The Department of Human Services, Disability Services, Victoria, blocked the release of the independent accreditation of all government funded services for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities in Victoria. Now they are blocking the release of a review by KPMG of its staff workpractices!
Our FOI request was:- We request, under FOI, a copy of the latest (final) KPMG Report on the “Workload Review” of DHS Services.
It is my decision that the document you have requested is fully exempt from release under sections 30(1), 33(1) and 35(1)(b) of the Act. Material not released to you is exempt on the basis of the following provisions of the Act.
Internal working documents
Section 30(1) of the Act exempts from disclosure documents that are internal working documents. For section 30(1) to apply, the documents must:
- disclose an opinion, advice or recommendation prepared by an officer, or relate to a consultation or deliberation that has taken place between officer(s) and/or Minister;
- have been prepared in the course of, or for the purpose of, deliberative processes involved in the functions of an agency; and
- release must be contrary to the public interest.
In this instance the Review of Workload for House Supervisors and Operational Managers (Final Report) report by KPMG was commissioned by the department, and its content forms part of the deliberative processes involved in the ongoing review of roles and responsibilities of direct care staff. As the material considered in the report has been superseded by events subsequent to its finalisation I have determined that the potential for its release to create confusion and ill-informed debate outweighs any benefit in providing access. Therefore, its release would be contrary to the public interest.
Personal affairs information
Section 33(1) of the Act exempts from disclosure any document (or any part thereof) that would unreasonably disclose information relating to the personal affairs of another person (including a deceased person).
For this exemption to apply, the information must:
- relate to the personal affairs of a person, and
- be unreasonable to release.
Section 33(9) of the Act defines 'personal affairs' to include information that identifies any person or discloses their address or location or from which any person's identity, address or location can reasonably be determined.
In this instance the documents concerns the personal affairs information of individuals other than yourself as the applicant, and it is my decision that the release of this information in this instance would be unreasonable.
Information obtained in confidence
Section 35(1)(b) provides that a document is exempt if its release would divulge information communicated in confidence to the department and the disclosure would be contrary to the public interest on the basis that it would be reasonably likely to impair an agency's (or Minister's) ability to obtain similar information in the future. Below, are the two components that must be met before the exemption can apply to documents.
- The documents must be communicated in confidence by or on behalf of a person to an agency; and
- Disclosure would be reasonably likely to impair the ability of the agency to obtain similar information in the future.
Further, were such information and the source of such information revealed, it is reasonably likely that the department's ability to obtain such information in the future would be impaired.
The report contains information provided to the consultants by department staff on the understanding that the material would be treated in confidence. It is my decision that to release information of this nature to the world at large would be likely to lead to a reluctance by staff to participate in similar reviews in the future, and impair the department's ability to obtain similar information on which to base workload or other reforms in the future.
LISA Comment: We see little chance of an 'Action Plan' being produced or made available as a result of this report. We expect the report to do little more than, like others, be a costly dust collector.