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Wednesday, 15 March 2000
Page: 12908


Senator Faulkner asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 21 September 1999:

(1) What are the:

(a) formal qualifications;

(b) relevant experience; and

(c) employment classification/grade,

of each departmental officer who has made initial stage decisions regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act, since 3 March 1996.

(2) What are the:

(a) formal qualifications;

(b) relevant experience; and

(c) employment classification/grade,

of each departmental officer who has made internal review decisions regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act since, 3 March 1996.


Senator Ellison (Special Minister of State) —The Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Department of Education, Training & Youth Affairs (DETYA) does not collect or retain any statistical record of the qualifications and/or experience of each authorised decision-maker and DETYA is not prepared to commit resources to answer this question for the period since 3 March 1996. However, the current authorisations for the Department were signed on 18 December 1998, are limited to 3 members of the Senior Executive Service and 4 staff within Legal and Fraud Branch, including a Senior Executive Service officer, the Department's Chief Lawyer.

The staff within Legal and Fraud Branch usually deal with all requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, and the staff are either lawyers or have legal training and substantial experience in administering the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

The minimum employment classification for the current authorisations are DETYA Executive Level 1 for initial decisions and DETYA Legal 2 for review decisions and decisions on remission or waiver of fees and charges.

There have been no requests for internal review received by the Department since the current portfolio arrangements came into existence on 21 October 1998.