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Monday, 22 November 1999
Page: 10382


Senator Faulkner asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 20 September 1999:

(1) How many internal staff development courses has the department, or any agency in the portfolio, conducted since 3 March 1996.

(2) What is the cost of internal staff development courses the department, or any agency in the portfolio, has conducted since 3 March 1996.

(3) How many staff have attended internal staff development courses the department, or any agency in the portfolio, has conducted since 3 March 1996.

(4) (a) How many internal staff development courses conducted by the department, or any agency in the portfolio, since 3 March 1996 have contained training on making decisions under the Freedom of Information Act; and (b) of this number, how many: (i) were specifically focusing on the subject of freedom of information decisions, and (ii) how many dealt with the issue amongst others.

(5) What is the total cost of the courses in (4).


Senator Newman (Family and Community Services; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (2) and (3) General information regarding the training and development of Defence personnel (civilian and uniformed) in non-military training activities is available in the Department's Annual Reports which are tabled in Parliament.

Information from financial year 1997 onwards is not readily available. The restructuring of the Defence Organisation as a result of the Defence Reform Program had a significant effect on the ability of the Department to track the attendance of Defence personnel attending non-military training courses.

To provide a more detailed response to the honourable senator's question would involve substantial expenditure of time and resources. I am not prepared to authorise the time and effort that would be involved.

(4) (a) and (b) This information is not readily available. However, staff from the Department's Freedom of Information (FOI) Directorate provide training on FOI, including decision-making, to courses attended by in-house legal officers whose responsibilities may include advising FOI decision-makers. Moreover, the Directorate issues guidance on decision-making with each FOI request referred to a decision-maker.

(5) This information is not available.