Update: scroll to bottom. They say report not done, but review itself done. Nice ambiguity.
The report often referred to as the Hawke review was due to be tabled in Parliament on April 30. This, of course, did not happen.
On June 14, I sent them an email consisting of:
To whom it may concern,
The terms of reference for the Freedom of Information Review stated that
the report should be provided by 30 April, 2013.
I note that the date is currently 14 June, and am curious as to where
this report has been published.
They responded almost immediately:
Dear Mr Molloy
Thank you for your email. Dr Hawke has completed his review. His
report has not been tabled by the Attorney-General. The FOI Review
Secretariat is unable to provide an estimated tabling date at this stage.
FOI Review Secretariat
Emphasis mine. They state that this report is complete. Curious, considering the Greens put a production of documents motion that passed on June 25 asking for this very report to be produced. Senator Penny Wong then stands and says the following:
by leave—In relation to the motion that the Senate has just dealt with, the government has opposed the motion on the basis that the documents in question do not exist. In October 2012, the then Attorney-General released the terms of reference for the review. The legislation requires that a written report of the review be prepared and be laid before the parliament within 15 sitting days after the minister receives the report. I am advised that the report has not yet been completed, though I am advised by the Attorney-General that Dr Hawke is at an advanced stage of work on the report. As I understand it, the Attorney-General’s office has advised Senator Rhiannon’s office of this fact—that the Attorney-General is yet to receive the report in question, let alone have an opportunity to prepare a response. Therefore the government is not in a position to table either the report or the government response at this time.
Hansard: Senator Penny Wong, June 25, 2013
Again, emphasis mine. I guess complete is a type of advanced stage of work, it just happens to be the last stage. How very curious.
I have sent the AGD an email as follows:
To whom it may concern,
I write to you regarding a recent motion in the Senate for the production of the review report.
I note that Senator Penny Wong responded that the report had not been completed.
This can be found in Hansard here.
This seems to be a direct contradiction to the email to which this is a response, where your department states very bluntly: “Dr Hawke has completed his review.”
I would much appreciate a clarification of this situation.
Let’s see how this goes.
Update: got a response:
Thank you for your email. Dr Hawke has completed his review but has not yet completed his report.
I don’t think I’m alone when I read “completed his review” to include the report. Bureaucrats.