Details for Minister Hon Josh Frydenberg MP to Adelaide for period 14th March 2017 to 17th March 2017

Richard Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Environment and Energy

The request was successful.

From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Department of the Environment,

I request information relating to the booking, mode of transport and cost of the travel for The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, the Minister of Environment & Energy to attend a press conference in Adelaide on 16th March 2017.

Specifically the information I am requesting is:

a) The date and time that the Minister's travel to Adelaide was booked;

b) The date and time that the Minister travelled to Adelaide;

c) The manner of the Minister's travel to Adelaide and the cost of this travel;

d) The total cost of travel & accommodation for the Minister & any accompanying staff while in Adelaide on his visit on and around 16th March 2017 (including commonwealth car or hire cars, hotel accommodation, meals etc);

e) The date and time that the Minister's travel from Adelaide to his next destination on or after 16th March 2017 was booked;

f) The date and time that the Minister travelled from Adelaide on or after 16th March 2017 to his next destination;

g) The manner of travel from Adelaide on or after 16th March 2017 to his next destination and the cost of this travel; and

h) the details a through g above for any of the Minister's staff that travelled with the Minister for the trip to Adelaide on or around the 16th March 2017.

I am making this request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Yours faithfully,
Richard Smith

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From: FOI Contact Officer
Department of the Environment and Energy

Dear Mr Smith

I refer to your request for access to documents relating to travel for The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, the Minister of Environment & Energy to attend a press conference in Adelaide on 16th March 2017.

I am writing to tell you that your request has been transferred to the Department of Finance under section 16(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (1982) (FOI Act). Under section 16(1) of the FOI Act, Agencies can transfer a request if the requested document is not in the possession of that agency but in the possession of another agency or if the subject matter of the document is more closely connected with the functions of another agency.

The Department received your request on 16 March 2017 and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from the Department of Finance on/by 18 April 2017. The period of 30 days may be extended if the Department of Finance needs to consult third parties or for other reasons. They will advise you if this happens.

If you have any questions about the progress of your request, please contact the FOI Coordinator at the Department of Finance by email at:

[email address]

Regards

FOI Contact Officer | Climate Change, Science and Corporate Legal Section |General Counsel Branch
Department of the Environment and Energy
a: GPO Box 787 CANBERRA ACT 2600
t: (02) 6274 2098
e: [Department of the Environment and Energy request email]

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Contact Officer,

Thank you for your response and update to my request for Government Information.

I will await to hear from the Department of Finance in due course.

Kind Regards,

Richard Smith

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From: FOI Requests


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Smith,

 

Freedom of Information Request – FOI 17/53

Thank you for your email to the Department of Environment (Environment)
requesting access to the following under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act).

 

…information relating to the booking, mode of transport and cost of the
travel for The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, the Minister of Environment &
Energy to attend a press conference in Adelaide on 16th March 2017.

 

Specifically the information I am requesting is:

 

a) The date and time that the Minister's travel to Adelaide was booked;

 

b) The date and time that the Minister travelled to Adelaide;

 

c) The manner of the Minister's travel to Adelaide and the cost of this
travel;

 

d) The total cost of travel & accommodation for the Minister & any
accompanying staff while in Adelaide on his visit on and around 16th March
2017 (including commonwealth car or hire cars, hotel accommodation, meals
etc);

 

e) The date and time that the Minister's travel from Adelaide to his next
destination on or after 16th March 2017 was booked;

 

f) The date and time that the Minister travelled from Adelaide on or after
16th March 2017 to his next destination;

 

g) The manner of travel from Adelaide on or after 16th March 2017 to his
next destination and the cost of this travel; and

 

h) the details a through g above for any of the Minister's staff that
travelled with the Minister for the trip to Adelaide on or around the 16th
March 2017.

 

Environment has transferred your request, in full, to Finance in
accordance with 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 Finance received your request. Your request was received by Finance
on 16 March 2017. 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 within one working day after they
are released to you.

 

Policy to exclude junior officer contact details

Finance has adopted a policy to generally exclude from any documents
released under FOI, the names and contact details of junior staff (non-SES
officers) and staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act
1984 (adviser level and below). 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.

 

 

Kind Regards,

Gaya

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [3][email address]

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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From: FOI Requests


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Attachment FOI 17 53 Charges Letter.docx.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith,

 

Please find attached, a charges letter in regards to your FOI request (our
reference FOI 17/53).

 

Regards,

Kira

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Coordinator (A/g), Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear Mr Greg Miles,

RE: FOI 17/53

Thank you for your reply of 5 April 2017 regarding my request for Government Information.

I have considered your response and I will answer the points raised in your response in turn.

a) Liability to pay a charge

Your response details your decision to impose a liability onto me to pay a charge to enable the Department of Finance to progress with my request for Government Information under the FOI Act.

I thereby inform the Department of Finance that I believe that the proposed Charges should not imposed, or at the very least, be reduced. I detail my reasons below.

1. I have a fixed income and the discretionary component of my income that is allocated to food each week is $124. The charges imposed, being $43.80, represent some 35% of my weekly food budget.

I submit to the Department that the payment of the Charges of $43.80, or part of it, would cause significant financial hardship to me as the amount of $43.80 represents nearly 2 and a half days of my weekly food budget. In choosing to progress my FOI request, I would have to go without purchasing food for more than 2 days, or forgo other discretionary items of spending to take the place of sustenance; and

2. Additionally I also submit to the Department that the call on taxpayer funds to fund the travel costs of elected representatives is a matter of general public interest. This is evident in the significant recent publicity of the travel costs of elected officials including the former Member for Mackellar, Bronwyn Bishop.

It therefore follows that, being a matter of general public interest, the release of information in the form of access to the Government Information that is the subject of my FOI request is in the interest of a large section of the Australian public.

I consequently request that the Department of Finance considers the points above in reassessing the applicability of the proposed Charges imposed to release this Government Information.

b) Extension of Time - Third Party Consultation

I note the Department's request for an extension of time as per s27 of the Act. In order to assist the Department with the processing of my request, I consent to the Departments request to be granted an additional 30 days extension of time.

c) Policy to Exclude Junior Officer Details

Regarding the Department's policy of excluding names and contact details of junior Departmental staff, while I recognise that this is a restriction to release of FOI documents over and above the requirements set out in the Act, on consideration of the Government Information subject to this request, I do not object to the Department's adherence to its internal policy.

I will however raise an objection, if the reason for not releasing any documents identified to be in the scope of my request for Government Information solely rests on the fact that they contain names and contact details of junior Departmental staff.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Coordinator

 

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information Team at the
Department of Finance.  An officer will respond to your email shortly.  In
the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
the FOI Team on (02) 6215 1783.

Regards,

 

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [1][email address]

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

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From: FOI Requests

UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith

Thank you for your email. We acknowledge receipt and will treat your email as a contention to the charges letter for FOI 17/53.

The FOI Team will be in touch in due course to advise you of the delegate's decision.

Regards
FOI Officer

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch
Business Enabling Services
Department of Finance
T: 02 6215 1783 E: [email address]
A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

UNCLASSIFIED

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From: FOI Requests


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Attachment FOI 17 53 Decision letter to charges contention.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith,

 

Please find attached, a charges letter in regards to your FOI request (our
reference FOI 17/53).

 

 

Kind Regards,

FOI Officer

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,

Ref: FOI 17/53

Thank you for your letter of 9th May.

In regards to the issues raised in your acknowledgement, I address each in turn below.

Financial Hardship

I note in your reply that you cited an absence of any evidence to support my claim. In support of my claim I would draw the Department's attention to the current payment rate of Aged Pension of $404.15 a week. This illustrates the financial hardship of the imposed charge of $43.80.

Application Fee Deposit

Notwithstanding the above, in order to continue with my request for Government Information, I authorise the Department of Finance to debit my credit card to enable the application fee deposit of $20 to be paid.

My credit card details are:
[credit card details removed by site administrators]

I trust this addresses the the issues raised in your letter and the processing of my request for Government Information can continue.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information Team at the
Department of Finance.  An officer will respond to your email shortly.  In
the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
the FOI Team on (02) 6215 1783.

Regards,

 

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [1][email address]

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Coordinator

 

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From: FOI Requests


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Attachment Invoice Deposit.pdf
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Attachment Receipt for deposit.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mr Smith,

 

I would like to confirm that we have received a deposit payment of charges
for your FOI request (our reference 17/53) for the amount $20.00.

 

The outstanding balance of charges is $23.80.

 

I have attached a copy of the tax invoice and receipt.

 

Kind Regards,

FOI Officer

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith,

 

Finance will be conducting a third party consultation for FOI 17/53. As
provided for under the FOI Act, the processing period has been extended by
30 days to allow for this consultation. A decision is currently due to you
by 5 July 2017.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the FOI Team if you would like to
discuss.

 

Kind regards,

FOI Officer

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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Attachment FOI 17 53 Decision letter.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Smith

 

Please find attached a decision, in regards to your FOI request (our
reference 17/53).

 

Kind regards

FOI Officer

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Requests,

Re: FOI Request 17/53

Thank you for providing your decision letter of 5 July 2017.

As requested, please debit my credit card for the remaining amount of the charges, being $23.80.

My credit card details are as follows:

[credit card details removed by site administrators]

I trust this addresses the issues raised in your letter and the processing of my request for Government Information can continue.

I look forward to receiving the document listed in your letter.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Coordinator

 

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information Team at the
Department of Finance.  An officer will respond to your email shortly.  In
the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
the FOI Team on (02) 6215 1783.

Regards,

 

 

FOI Officer, Legal Services Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [1][email address]

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

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From: FOI Requests

UNCLASSIFIED

Thank you Mr Smith

We will arrange for accounts to process the balance of charges and upon confirmation of payment, will confirm that the documents will be released.

For your information, we have also made a direct approach to the RtK administrators to remove your personal information from the site. You may also wish to contact them directly.

Kind regards
FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch
Business Enabling Services
Department of Finance

UNCLASSIFIED

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Richard Smith left an annotation ()

A nice gesture from the Department, I am assuming the "personal information" they are referring to are my credit card details.

Not really necessary in this case, as the credit card I have used is a Coles Prepaid card which is non-reloadable, has only been used for FOI requests and will be exhausted with this second FOI access payment.

Although, if they had accepted my request to waive the charges I wouldn't have needed to provide credit card details to find out how much taxpayers have shelled out transporting one of the Ministers of the Crown...

Its a strange world we live in.

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Henare Degan left an annotation ()

Hi Richard,

Bravo in using a prepaid credit card - you had us worried for a while! :) We've redacted the details anyway.

Thanks also from us to the department for their helpful email to us reporting this, and for their care removing the card details in their reply.

Cheers,

Henare
Right To Know administrator

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From: Richard Smith

Delivered

Dear FOI Officer,

RE: FOI 17/53

I have received your letter of 28 July 2017.

Thank you for your kind notification regarding the credit card I used to pay for the processing of my request for Government Information. I have made contact with the administrators of the Right to Know website to provide further information following your approach to them in regards to my request.

I move now onto my FOI request.

Today I have noted that an amount of $23.80 had been debited from my credit card on 1st August.

Accordingly, I look forward to receiving the document identified in the Department's decision letter of 29 June 2017.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Smith

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From: FOI Requests

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Coordinator

 

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From: FOI Requests


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment 17 53 Invoice Balance of Charges.pdf
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Attachment 17 53 Receipt Balance of Charges.pdf
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Attachment FOI 17 53 Decision letter.pdf
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Attachment FOI 17 53 Document 1 Final.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good morning Mr Smith

 

Please find attached a copy of the tax invoice and receipt for the balance
of charges you paid for FOI 17/53.

 

I have also attached the decision letter as well as the identified
document for release.

 

Kind regards

FOI Officer

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

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

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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