WHS Notices

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Defence, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Defence,

Please provide all Work Health and Safety notices and reports, including Sentinel Event Incident Reports and Notifications to Comcare in relation to the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter

Yours faithfully,

James Smith

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Dear James,

 

Acknowledgement

I refer to your correspondence of 19 June 2024 seeking access to documents
held by the Department of Defence (Defence), under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

 

The scope of your request is:

 

Please provide all Work Health and Safety notices and reports, including
Sentinel Event Incident Reports and Notifications to Comcare in relation
to the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter

 

Timeframe

The statutory timeframe to provide you with a decision on your request
ends on 19 July 2024. This period may be extended if we need to consult
with third parties, or for other reasons. We will advise you if this
happens.

 

Please note that where the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public
holiday, the timeframe will expire on the next working day. This is in
accordance with the FOI Guidelines issued by the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner under section 93A of the FOI Act.

 

Disclaimer

Where staff details are captured in documents within the scope of your FOI
request, this information will be redacted; this includes private email
addresses, signatures, personnel (PMKeyS) numbers and mobile telephone
numbers, unless you specifically request such details. Defence excludes
duplicates of documents and any documents sent to or from you.
Furthermore, Defence only considers final versions of documents.

 

Charges

Defence may impose a charge for the work involved in providing access to
the documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Charges)
Regulations 2019. We will notify you if your request attracts a charge.
Please note that there is no charge for documents that contain the
personal information of the applicant.

 

Disclosure Log

Documents released under the FOI Act may be published on Defence’s
disclosure log, located on our website.

 

Contact Details

We will contact you via the email address you have provided. Please advise
if you would prefer us to use an alternative means of contact.

 

Should you have any questions relating to your request, please do not
hesitate to contact me via email: [1][email address].

 

Kind regards,

 

Ryan

Freedom of Information
Media and Information Disclosure Branch

Ministerial & Executive Coordination and Communication Division

Department of Defence

 

Tel: 02 5108 8851

 

[2]Freedom of information requests | About | Defence

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://www.defence.gov.au/about/accessi...

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

OFFICIAL

Dear James

 

I refer to your correspondence of 19 June 2024 seeking access to documents
held by the Department of Defence, under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (FOI Act).

 

The scope of your request is:

 

Please provide all Work Health and Safety notices and reports, including
Sentinel Event Incident Reports and Notifications to Comcare in relation
to the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter

 

We currently processing your request, however in order to assist the
Decision Maker please confirm the timeframe for your request and the type
of documents you seek. For example, you may wish to seek documents related
to a particular incident or point in time.

 

I would be grateful for your response by 4 July 2024.

 

Thank you and regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

Media and Information Disclosure Branch

Ministerial & Executive Coordination and Communication Division

Department of Defence

 

[1]Freedom of information requests | About | Defence

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.defence.gov.au/about/accessi...

Dear FOI Case Management,

The period of time spans the operational service of the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter with the Australian Defence Force.

Yours sincerely,

James Smith

FOI Case Management, Department of Defence

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Defence FOI 1005 2324 Notification of a request consultation process.pdf

    187K Download View as HTML

OFFICIAL

Dear James,

 

Please find attached a letter in relation to Defence FOI 1005/23/24.

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Team

Media and Information Disclosure Branch

Ministerial & Executive Coordination and Communication Division

Department of Defence

 

[1]Freedom of information requests | About | Defence

IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Department of Defence.
Unauthorised communication and dealing with the information in the email
may be a serious criminal offence. If you have received this email in
error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email
immediately.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.defence.gov.au/about/accessi...

Dear Ms Groves

The following are the key considerations when assessing whether a practical refusal reason exists:

1. the estimated volume of information involved in the request
2. the agency’s size and resources
3. the decision period

With regard to item 1, you have not disclosed the volume of information involved in the request and have merely stated there are 'numerous' documents. However, the stated 200 minutes (or 3 hours and 20 minutes) does not appear to be an onerous period of time to undertake the review and is unlikely to meet the threshold test of a "substantial and unreasonable" diversion of resources. The test is whether a "substantial and unreasonable" diversion of resources would occur, not as you allege, that "a significant amount of resources" would have to be diverted.

We are unable to find any IC or AAT cases that are analogous and support Defence's assertion that 3-4 hours is a substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources. In fact, the cases support the proposition that only until timeframes reach over 40 hours would they begin to be considered substantial and unreasonable.

Further, stating that the period requested involved "multiple" decades is an over exaggeration. The MRH-90 has been in service for 17 years.

Defence has a budget of over $50bn and a workforce of 82,000 people. It has a large and sophisticated FOI team and system (see Defence FOI / 623/23/24). Accordingly, 3-4 hours is not a "substantial and unreasonable" diversion of resources. In Farrell; Chief Executive Officer, Services Australia [2020] AATA 2390, the Tribunal found that 61.25 hours or 8 days was not a "substantial and unreasonable" diversion of resources for Services Australia, an organisation of similar size to Defence.

With regard to item 2, Defence has a large and permanent FOI team, dedicated to handling requests such as the instant one. Defence also has a sophisticated WHS reporting and recording system, where accessing information does not involve collating materials from diverse and disparate sources.

With regard to item 3, I am willing to entertain a reasonable extension to the decision period to accommodate any purported 'burden' on the resources of Defence.

Additionally, as Defence is aware, there is significant public interest value in the disclosure of the information contained in the documents. In the circumstances it is difficult to justify that a practical refusal reason exists on the basis that processing the request would have an unreasonable effect on the agency (see FOI Guidelines s3.113). Defence has committed to transparency in matters of air safety and it is expected that this would include disclosure of the document the subject of the instant FOI application.

Finally, I am willing to limit the time frame of the request from 2015 to date.

I trust the above addresses the purported concerns in your notice, which should now be withdrawn. As there is no reasonable basis for the practical refusal, Defence should continue with processing the application.

Yours sincerely,

James Smith