FOI Responses from the Public Service Commission

Listed below is a log of selected responses received from the Australian Public Service Commission under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

FOI Response dated 30 April 2012 {APSC Ref: C12/1756}

The Public Service Commissioner under Subsection 41(f)  of the Public Service Act 1999 has the power to investigate complaints made about the conduct of the Heads of Government Agencies.

A Member wrote to the Public Service Commissioner asking the Commissioner to investigate the conduct of the incumbent Chairman of ASIC for failing to comply with Section 12 and Section 14 of the Public Service Act 1999 and specifically that the Chairman had taken no disciplinary action against several Offers of ASIC who had contravened the APS Code of Conduct.

The Public Service Commissioner’s Executive Assistant has a record of correspondence from an Officer of ASIC received on 8 February 2012 {Ref FOI Request dated 1 April 2012 confirmed by the Australian Public Service Commission in letter dated 16 April 2012}..

However this document could not be located by the Australian Public Service Commission and so the Commission requested that the Officer of ASIC who wrote the letter send another copy.

FOI Response dated 4 July 2012 {APSC Ref: No Ref Provided}

Following the letter dated 30 April 2012, the letter dated 4 July 2012 confirms that the Australian Public Service Commission did request the Officer of ASIC to provide a copy of the letter received by the Commission on the 8 February 2012, however the ASIC Officer who wrote the original letter advised the Commission by telephone that ASIC was also “unable to locate a copy of the letter“.

In Summary

So in summary a Member requests that the Public Service Commissioner investigate the actions of the incumbent Chairman of ASIC over the failure of the Chairman to discipline several Officers of ASIC who have contravened the APS Code of Conduct.

One of those Officers was the author of the letter sent to the Public Service Commissioner that was received by the Commission on the 8 February 2012.

A letter that both the Commission and ASIC now claim has been “lost“.

Since the Member is gathering evidence for an action for the Tort of Misfeasance in Public Office against ASIC, it appears that ASIC has implemented a “Document Retention Policy” in a similar manner to the big tobacco companies who destroy potentially incriminating documents.

Now not only did the 8 February 2012 original letter from ASIC to the Australian Public Service Commission go “missing” along with ASIC‘s copy, a FOI application to ASIC dated 3 May 2012 also went “missing” as confirmed by a letter from ASIC dated 20 June 2012 following a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner {Ref: CP12/06494}.

The Victorian Government introduced the Crimes (Document Destruction) Act 2006. This Act makes it a crime to destroy documents that might be used as evidence in pending court proceedings.

How confident are you that your “Super is Safe” when Australian Public Servants who are tasked by the Parliament to protect your hard earned superannuation entitlements can breach the APS Code of Conduct with impunity and when complaints are lodged against Agency Heads who failed to discipline Australian Public Servants who breach the APS Code of Conduct, correspondence is “put through the shredder” so it will not be available in the event of possible future litigation in relation to the crime of Misconduct in Public Office and Tort of Misfeasance in Public Office?

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