Year on year percentage pay increases for the Department's SES Band 3 officers for 2013/14 to 2014/15 and 2014/15 to 2015/16

I Whittaker made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Jobs and Small Business

The request was refused by Department of Jobs and Small Business.

From: I Whittaker

Delivered

Dear Department of Employment,

I’d like to make an FOI request.

I’ve been following the FOI request titled ‘Group Certificates/PAYG payment summaries of the Department’s SES staff - FY2013/14, FY2014/15 and FY2015/16’ here: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/g... where the Department has refused to release information relating to the precise amount of taxpayer funds paid to the Department’s SES Band 3 staff.

I request a document or documents (likely prepared under s.17 of the FOI Act) that details the year on year increase in remuneration (as a percentage, rounded to the nearest decimal point) paid to each of the Department’s SES Band 3 staff for the financial years: 2013/14 to 2014/15 and 2014/15 to 2015/2016 as determined from the group certificates/PAYG summaries issued to those SES staff (pro-rated, to reflect full year amounts, if necessary). I’m not interested in the names of the SES officers and so I’m happy for you to de-identify those. Here’s an example to illustrate the type of document(s) I’m seeking acesss to.

Example PAYG Payment Summary Information

Department SES Band 3 officer name: John Citizen.
Total remuneration for 2013/14 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $100,000
Total remuneration for 2014/15 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $101,000
Total remuneration for 2015/16 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $103,000

Department SES Band 3 officer name: Deborah Smith
Total remuneration for 2013/14 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $50,000 (nb. only commenced employment at the Department on 1/1/2014)
Total remuneration for 2014/15 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $107,000
Total remuneration for 2015/16 (taken from relevant PAYG payment summary): $110,000

____

Example document produced for purposes of my FOI request using data gleaned from relevant PAYG payment summaries (respectively, per the example data set out above above)

Department SES Band 3 Officer identifier: ‘Department SES Band 3 Officer #1’
Year on year pay increase as a percentage (rounded to nearest decimal point):
2013/14 - 2014/15 = 1%
2014/15 – 2015/2016 = 2%

Department SES Band 3 Officer identifier: ‘Department SES Band 3 Officer #2’
Year on year pay increase as a percentage (rounded to nearest decimal point):
2013/14 - 2014/15 = 7% (note: the officer only commenced employment on 1/1/14, therefore the officer’s total remuneration for 2013/14 has been pro-rated to reflect a yearly amount)
2014/15 – 2015/2016 = 2.8%

______

Given that the Department has already located the PAYG payment summaries of the relevant Departmental SES Band 3 officers (for the purposes of dealing with the FOI request referred to above) and therefore has those payment summaries readily at hand, the Department should be able to provide the information the subject of my request quickly and with minimal effort. Should you require any clarification of my request, please let me know.

Thanks.

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From: SHEPHERD,Oliver

Dear Sir/Madam

 

We refer to your correspondence below, received by the Department of
Employment on 12 April 2017.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (Cth).

 

Should you have any queries about this matter, please contact us via email
to [1][Department of Employment request email].

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law Team

Information Law, Practice Management and Corporate Advising Branch

Australian Government Department of Employment
Email: [2][Department of Employment request email]

 

 

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From: Employment - FOI


Attachment FOI decision on access Whittaker.pdf
1.1M Download View as HTML


For Official Use Only

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I refer to your request of 12 April 2017 (below) for access to documents
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). Please find attached the
Department of Employment’s decision in relation to your request.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Law, Practice Management and Corporate Advising Branch

Australian Government Department of Employment

Phone (02) 6240 7310

[1][email address] |www.employment.gov.au

 

Corporate Legal: professionalism, collaboration and quality in legal
services and compliance.

 

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Note to the applicant: In my opinion, the agency has made an error. To understand this, may I please suggest you the request made by Mr Fairless called "Average Hold Data for 2016" (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a... ) and also read my annotation at (https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a... ). It is the comments about section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act that is important for your request. If you are unsure why the comment is relevant, or if you do not know what to write to the agency, please contact me through Right to Know BEFORE you request an internal review.

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Verity Pane left an annotation ()

I would agree that agency has not correctly interpreted s 17 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Section 17 provides for circumstances where information sought by an applicant is not available in a discrete written document but could be made available in that form by using equipment such as a computer (and arguably is not limited to just computer records).

The agency would hold the salary records, and the agency could make use of the resources it has to produce the information sought, in the form sort (s 17 is not limited to the mere reproduction, there is some leeway for it being produced in the manner sort, it comes down to whether doing so would create an unreasonable burden for the agency involved).

As there are only a very small number of SES Band 3 employees, and the information, in the form sought, would be unlikely to exceed the free 5 hour FOI processing window, I think the agency should re-examine its position. It's not about the creation of "new information" in so much as providing it in the form desired (it's the same information, just expressed as percentage shift).

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

So now your could request the internal review and push the attention of the review officer to s 17 of the Act and also to the guidance from the Information Commissioner on the applicaiton of s 17.

Held og lykke.

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