Dear Sir or Madam,

Please list the names of any BIS officers involved in the ACTA negotiations and each of their roles in the negotiations. Additionally, please provide details of any other persons involved in the ACTA negotiations on behalf of the United Kingdom.

Please also provide any current draft(s) of the "Civil Enforcement", "Border Measures", "Criminal Enforcement", and "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Digital Environment" sections of ACTA.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Brett

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

BIS ref: 09/1636
Dear Mr Brett,

Thank you for your request for information which we have received in the
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Your request has been
passed on to the appropriate official to deal with.

Best wishes,
Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills |
[email address] | Bay 351, 66-74 Victoria Street, London,
SW1E 6SW | www.bis.gov.uk
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for
business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and
giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this
we will foster world-class universities and promote an open global
economy. BIS - Investing in our future

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FOI Requests, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Dear Mr Brett,

I refer to your request under the above legislation for information
about ACTA.

I am writing to advise you that, having reviewed your request for
information, we have identified that this could more appropriately be
responded to by the Intellectual Property Office, who will contact you
directly.

Best wishes,
Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills |
[email address] | Bay 351, 66-74 Victoria Street, London,
SW1E 6SW | www.bis.gov.uk
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for
business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and
giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this
we will foster world-class universities and promote an open global
economy. BIS - Investing in our future

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I already have a separate FOI request of UKIPO underway, and am awaiting their response.

Thank you for your prompt reply to my enquiry.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Brett

Barker Adrian \(EITD\), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Dear Mr Brett,

Thank you for your request for information relating to ACTA, in particular
the most recent drafts of a number of its chapters as well as the names
and roles of BIS officials involved in the negotiations. In the interest
of being helpful, we have discussed this request further with the
Intellectual Property Office (IPO). We have established that we do hold
some of the information you requested. In order to help you with future
requests, the structure of the ACTA negotiations is explained below.

The goal of the ACTA negotiations is to provide an international framework
that improves the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) laws.
It does not intend to create new intellectual property rights or laws, but
to create improved international standards on how to take action against
large-scale infringements of IPR.

The European Commission (EC) and the Presidency of the Council of the
European Communities have been mandated to negotiate ACTA on behalf of the
European Community and the Member States. As such UK interests,
represented by the IPO, feed into the EU negotiating position.

Overall responsibility for ACTA negotiations within the IPO falls to the
Interim CEO of the Intellectual Property Office, Mr Sean Dennehey, whilst
overall responsibility for international policy falls to Mr Peter Holland
(Director of International Policy). BIS provides legal and policy advice.

The information that we do hold is being withheld under section 40 of the
Freedom of Information Act (2000) (personal information). This part of
your request relates to the names and roles of BIS officials and other
persons directly involved in these negotiations. Section 40 provides an
absolute exemption for personal data which then falls to be dealt with
under the Data Protection Act. Personal data of third parties can only be
disclosed in accordance with the data protection principles. In
particular, the first data protection principle requires that disclosure
must be fair and lawful and must comply with one of the conditions in
Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act. We do not think that it is fair to
release these names and do not think that any of the relevant conditions
apply.

The identities of officials are also withheld by virtue of section
36(2)(c) (disclosure of information likely to prejudice the effective
conduct of public affairs). The reason why this exemption applies is
there may be a significant risk of exposure of officers who are not public
facing to increased communication, which could expose them to
inappropriate pressure by attempts to circumvent the established and
authoritative communication channels. This is a qualified exemption and
the decision to withhold this information is based on the conclusion that
in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

I understand your wish to communicate your views and concerns to those
involved in these negotiations. These channels are already open to you as
members of the public may contact relevant officials to raise specific
issues and discuss government business by contacting the department
through the departmental response centre
([1]http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/contact.htm) or via a dedicated email
account: [2][email address]

Information regarding ACTA is updated as often as possible on the IPO's
website at: [3]http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-crime-acta.htm . This site
includes a detailed summary of the key elements under negotiation
([4]http://www.ipo.gov.uk/acta-summary.pdf). I would also wish to clarify
that so far only government officials have been involved in the ACTA
negotiations on behalf of the UK.

I regret that the draft negotiating texts you have requested are also
withheld as they are exempt under sections 35(1)(a) (formulation of
Government policy) and 27(2) (international relations) of the Freedom of
Information Act.

These are qualified exemptions and are therefore subject to a public
interest test. There is some general public interest in the disclosure of
information since greater transparency makes the Government more
accountable to the electorate and increases trust, and also enables the
public contribution to policy making to become more effective. However,
we consider that there is greater public interest in maintaining the
exemption provided for in section 27(2) as we believe that disclosure at
this stage of the negotiations would be likely to prejudice the outcome.
This in turn would be likely to provoke a negative reaction from the other
negotiating parties concerned that might damage the United Kingdom's
relations with them and which would damage our ability to protect, promote
and secure an outcome in the United Kingdom interests at the negotiations.

Officials must also consider the reputational effects on the Government
itself of the premature release of documents or assessments that are
"work-in-progress" and would not otherwise be considered fit for
publication because they are not fully developed. There is also the
danger that disclosure of the process of interdepartmental consideration
may undermine the collective responsibility of the Government if premature
release of considerations and/or discussions prejudices the full
development of policy options or the willingness of ministers and
officials to exchange frank views during policy development in future.
For these reasons the information requested is withheld by virtue of
section 35(1)(a).

After careful consideration of all the circumstances of the case, the
conclusion reached is that the public interest in maintaining these
exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information at
this stage.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

Appeals procedure
If you are unhappy with the result of your request for information, you
may request an internal review within two calendar months of the date of
this letter. If you wish to request an internal review please contact me.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

            Information Commissioner's Office
            Wycliffe House
            Water Lane
            Wilmslow
            Cheshire
            SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Adrian Barker
Senior Policy Advisor
Department for Innovation and Skills

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/contact.htm
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-crime-acta.htm
4. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/acta-summary.pdf

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