The process for requesting confidentiality under subsection 91(2) of the Petroleum Resources Act (PRA) or subsection 22(2) of the Oil and Gas Operations Act (OGOA) is:
- Documents containing information that the provider would like to remain confidential shall be accompanied by a written request addressed to the Minister to consider it as confidential. The letter will describe why the provider believes the information meets the criteria for confidentiality by explaining:
- Whether the information is financial, commercial, scientific or technical information;
- Whether the information has been consistently treated as confidential information by the provider;
- Why the need for confidentiality outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of the information; and
- Whether the information is already publicly available.
Two versions of the document will be included with the request; an original and a second with the requested confidential information redacted.
- Officials from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment will evaluate the request and considerations provided and make a recommendation to the Minister.
- If the Minister determines that the information is not confidential, the provider of the information will be notified. The provider will be given five working days to decide if they want to withdraw the information or have it posted to the appropriate website. Information that is withdrawn in this process cannot be considered by the Minister when carrying out their responsibilities under the Act.
- If the Minister determines that the information is confidential, the provider will be notified and the redacted information will not be made publicly available.
- All written requests for confidentiality and Minister’s notices and determinations related to confidentiality will be posted to the appropriate website.
This process is designed to ensure the public’s interest in transparency is maintained while giving industry the opportunity to establish the confidentiality of specific information.
The Minister may amend this process by providing 30 days’ notice to all licence holders and the public.