Veto powers of representatives of APS Commissioner

The request was partially successful.

Dear Australian Public Service Commission,

This is a request for documents, which you may grant access to the documents by administrative release. Otherwise, please accept this email as a request for documents under the FOI Act.

I refer to an article published in the Australian on 10 February 2022 – Top judge warned of registrar overhaul.

In that article, the following is noted:

a) “Mr Soden had claimed the registrar, a man who had been at the court for many years, could not be given the original Senior Executive Service classification advertised because it would be vetoed by the APSC representative”;
b) “Warwick tells me there is a problem because the (APSC) has a veto on an SES appointments”;
c) “… the most senior registrar in Queensland ended up in a position lower that the SES classifications other state registrars were given”;
d) “To solve the problem, Warwick wants to downgrade the role from an SES position, avoid the APSC’s veto and appoint (him)”;
e) “Warwick’s advice that the APSC has a veto on appointment is wrong”;
f) “Justice Greenwood confirmed he had been told that the APSC had objected to the man’s appointment because he ‘might not be accommodating of planned changes to the management structure of the court’”; and
g) “[The Registrar] was ultimately appointed to the role at the (lower level) configured by Mr Soden and Ms Lagos, no doubt in discussion with the APSC.”

There are certain things that are not entirely clear in the article. I would like to clarify certain comments and make the following requests to that end.

Request 1

I have reviewed the Public Service Act, the Public Service Regulations and the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 (to account for the timing of the events) and have found nothing that suggests that the Australian Public Service Commissioner can veto SES appointments. Justice Greenwood of the Federal Court of Australia has stated that “Warwick’s advice that the APSC has a veto on appointment is wrong.”

I would like access to any documents that provide that the Australian Public Service Commissioner or the Commissioner’s representative is permitted to veto SES appointments.

Request 2

I would like access to any document that provides that, when the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or the Commissioner’s representative, participates in a selection process under section 21 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016, the Commissioner or the representative has a power of veto in relation to the selection process (including over any decisions of the other selection committee members).

Request 3

I would like access to the certification issued by the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s representative noting that the selection process complied with the Public Service Act 1999 and the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016: see Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016, s 21(b).

If, and only if, the certification has not been maintained by the Australian Public Service Commission, I would like access to any correspondence between the Australian Public Service Commissioner, or members of his staff, and the representative noting arrangements for the representative to represent the Commissioner during the selection process for the “most senior registrar in Queensland” (the article is not entirely clear on what the relevant position title is, although it would appear to be National Judicial Registrar).

Please provide the documents in digital format (e.g. PDF or Microsoft Word).

Yours faithfully,

Aiofe

FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

5 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

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

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

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This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

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FOI, Australian Public Service Commission

9 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

Please find attached:

 

o A Decision Notice; and
o Document 1.

 

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

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [1]www.apsc.gov.au        

[2]three hexagons[3]twitter icon [4]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

 

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, 15 February 2022 5:15 PM
To: Aiofe <[FOI #8408 email]>
Cc: FOI <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Acknowledgement SHC22-1386 [SEC=OFFICIAL]

 

OFFICIAL

Dear Applicant

 

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is writing to acknowledge
receipt of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act).

 

The timeframe for responding to your request is 30 days from the date of
receipt. This timeframe may be extended in certain circumstances. You will
be notified if these circumstances arise and the timeframe is extended.

 

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

 

t: 02 6202 3500  w: [5]www.apsc.gov.au        

[6]three hexagons[7]twitter icon [8]facebook
icon                          

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachments may contain confidential or legally
privileged information, and neither are waived or lost if the email has
been sent in error. If you have received this email in error, please
delete it (including any copies) and notify the sender. Please consult
with APSC Legal Services before using disclosing any part of this email or
attachments to a third party.

 

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