ANU's investments in nuclear weapons companies

Angela Chen made this Freedom of Information request to Australian National University

The request was refused by Australian National University.

From: Angela Chen

Delivered

Dear Australian National University,

On behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Australia, I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

I would like to request all documents held by the University that contains information of:

1) the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (domestic or international) in any company that is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry; including but not exclusively:

a. Aecom
b. Aerojet Rocketdyne
c. Airbus Group
d. Babcock International
e. BAE Systems
f. Bechtel
g. Boeing
h. BWX Technologies
i. CH2M Hill
j. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
k. Engility Holdings
l. European Aeronautic Defence & Space
m. General Dynamics
n. Goodrich Corporation
o. Fluor Corporation
p. Honeywell International
q. Huntington Ingalls Industries
r. ITT Corporation
s. Jacobs Engineering
t. Larsen & Toubro
u. Leonardo-Finmeccanica
v. Lockheed Martin
w. Moog Inc.
x. Northrop Grumman
y. Orbital ATK
z. Raytheon
aa. Redhall Group
bb. Rockwell Collins Inc
cc. Rolls Royce Holdings
dd. Safran
ee. SAIC Inc
ff. Serco Group
gg. Textron
hh. Thales
ii. Thyssenkrupp
jj. Walchandnagar Industries

2) the University’s investments in any company which is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry under external listed equity funds.

Please take each request as an individual request and limit the search of the above documents to the period between 1/1/2010 and 1/1/2017.

If clarification is required for any of the above individual requests, please advise me. Furthermore, if any of this information is already in the public domain, please direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,

Angela Chen

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Chen

Regarding your request to the Australian National University for access to the following documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. I find that the scope of your request is too broad and in its current form.

I ask that you refine your request, particularly with regard to the following:
* clarify what you mean by "directly involved in" and "nuclear arsenal industry"
* is the "ownership of shares" only limited to a document recording the shares owned by the University that are relevant to your request
* identify the units of the University who may hold documents relevant to your enquiry
* identify the type of documents you are requesting access to, such as specific types of reports
* provide an inclusive list of companies that the University may have investments in that relate to your request
* limit the time frame of you request to a two year period

Your sincerely,

David Brumby
FOI Coordinator
Scholarly Information Services
Building 10A, Chancelry
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4237

CRICOS Provider #00120C

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From: Angela Chen

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

Thank you for your quick reply and action to seek further clarification on this FOI request.

1. clarify what you mean by "directly involved in" and "nuclear arsenal industry"

By “directly involved in”, I mean that the company is “directly involved” in the development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services.

By “nuclear arsenal industry”, I mean an industry that specifically develops nuclear warheads or delivery systems (missiles, rockets, missile torpedo launch installations, etc) for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms (submarines, bombers, fighter planes, etc).

2. is the "ownership of shares" only limited to a document recording the shares owned by the University that are relevant to your request

Yes, the “ownership of shares” is limited to documents that record shares of companies directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry that is owned by the University.

3. identify the units of the University who may hold documents relevant to your enquiry

I regret that I am not able to identify the specific units of the University that may hold documents relevant to our request. In saying this:

• the investment advisory committee;
• unit(s) that are in charge of external listed equity funds;
• unit(s) that manage the University’s Long Term Investment Pool and;
• unit(s) that manage the University’s domestic and international investments

may hold documents relevant to my enquiry.

4. identify the type of documents you are requesting access to, such as specific types of reports

ICAN would like access to any financial reports that record the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (whether domestic or international) in any company that is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry.

ICAN would also like to attain operational information on these financial reports and any investments the University relevant to my request.

5. provide an inclusive list of companies that the University may have investments in that relate to your request

I have provided a comprehensive list of companies discovered in the 2016 Don’t Bank on the Bomb Report that the University may have investments in. This list also defines “any company which is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry” in my second request. Please use the list provided in this FOI request as the main guidance to your search.

The purpose of “including but not exclusively” is to cover for any other company not known to ICAN to be directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry.

6. limit the time frame of you request to a two year period

ICAN understands that the retrieval of documents within a seven-year time period is a voluminous request. In compromising, ICAN will limit the time frame of the request to 1/1/15 to 1/1/17.

Yours Sincerely,

Angela Chen

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Chen

I refer to your most recent email, immediately below.

For the following reasons I find that the scope of your request is still too broad in its current form to be accepted by the University.

1. I note that you have not provided a complete list of companies that are involved in what you refer to as the "nuclear arsenal industry" that are relevant to your request. As such it may not be possible to identify all companies that are directly involved in what you refer to as the "nuclear arsenal industry" in which the University has purchased, sold or has ownership of shares or funds.

Before a search can be conducted for financial reports that record the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds in companies that are relevant to your request, the University must first know the names of these companies. As such, I request that you provide a complete list of the names of these companies so that search for all documents relevant to your request can be conducted.

2. You have said that you would like to "obtain operational information on these financial reports and any investments the University relevant to my request".

I am unsure what you mean by "operational information". Are you referring to the following definition of operational information in s.8A of the FOI Act?

8A Information to be published—what is operational information?

(1) An agency’s operational information is information held by the agency to assist the agency to perform or exercise the agency’s functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public (or any particular person or entity, or class of persons or entities).

Example: The agency’s rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those decisions and recommendations.

(2) An agency’s operational information does not include information that is available to members of the public otherwise than by being published by (or on behalf of) the agency.

If you are not referring to the definition of operational information in s.8A of the FOI Act, can you please:
* define what you mean by "operational information"
* describe how a document of this type would relate to the financial reports that you are seeking access to.

Please note that an FOI request to be accepted by an agency covered by the FOI Act, the request must state that it is a request for access to a document of an agency (s.15). To ensure that your request is processed as an FOI request, your request must be for access to a document of the University rather than information.

I also ask that in your reply you provide a refined request that incorporates the information I have requested above.

Finally, please note that information provided by you about why you are making an FOI request to the University is not required under the FOI Act and will not be considered during the processing of your request and will be irrelevant to the making of any decisions concerning your request.

Yours sincerely

David Brumby
FOI Coordinator
Scholarly Information Services
Building 10A, Chancelry
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4237
Email: [email address]
Web http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

CRICOS Provider #00120C

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From: Angela Chen

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

My response to your most recent email is addressed below.

1. In compromising, ICAN will limit “any company” to the inclusive list of companies provided in my first request. Please use this inclusive list of companies to conduct your search for documents relevant to request.

2. With my request to “operational information” pursuant to s. 8A of the FOI Act, I would like to cancel that request and limit the scope of “documents” to financial reports or any other reports that contain numerical data.

To re-clarify the type of documents I am requesting access to, I note that this is limited to:

(a) financial reports or any other reports that contain numerical data of the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (whether domestic or international) in companies (named in the inclusive list provided), that is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry.

3. In attempt to streamline and reduce the wide scope of my original request, I would also like to formally cancel my second request as there is an overlap with the first request.

In your last email, you have requested that I provide you with a refined request that incorporates the clarifications we have provided for each other. The below request also includes the alterations I have specified above.

Refined request:

***

“On behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Australia, I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

I would like to request all documents held by the University that contains information of:

1) the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (domestic or international) in companies that is directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry; this is exclusive of;

a. Aecom
b. Aerojet Rocketdyne
c. Airbus Group
d. Babcock International
e. BAE Systems
f. Bechtel
g. Boeing
h. BWX Technologies
i. CH2M Hill
j. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
k. Engility Holdings
l. European Aeronautic Defence & Space
m. General Dynamics
n. Goodrich Corporation
o. Fluor Corporation
p. Honeywell International
q. Huntington Ingalls Industries
r. ITT Corporation
s. Jacobs Engineering
t. Larsen & Toubro
u. Leonardo-Finmeccanica
v. Lockheed Martin
w. Moog Inc.
x. Northrop Grumman
y. Orbital ATK
z. Raytheon
aa. Redhall Group
bb. Rockwell Collins Inc
cc. Rolls Royce Holdings
dd. Safran
ee. SAIC Inc
ff. Serco Group
gg. Textron
hh. Thales
ii. Thyssenkrupp
jj. Walchandnagar Industries

FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF THE ABOVE REQUESTS:

1) DEFINITION OF “DIRECTLY INVOLVED”

By companies “directly involved” in the nuclear arsenal industry, this points to any company directly involved in the development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services.

2) DEFINITION OF “NUCLEAR ARSENAL INDUSTRY”

By “nuclear arsenal industry”, I mean an industry that specifically develops nuclear warheads or delivery systems (missiles, rockets, missile torpedo launch installations, etc) for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms (submarines, bombers, fighter planes, etc).

3) DEFINITION OF “OWNERSHIP OF SHARES”:

‘Ownership of shares” is limited to documents that record shares of companies directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry that is owned by the University.

4) UNITS THAT THE UNIVERSITY MAY HOLD DOCUMENTS RELEVANT TO MY REQUEST:

I regret that I am not able to identify the specific units of the University that may hold documents relevant to our request. In saying this:

(a) the investment advisory committee;
(b) unit(s) that manage external listed equity funds including but not exclusive to: the Platinum International Fund (managed by Platinum Asset Management), Templeton World Fund (managed by Franklin Templeton Institutional) and Perennial Global Shares High Alpha Trust;
(c) unit(s) that manage the University’s Long Term Investment Pool and;
(d) unit(s) that manage the University’s domestic and international investment.

may hold documents relevant to my enquiry. Please note that this list is not inclusive.

5) TYPES OF DOCUMENTS I AM REQUESTING ACCESS TO:

ICAN would like to gain access to ONLY:

(a) financial reports or any other reports that contain numerical data that record the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (whether domestic or international) in companies (mentioned in the inclusive list provided) directly involved in the nuclear arsenal industry and;

6) TIME-FRAME OF REQUEST:

Please limit the search of the above documents to the period between 1/1/2015 and 1/1/2017. "

***
Finally, I acknowledge that information provided by me about why ICAN or I are making this FOI request to the University is not required under the FOI Act (1982) and will not be considered during the processing of my request and will be irrelevant to the making of any decisions concerning my request.

If further clarification is required, please advise me and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Chen

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Chen

I refer to your most recent email immediately below.

Your request in its current form cannot be accepted by the University for the following reasons:
* Your request contains information about why you are making an FOI request to the University such as information about the companies that you have listed. This unnecessary and makes it difficult to clearly identify the documents you are seeking access to.
* Under your heading "Further clarification of the above Requests: 5) Types of documents I am requesting access to" you mention that ICAN would like to gain access to documents of the University. By mentioning this organisation it makes it uncertain who is requesting access to documents under the FOI Act. Please note that s.5 of the FOI Act does not allow an organisation to make an FOI request.

To progress your request I have included the following statement that may identify the documents of the University that you are seeking access to under the FOI Act. If so, could you please confirm this by return email:

"I request access to financial reports or any other reports that contain numerical data for the period 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2016 that record the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (domestic or international) in the following companies:
1. Aecom
2. Aerojet Rocketdyne
3. Airbus Group
4. Babcock International
5. BAE Systems
6. Bechtel
7. Boeing
8. BWX Technologies
9. CH2M Hill
10. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
11. Engility Holdings
12. European Aeronautic Defence & Space
13. General Dynamics
14. Goodrich Corporation
15. Fluor Corporation
16. Honeywell International
17. Huntington Ingalls Industries
18. ITT Corporation
19. Jacobs Engineering
20. Larsen & Toubro
21. Leonardo-Finmeccanica
22. Lockheed Martin
23. Moog Inc.
24. Northrop Grumman
25. Orbital ATK
26. Raytheon
27. Redhall Group
28. Rockwell Collins Inc
29. Rolls Royce Holdings
30. Safran
31. SAIC Inc
32. Serco Group
33. Textron
34. Thales
35. Thyssenkrupp
36. Walchandnagar Industries"

Yours sincerely

David Brumby
FOI Coordinator
Scholarly Information Services
Building 10A, Chancelry
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4237
Email: [email address]
Web http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

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From: Angela Chen

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

Thank you for your quick reply.

My response to your most recent email is addressed below.

1) I accept that information about the companies I have listed may cause uncertainty. To streamline the request, I want to alter my request to read:

“On behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Australia, I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

I request access to financial reports or any other reports that contain numerical data for the period 1 January 2015 – 1 December 2017 that record the University’s purchase, sale or ownership of shares or funds (domestic or international) in the following companies:

1. Aecom
2. Aerojet Rocketdyne
3. Airbus Group
4. Babcock International
5. BAE Systems
6. Bechtel
7. Boeing
8. BWX Technologies
9. CH2M Hill
10. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
11. Engility Holdings
12. European Aeronautic Defence & Space
13. General Dynamics
14. Goodrich Corporation
15. Fluor Corporation
16. Honeywell International
17. Huntington Ingalls Industries
18. ITT Corporation
19. Jacobs Engineering
20. Larsen & Toubro
21. Leonardo-Finmeccanica
22. Lockheed Martin
23. Moog Inc.
24. Northrop Grumman
25. Orbital ATK
26. Raytheon
27. Redhall Group
28. Rockwell Collins Inc
29. Rolls Royce Holdings
30. Safran
31. SAIC Inc
32. Serco Group
33. Textron
34. Thales
35. Thyssenkrupp
36. Walchandnagar Industries"

2) I accept that mentioning ICAN may create some ambiguities as to who is requesting access to documents under the FOI Act so I will be using “I” throughout the remainder of my correspondence with you.

You also state that Section 5 of the FOI Act does not allow an organization to make an FOI request. Firstly there is nothing in s. 5 that suggests this. Secondly, I would like to clarify that it is not the organization that is making the FOI request but rather I, on behalf of ICAN Australia, is forwarding this request.

An FOI request can be made on behalf of another person as acknowledged in s 29 (5)(a) of the FOI Act which mentions that the “financial hardship to the applicant, or to a person on whose behalf the application was made”
must be taken into consideration when payment of charge is determined.

‘Person’ is defined by s 2C (1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 to be:

(1) In any Act, expressions used to denote persons generally (such as "person", "party", "someone", "anyone", "no-one", "one", "another" and "whoever"), include a body politic or corporate as well as an individual.

ICAN falls into the category of a body politic and thus has the right to get a representative to make an application on their behalf, let alone make a FOI request as an organization allowed by s 11 (1) of the Act. This is further supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website in:

- Section 3.42: https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor... and;
- Who can make a FOI request section: https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

An extra point that I would like to note is, although it was not necessary for me to reveal my identity, I did so considering that: 1) it will assist you with your later decision on payment of charges and 2) that the chronology of when I inform you on this matter will not affect my request.

Yours Sincerely,

Angela Chen

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I add only some small additional information to the very interesting points of law that Ms Chen has already made.
(1) ICAN is not only a body politic; it is also a body corporate as a person can see from looking up the ABN where we can see the description of "International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Australia Inc" as "Other Incorporated Entity" (https://abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbn.... ).
(2) In addition to the advice on the website of the OAIC, a person can also see that there are many examples where the Information Commissioner has reviewed an access refusal decision at the request of an association.
(3) An example is Australian Pain Management Association and Department of Health [2014] AICmr 49 (29 May 2014) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... ) . The Australian Pain Management Association is listed on the ABN register in exactly the same manner as the ICAN is (see, https://abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbn.... )
(4) Another example is Australian Gulf War Veterans Association and Repatriation Medical Authority (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... ).

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University


Attachment FOI No.201700008 Acknowledgement Charges AC.PDF.pdf
1.9M Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Chen,

 

Regarding your Freedom of Information (FOI) request received by the
University on 3 March 2017, please find attached our letter of
acknowledgement.

 

Yours sincerely,

Sue Clarke

 

 

Sue Clarke

Information Governance and Access Officer

University Records

10A East Road

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

+61 2 6125 6430

[1][email address]

[2]http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

 

 

 

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1. mailto:[email address]
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From: Angela Chen
Australian National University

Dear Mr Brumby,

Please find attached my response.

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From: Angela Chen
Australian National University


Attachment Request to Waive Charges.docx
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Dear Mr Brumby,

I apologise for leaving out my reply in my last email to you.

In my letter, I seek to waive charges.

Kind Regards,

Angela Chen

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From: Angela Chen

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

I'm not sure if you received my last email sent on the 6th of April and I understand that my last message may have been a bit confusing so I am sending you this email again. I am getting notifications saying that you want to clarify my response but I can't see what you want me to clarify.

This is the link to my request to waive charges: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_EQDYB...

If there is anything you want me to clarify, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Chen

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University


Attachment Freedom of Information request 201700008 acknowledgement charges.html
4K Download

Attachment FOI No.201700008 Acknowledgement Charges AC.PDF.pdf
1.9M Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Chen,

 

I refer to our email dated 10 March 2017 and attached.

 

Our letter states that if you do not provide us with a written response by
9 April 2017 your request will be taken to have been withdrawn. As no
email has been received in response to our letter it is taken that your
request has been withdrawn.

 

Yours sincerely,

Sue Clarke

 

 

Sue Clarke

Information Governance and Access Officer

University Records

10A East Road

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

+61 2 6125 6430

[1][email address]

[2]http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

The applicant has submitted a later request for the same material on this page: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/a... .

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