Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) files

Evelyn Doyle made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

I would like to request under the FOI Act a copy of all documents held in the following numbered files:

Food Trade and Quarantine Section:

13/593 and 13/594 TRADE - AGREEMENTS - Free Trade Agreements (FTA) - Negotiations - Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) - Text (2013)

and;

Industrials and Market Access Section:

13/1765 TRADE - AGREEMENTS - Free Trade Agreements (FTA) - Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Customs - Briefs (2013)

I seek a waiver of fees as information about the TPP is in the public interest. TPP outcomes will have an effect on members of the public and as such they have a democratic right to know the nature of negotiations done on their behalf.

It should not prove impractical to copy and scan the files to meet the obligations in meeting this request under the FOI Act.

Thanks for your consideration.

Yours faithfully,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Our Ref: 1402-F761

 

Dear Ms Doyle  

Re: Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

Thank you for your email dated 14 February 2014 in which you seek access
under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to:

I would like to request under the Foi Act a copy of all documents held in
the following numbered files:

 

Food Trade and Quarantine Section:

13/593 and 13/594 TRADE – AGREEMENTS – Free Trade Agreements (FTA) –
Negotiations – Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Technical Barriers to Trade
(TBT) – Text (2013)

 

and;

 

Industrials and Market Access Section:

13/1765 TRADE – AGREEMENTS – Free Trade Agreements (FTA) – Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) Customs – Briefs (2013)

 

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.

 

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.

 

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to
contact the undersigned, the case officer, on (02) 6261 2541 or by return
email.

 

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

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Stephanie Allan

Executive Officer

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section

Corporate Legal Branch 

 T T  +61 2 6261 2541

Legal Division

 W   www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

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From: Allan, Stephanie
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Attachment 1402 F761 s 24AB letter.pdf
161K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Doyle
 
Please refer to the attached correspondence concerning your FOI request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 

Stephanie Allan
Executive Officer
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law E |  [1][email address]
Section
Corporate Legal Branch  T |  +61 2 6261 2541
Legal Division W|  [2]www.dfat.gov.au

 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.dfat.gov.au/

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear Ms McCormick and Ms Allan

Thank you for your letter advising intention to refuse under Section 24AB(2) (practical refusal - unnecessary diversion of resources).

I am concerned that the details of the TPP negotiations are less than transparent. You write that in considering narrowing the scope "...all parties to the TPP agreement negotiations, including the Australian Government, have agreed in writing to protect the confidentiality of the draft text of the TPP agreement and documents relating to the substance of the negotiations."

My interest is in accessing those documents of which you advise are inaccessible to the Australian public due to confidentiality arrangements. It is disappointing the government so easily signs away the public's right to know about negotiations that will impact a number of areas such as health, bio-security, copyright, ISDs among others.

However with this in mind, I would like to narrow the scope to include all documents in those files that do not fall into the categories noted within the quotation marks above.

I would like to request a waiver of fees given the outcome of the TPP negotiations is not only of public interest (beyond idle curiosity) but something which will impact all Australians. As such the case for 'right to know' and public interest is compelling.

Yours sincerely

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dear Ms Doyle

Thank you for your email in which you sought to narrow your original FOI request to documents in the relevant files that do not fall within the following category of documents; “draft text of the TPP agreement and documents relating to the substance of negotiations”.

I have discussed your proposed re-scoped request with members of staff in the Agriculture and Food Branch and the Goods and Investment Branch. I have been advised that the only documents that would be covered by your renewed scope would be TPP schedules (outlines of meetings and working groups) and meeting agendas. If you consider these documents to be suitable for your enquiry the Department will proceed to undertake searches for these documents and prepare a charges estimate.

Further, as outlined in our letter to you dated 26 February 2014, negotiators are available to meet with stakeholders to discuss Australia’s objectives in the negotiations and provide updates on progress. The Department also publishes up-to-date material relevant to the TPP negotiations on our website: http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/tpp. Please contact [email address] if you would like more information, or to arrange a meeting.

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

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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From: Evelyn Doyle

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response. I wish to withdraw my FOI request as my interest is in the negotiating text, not in agenda items. I am not sure a meeting with negotiators would provide the information I am seeking, given Australia's broad objectives are already published online. However there may be other interested parties also wishing to take up this offer. I may pursue that option at a later time.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Doyle

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From: FOI
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Thank you Ms Doyle.

We will proceed to close the file.

Yours sincerely
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Legal Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Evelyn Doyle left an annotation ()

I chose to withdraw this request. The correspondence reveals that information about the draft text is deemed confidential and won't be released. As such there is no point in continuing. I am disappointed the government categorizes information about the TPP negotiations as not in the public interest.

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Things to do with this request

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