Trade Minister's correspondence on TPP progress

Brendan Molloy made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The request was partially successful.

From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

I wish to make this request to both the Department and to the Minister for Trade and Investment's Office. When attempting to find a relevant FOI address for the Minister, his website (http://www.trademinister.gov.au/) simply returns me to the DFAT FOI disclosure log. If this address is not able to accept a request to the Minister's Officer, please provide me with the correct one.

I hereby request, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982,
copies of the following documents:

a) All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment regarding the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January 2014.

I also make the application that all costs for the processing of this request be waived on the grounds that the release of this information is in the public interest, will enhance the transparency of the process and the public debate surrounding potential legislative changes.

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Mr Molloy

Thank you for your email.

The Department has passed your FOI request to the Minister’s Office for processing.

Yours sincerely,
DFAT FOI Team

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Our Ref: 1405-F835

 

 

Dear Mr Molloy,

 

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

Thank you for your email dated 29 May 2014 in which you seek access under
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to:

 

“a) All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment
regarding the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since
January 2014.” 

 

Searches are now being undertaken in relevant areas of the Department for
documents relevant to your request.  I will contact you again once the
searches have been completed.

 

Timeframe for receiving your decision:

We received your request on 29 May 2014 and the 30 day statutory period
for processing your request commenced from the day after that date.  You
should therefore expect a decision from us by 28 June 2014.  The period of
30 days may be extended in certain circumstances.  We will advise you if
there is any extension of time.

 

Scope of request:

If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large
for processing, the Department will contact you to discuss re-scoping the
request.

 

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details:

It is the Department’s policy to withhold the names and contact details of
officers not in the Senior Executive Service (SES) within the Department
and other agencies contained within documents that fall within scope of
the request.  If you require the names and contact details of non-SES
officers please let us know at [DFAT request email] so the decision-maker may
consider; otherwise we will take it that you agree to that information
being excluded from the scope of your request.

 

Charges:

Please note that the Department issues charges for processing FOI
requests.  We will advise you of these charges when we are in a position
to estimate the resources required to process your request.

 

Timing of release:

As the subject matter of your request will require DFAT to upload any
documents released to you to the Department’s FOI Disclosure Log, I take
this opportunity to advise you that the Department’s policy is to upload
released documents within one business day of your receipt of the
documents. 

 

Your personal information has been collected by the Department as a result
of your correspondence, and will be used in order to process your FOI
request.  Your personal information is protected by law, including the
Privacy Act 1988.  The Department’s privacy policy is available at
www.dfat.gov.au and contains information about access to or correction of
your personal information, and how you may complain about a breach of your
privacy.

 

Should you require any further information, please contact our office by
return email.

 

Please note a copy of this email has been sent to Ms Indra McCormick,
Director, Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section for her
information.

 

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team

 

 

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From: Adamson, Charles
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mr Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

Dear Mr Molloy,

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

Thank you for your email dated 29 May 2014 in which you seek access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to:

“a) All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment regarding the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January 2014.”

Searches are now being undertaken in the Office of the Minister for Trade and Investment for documents relevant to your request. We will contact you again once the searches have been completed.

Timeframe for receiving your decision:
We received your request on 29 May 2014 and the 30 day statutory period for processing your request commenced from the day after that date. You should therefore expect a decision from us by 28 June 2014. The period of 30 days may be extended in certain circumstances. We will advise you if there is any extension of time.

Scope of request:
If it emerges that the scope of your request is unclear or is too large for processing, we will contact you to discuss re-scoping the request.

Exclusion of officers’ names and contact details:
It is the policy of the Office of the Minister for Trade and Investment to withhold the names and contact details of staff.

Personal information:
Your personal information has been collected by the office as a result of your correspondence, and will be used in order to process your FOI request. Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988.

Should you require any further information, please contact our office by return email.

Yours sincerely
Office of the Minister for Trade and Investment

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment 1405 F835 charges letter.pdf
84K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Molloy

 

I refer to your current request for access under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to:

 

“All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment regarding
the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January
2014.”

 

Preliminary searches for documents relevant to your request have been
completed.  Please find attached our letter outlining the charge for
processing your request.

 

A copy of this email has been sent to Ms Indra McCormick, Director,
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section for her information.

 

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team

 

 

 

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From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

I contend that the charge should not be imposed on the grounds that this request is entirely in the public interest.

I would also note that no breakdown of the charges was provided, so as per usual, the opacity of your department makes it difficult to debate the minutae of your price determinations. I would note however that the Attorney-General's Department has quoted me 16.67 hours of processing for 200 pages of copyright documentation at a cost of $333.33 ($20/hr)[1], so I find it extremely dubious that 33 pages would cost me an almost equivalent price.

Notwithstanding, there are strong arguments for this disclosure to be considered in the public interest. The Minister has been reluctant to take an honest public position about the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership since the end of last year.

There is significant public debate regarding the TPP from many groups and there has been significant media coverage.

Even today the media has covered a talk done by the Minister stating that the TPP will not be completed until 2015[1].

There is significant public interest in this information, and there has been consistent media coverage from a wide range of media outlets[2][3][4][5][6][7]. This request must be fulfilled without charge.

[1] https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/6...
[2] http://www.smh.com.au/comment/transpacif...
[3] http://www.theage.com.au/comment/trans-p...
[4] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national...
[5] http://online.wsj.com/articles/australia...
[6] http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersre...
[7] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national...

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

FOI Ref: 1405-F835
File No: 14/17106

Dear Mr Molloy

I refer to your email dated 19 June 2014, in which you seek a waiver of the estimated charges of $245.53 payable in respect of your Freedom of Information request, as notified in Indra McCormick's letter dated 17 June 2014.

In support of your request, you have outlined your reasons that the charges should be waived on public interest grounds.

A decision-maker will be appointed to consider your request and will write to you directly in due course.

Yours sincerely
DFAT FOI Team

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From: Adamson, Charles
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment PDF011.PDF.pdf
47K Download View as HTML


Mr Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

Dear Mr Molloy -

Please find attached a response to your FOI request regarding the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January 2014.

A hard copy of this letter will also be sent to your Balgowlah address.

I note the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will respond separately.

Yours sincerely
Office of the Minister for Trade and Investment

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From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

Dear Mr Adamson,

Sending me a hard copy is unnecessary, the PDF will suffice. Save a tree and some ink for me.

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Molloy Charges Letter 30 June 2014.PDF.pdf
106K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Molloy
 
Please find attached a letter in relation to your FOI request (FOI Ref:
1405-F835).
 
Kind regards
 
DFAT FOI Team
 
 
 

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From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Paid. See receipt: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7611...

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment DOC027.PDF.pdf
87K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Molloy

I refer to your current FOI Request (FOI ref: 1405-F835).

I am writing to let you know that the Department’s preliminary examination of the documents relevant to your request has determined that two consultations are required as provided for in sections 26A and 27 of the FOI Act. The documents in question contain material which could affect Commonwealth-State relations, in addition to information concerning a business organisation.

For your information, please find attached copies of sections 26A and 27 of the FOI Act. Please note that your identity as the applicant for this FOI request has not be revealed to the third parties being consulted.
To allow the third parties a reasonable opportunity to consider the release of these documents, the statutory 30 day time limit for processing your request has been extended by 30 days, as provided for in section 15 of the FOI Act. Accordingly, the 30 day time limit, which was due to expire on 11 July 2014, will now expire on 10 August 2014.

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team

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From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thanks for the response.

Am I to understand that all the documents require the relevant consultations, or only some?

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
Councillor
Pirate Party Australia

Link to this

From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Mr Molloy

Thank you for your correspondence.

As outlined in our email to you dated 4 July 2014, the FOI decision-maker has advised that they will finalise their decision on this matter at the conclusion of the third party consultation process.

You will be notified of the Department’s decision on or before 10 August 2014.

Yours sincerely

DFAT FOI Team

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment Decision letter.pdf
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Attachment Release documents.pdf
222K Download View as HTML

Attachment E Commerce Form.dot.doc
131K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Molloy
 
We refer to your current request for access under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:
 
“All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment regarding
the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January
2014.”
 
Please find attached the decision letter and release documents relevant to
your request.
 
Please note that the total number of pages relevant to your request has
been revised down since the previous estimate of 30 June.   The processing
charge for your request will therefore be reduced by 75 per cent (from
$122.76 to $30).
 
We note the Department has your bank account details from a previous
FOI-related transaction in January this year.  We would be grateful if you
could confirm that those details remain the same so that we can process
the refund.  Alternatively, you may elect to complete the attached and
return by post/email.
 
Sincerely
 
DFAT FOI Team
 
 
 
 

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From: Allan, Stephanie
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Mr Molloy
 
I refer to Ms McCormick’s email of 8 August 2014, seeking your
confirmation that the bank details held by the Department from a previous
FOI-related transaction remain the same so that we can process the refund
on this matter.
 
We would be grateful for your reply.
 
 
Sincerely
 
DFAT FOI Team
 
_____________________________________________
From: McCormick, Indra On Behalf Of FOI
Sent: Friday, 8 August 2014 4:55 PM
To: [1][FOI #636 email]
Subject: FOI request [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
 
 
Dear Mr Molloy
 
We refer to your current request for access under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to:
 
“All correspondence from the Minister for Trade and Investment regarding
the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement since January
2014.”
 
Please find attached the decision letter and release documents relevant to
your request.
 
Please note that the total number of pages relevant to your request has
been revised down since the previous estimate of 30 June.   The processing
charge for your request will therefore be reduced by 75 per cent (from
$122.76 to $30).
 
We note the Department has your bank account details from a previous
FOI-related transaction in January this year.  We would be grateful if you
could confirm that those details remain the same so that we can process
the refund.  Alternatively, you may elect to complete the attached and
return by post/email.
 
Sincerely
 
DFAT FOI Team
 
<< File: E-Commerce Form.dot.doc >>
<< File: Decision letter.pdf >>  << File: Release documents.pdf >>
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #636 email]

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From: Brendan Molloy

Delivered

Dear Ms Allan,

Apologies for the delay. The updated details are below:

Bank: ANZ
Account Name: Pirate Party Australia Incorporated
BSB: 012084
Account Number: 213142205

--
Regards,

Brendan Molloy
President
Pirate Party Australia

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From: Allan, Stephanie
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Thank you Mr Molloy.

I will notify you once this has been processed.

Sincerely
DFAT FOI Team

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