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Old 7th Dec 2013, 22:06
  #1642 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
Sundy DIY renovations while watching the cricket...!!

Just to fill in a few gaps with back filler before the cricket starts....

Aye, it's a puzzle all right; it may go some way to explaining why NX dragged the Information Commissioner into play. So to the questions:-

Was there a serious game of push and shove in the schoolyard going on?

Was Pel Air just being used as a football in serious points scoring manoeuvre and the inquiry was simply never, ever expected to go the distance it did ?

Why was the DAS and other addressees responses not provided in the package?

What sort of truth is it that makes taking the shellacking dished out by the Senate a better proposition than having "it" exposed?
Yes it is a puzzle and one that on the face of it is quite bizarre... However when did the schoolyard bully wars ever really make sense when we were all growing up??

Anyway back to filling in the gaps while the missus slumbers...

To my mind it has always been in the timing, so let's start with the infamous email from DoIT with Beaker's {dobber} email reply comment...("with the exception of anonymous rumour sites and some tendentious bloggers"...), was first put up on FF's disclosure log on the 5th November 2012, see here: Comment: We can only guess at who "specified persons" were but otherwise the original FOI request (presumably from NX) seems pretty straight forward so why the attempted cover-up by FF using section 47F (see below) of the FOI Act? One would have to assume that there was much more correspondence than that one email? Hmm...I also wonder if a DoIT identity was on the list of specified persons?? If not I find it very hard to imagine that DoIT, as a 3rd party to the FOI request, would approve for that email request to be released and subsequently published on the FF disclosure log...very 'passing strange'??

Oh well onwards and err..backfilling on the timeline of intrigue..

Albo's senior adviser from DoIT refers to a "motion" by NX but as we all know the calling of the AAI inquiry was made the next day (13th September 2012). When the SA says that..."We are opposing this motion"... he is simply referring to Albo and the former governments minions in the Senate and the motion by Sen X was in NOTICES (12/09/2012):
Senator Xenophon to move:
That the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012:
(a) the findings of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau into the ditching of VH-NGA Westwind II, operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd, in the ocean near Norfolk Island airport on 18 November 2009;
(b) the nature of, and protocols involved in, communications between agencies and directly interested parties in an aviation accident investigation and the reporting process;
(c) the mechanisms in place to ensure recommendations from aviation accident investigations are implemented in a timely manner; and
(d) any related matters.
Hmm...there was not a lot of opposition to NX's motion was there?? What I find disturbing is that DoIT was so submissive of the Senator's call for inquiry and was quite prepared to kibosh the issue and go into cover-up mode on a matter that really should have had little direct impact on the department. Even more disturbing is the fact that such proposed actions by DoIT would appear to be in direct conflict with Albo's mantra at the time that..."aviation safety is my number one priority"!

Hmm...all quite bizarre and a truly strange puzzle to mull over while watching the cricket.."go Davey get your ton mate!" seems that DJ, MQ, BA and NX (at the time) quite unwittingly stepped into a schoolyard brawl, a brawl that is still a long way from being sorted and has very little to do with AVIATION SAFETY.....FFS!
Public interest conditional exemptions--personal privacy
General rule
(1) A document is conditionally exempt if its disclosure under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information about any person (including a deceased person).
(2) In determining whether the disclosure of the document would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information, an agency or Minister must have regard to the following matters:
(a) the extent to which the information is well known;
(b) whether the person to whom the information relates is known to be (or to have been) associated with the matters dealt with in the document;
(c) the availability of the information from publicly accessible sources;
(d) any other matters that the agency or Minister considers relevant.
(3) Subject to subsection (5), subsection (1) does not have effect in relation to a request by a person for access to a document by reason only of the inclusion in the document of matter relating to that person.
Access given to qualified person instead
(4) Subsection (5) applies if:
(a) a request is made to an agency or Minister for access to a document of the agency, or an official document of the Minister, that contains information concerning the applicant, being information that was provided by a qualified person acting in his or her capacity as a qualified person; and
(b) it appears to the principal officer of the agency or to the Minister (as the case may be) that the disclosure of the information to the applicant might be detrimental to the applicant's physical or mental health, or well-being.
(5) The principal officer or Minister may, if access to the document would otherwise be given to the applicant, direct that access to the document, so far as it contains that information, is not to be given to the applicant but is to be given instead to a qualified person who:
(a) carries on the same occupation, of a kind mentioned in the definition of qualified person in subsection (7), as the first-mentioned qualified person; and
(b) is to be nominated by the applicant.
(6) The powers and functions of the principal officer of an agency under this section may be exercised by an officer of the agency acting within his or her scope of authority in accordance with arrangements referred to in section 23.
(7) In this section:
"qualified person" means a person who carries on, and is entitled to carry on, an occupation that involves the provision of care for the physical or mental health of people or for their well-being, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes any of the following:
(a) a medical practitioner;
(b) a psychiatrist;
(c) a psychologist;
(d) a counsellor;
(e) a social worker.
Note: Access must generally be given to a conditionally exempt document unless it would be contrary to the public interest (see section 11A).
Comment: Think we now all know why NX called on the IC to appear, he was quite obviously severely pissed that his perfectly reasonable FOI request was obfuscated by FF and their use of section 47F. In the end the obfuscation mattered for naught as it all came out in a flood in the Senate confessional box!
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