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What is Confidential Commercial Information (CCI) and application process?
A person may apply to the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) for a declaration that specified information which has been provided to the Regulator is CCI. A CCI application may relate to information provided to the Regulator as part of:
- a licence application;
- a certification or accreditation application;
- a notification of a Notifiable Low Risk Dealing; or
- a submission to the Regulator.
If the Regulator declares certain information to be CCI, the Regulator must not publicly release the information.
This means that the information to which the declaration of CCI relates would not:
- be released for public consultation;
- appear on the Record of GMO and GM product dealings;
- be accessible by way of a request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Even if the Regulator declares certain information to be CCI, the Regulator may disclose the information:
- to any of the following in the course of carrying out duties or functions under the legislation:
- the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority;
- a State agency; or
- the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC).
- by order of a court;
- with the consent of the person who applied to have the information treated as CCI.Top of page
Consideration of CCI application
Section 185 Gene Technology Act 2000
(the Act) sets out criteria about which the Regulator must be satisfied before declaring decision on CCI application.
The applicant must satisfy the Regulator that the information specified in the CCI application is:
- a trade secret;
- any other information that has a commercial or other value that would be, or could reasonably be expected to be destroyed or diminished if the information were disclosed;
- other information that:
- concerns the lawful commercial or financial affairs of a person, organisation or undertaking; and
- if it were disclosed, could unreasonably affect the person, organisation or undertaking.
However, the Regulator may refuse to declare that information is CCI if satisfied that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the prejudice that the disclosure would cause even if the criteria detailed above have been met (see subsection 185(2)).
Information about the location of field trial sites is treated differently to other potential CCI under the Act.
The Regulator must refuse to declare that information is CCI if the information relates to the locations of GMO field trials, unless the Regulator is satisfied that significant damage to the health and safety of people, the environment or property would be likely to occur if the locations were disclosed (subsection 185(2A))
If the Regulator declares that information relating to the location of a field trial is CCI, the Regulator must make publicly available a statement of reasons for the making of the declaration (subsection 185(3A)), including but not limited to:
- the reasons why the Regulator was satisfied according to the criteria of subsection 185(1);
- the reasons why the Regulator was not satisfied that the public interest in disclosure of the information outweighed the prejudice that the disclosure would cause; and
- the reasons why the Regulator was satisfied that significant damage to the health and safety of people, and the environment or property would be likely to occur if the locations were disclosed.
Rights of review of decision to refuse CCI application
If the Regulator refuses an application for treatment of information as CCI, the Regulator must treat the information as CCI until any review rights under the legislation are exhausted (see Part 12, Division 2 of the Act).
Application for declaration of Confidential Commercial Information (CCI) can be accessed from Forms
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