I refer to:
- my letter to you dated 10 May 2012;
- correspondence which I understand you have received from the Commonwealth
Ombudsman’s Office in relation to Screen Australia’s decision as notified in my
letter of 10 May 2012;
- an application for feature development funding lodged by you with Screen Australia
on 3 October 2012 in respect of the project Honour; and
- an application for feature development lodged by you with Screen Australia on 23
October 2012 in respect of the project Ships in the Night.
On 5 October 2012, I wrote to you in response to your application for funding for Honour. As foreshadowed in that letter, the documents referred to above were raised at the meeting of the Board of Screen Australia held on 9 November 2012.
In my letter of 10 May 2012, I confirmed that Screen Australia will continue to accept applications made by you under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, and to deal with any such applications in accordance with law. I did not specifically refer in my letter to applications for the Producer Offset, which is administered by Screen Australia as the film authority under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. As you may be aware, applications for the Producer Offset can only be made by companies, and not by individuals. However, for the avoidance of doubt, I wish to clarify and confirm that, subject to the usual requirements of the producer offset legislation and associated rules, Screen Australia will accept producer offset applications lodged by companies owned, managed or otherwise associated with you and will determine any such application in accordance with law.
Screen Australia did not make its decision of May 2012 in relation to you lightly. The decision represents a serious step, taken for serious reasons. We acknowledge that it would be appropriate to review the decision after a period which is reasonable in all the circumstances. Accordingly, we will review our decision in May 2014 to assess whether circumstances have changed such that we can recommence dealing with you in a normal manner. It is to be hoped that at that time, we will be able to conclude that there is no basis for continuing concern for our staff. However, we need also to raise with you an issue which will need to be resolved should we decide that we can once again accept applications for funding from you.
As you are aware, Screen Australia attaches eligibility conditions to its funding, some of which are project-based and some of which relate to the attributes of applicants. An example of the latter type of eligibility condition is the requirement that applicants (and their “Related Parties” as defined in our Terms of Trade) not be in breach of any obligation owed either to Screen Australia or to one of its predecessor agencies.
Screen Australia has recently advised parties with outstanding obligations to Screen Australia and its predecessor agencies that in order to be eligible for further funding the relevant outstanding obligation must be resolved.
According to our records, you and/or entitles which are your Related Parties (within the meaning of our Terms of Trade) are indebted to Screen Australia (standing in the shoes of the previous agencies) in a total amount of $32,626.19. Accordingly, I have enclosed written particulars of this indebtedness, and an invoice.
Chief Executive Officer