Thursday, June 03, 2010

Email of 25 August 2009 to the Adviser of the Prime Minister’s Department

Dear Ms Huegill,

Thanks for your email.

In his letter of 10 July Mr David Macgill wrote ‘Each agency is responsible for its own decisions under the FOI Act’. I consider the information in relation to the letters of Ms Rebecca Irwin and Ms Sarah Adams is in the Office of the Prime Minister (the OPM) because they are senior advisers of the OPM. Ms MacDowell does not work in the OPM. She might not have the authority to search the information in the OPM. If that is the case, she ought to forward my request to the OPM, which hold the information, in accordance with s. 15(4) and s. 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Nevertheless, my original FOI request is to the OPM.

Mr Macgill wrote: ‘Mr Hettiarachi undertook a search for any documents relating to your correspondence of 7 July 2008…’. Ms Macdowell has not undertaken any searches in relation to Ms Rebecca Irwin’s letter of 16 December 2008 and Ms Sarah Adams’s letter of 23 February 2009.

Mr David Macgill further clarified: ‘The legal Policy Branch of the department responded to your correspondence on behalf of the Prime Minister. The subject-matter of your FOI request is related to the functions of the Legal Policy Branch of the department. Accordingly, the decision-maker at the department for your request was Mr Priyanga Hettiarachi in his capacity as A/g Assistant Secretary, Legal Policy Branch’. Accordingly, my FOI request is related to the functions of the OPM. The decision-maker ought to be a person in the OPM, and not a person in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.


Ms Kim Huegill’s email of 21 August 2009