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Tendering protocol for Far North pounds

Lloyd Jerome made this Official Information request to Far North District Council

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From: Lloyd Jerome

Dear Far North District Council,

In the light of recent information, as it has been released to the ratepayers of the Far North district, I would like to ask the relevant body within the council to reveal the tendering process which has concluded that the best use of public resources is to spend $1 Million on a dog pound sited at the wastewater treatment plant in Kaitaia.

As a supplementary question, I would like to know if the purpose-built kennels, known as Melka Kennels, in Kakohe, was considered for this purpose, and if not, why not.

In the past, "operational and contractual sensitivity" has been cited at a reason for not revealing this information to the public. If this is used as a reason again, I would like to see some evidence that this excuse is not being used as a way of covering up a failure to tender lawfully.

Yours faithfully,

Lloyd Jerome

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From: Ask Us Team
Far North District Council

Thank you for contacting the Far North District Council. We have received
your message and a member of our customer service team will issue a
reference number for your enquiry within 5 working days.

If you feel that your enquiry requires urgent attention, please contact us
on our service number 0800 920 029 or 09 401 5200 – available 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. 

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From: Ask Us Team
Far North District Council


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Tena koe Lloyd

 

Thank you for your request received 13/09/2019.

 

Pursuant to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act
1987, you will receive a reply within twenty working days of Council
receiving your request.

 

Please quote your customer reference RFS-3974190 in any future
correspondence concerning this matter.

 

Nga mihi

 

Jane

[1]cid:D9767665F2271A13054DC338A67D7B6E176D8CC5@9CC6B276 Ask Us Team
District Services
Far North District
Council
09 401 5200 or 24-hour
Contact Centre 0800
920 029 |
[2][Far North District Council request email]

 

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From: Carla Ditchfield-Hunia
Far North District Council

Mr Lloyd Jerome

By email only to:    [FYI request #11205 email]

 

 

 

Dear Mr Jerome

 

Official Information Request – RFS 3974190

 

Thank you for your enquiry 20 September 2019. Your request has been
referred to Legal Services for consideration under the provisions of the
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (“the
LGOIMA”).

 

Your request

 

“In the light of recent information, as it has been released to the
ratepayers of the Far North district, I would like to ask the relevant
body within the council to reveal the tendering process which has
concluded that the best use of public resources is to spend $1 Million on
a dog pound sited at the wastewater treatment plant in Kaitaia. As a
supplementary question, I would like to know if the purpose-built kennels,
known as Melka Kennels, in Kaikohe, was considered for this purpose, and
if not, why not.”

 

Our response

The tender process for the pound is not yet complete. Therefore to “reveal
the tendering process” at this stage would prevent Council from carrying
on without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial
and industrial negotiations) with respective parties. Therefore pursuant
to section 7(2)(i) of the LGOIMA Council finds it necessary to temporarily
refuse your request for information.    

In making the decision to refuse your request, Council has concluded that
the need to temporarily withhold the information is not outweighed by
other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to
make the information available.  However we will provide the information
when we are able to do so without prejudicing current negotiations.

We can state that the Melka Kennels which are located south of Kaikohe
have not formed part of any discussions regarding an Animal Shelter to be
located in Kaitaia for obvious reasons.

 

Please note that some of the information you have outlined in your request
was subject to Council meeting during public exclusion. This information
has not yet been made public. We consider that section 105A of the Crimes
Act may be relevant in this instance; and in particular the source of the
information provided to you.

 

We are obliged to inform you that any refusal to make information
available may be reviewed by the Ombudsman. The address, should you
require it, is:

 

The Office of the Ombudsman

PO Box 10152

Wellington 6143

Ph: 0800 802 602

 

If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact
Council on 09 401 5200 or 0800 920 029.

 

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Yours faithfully

Legal Services Far North District Council

Contact Centre 0800 920 029

 

 

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www.fndc.govt.nz

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Far North District Council | Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau Ki Te Raki
Ph. 09 401 5200 | Fax. 09 401 2137 | Email. [Far North District Council request email]
Address. Memorial Avenue, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440, New Zealand

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

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Gary Whitehead left an annotation ()

Lloyd I noticed that the crimes act 105A is noted as reason for not supplying information. I cant see any reason this is applicable unless the Council consider that you will use this information for pecuniary gain.

105ACorrupt use of official information
Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly uses or discloses any information, acquired by him or her in his or her official capacity, to obtain, directly or indirectly, an advantage or a pecuniary gain for himself or herself or any other person.

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From: Lloyd Jerome

Dear Carla Ditchfield-Hunia,

Many thanks for your reply of the 11th Oct. I was a little perplexed by it, as I had assumed that the figure to which I referred, as part of the tendering process, was public knowledge. Indeed, the fact that it had been published on the 5th Sept. in the Northland Age suggests that the time for public exclusion of this data was well in the past. Here is a relevant link: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age....

Furthermore, as Mr Gary Whitehead has mentioned in his annotation, 105A of the Crimes act is written to ensure that the information I gain from the answer to this request is only illegal if I profit from it. I can assure you that I have nothing to gain from revealing this (now public) information.

In the light of these facts, I would like to repeat my question, and will assume that, since the information surrounding it is in the public domain, you would be able to answer it freely.

If, for some reason, this tendering process is still ongoing and commercially sensitive, please rest assured that the figures to which I had referred emanated from the article previously quoted.

Yours sincerely,

Lloyd Jerome

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From: Inna Shibalova
Far North District Council

Dear Mr Jerome

I refer to your email of 1 Dec 2019 and thank you for your comments. We will consider comments and references contained in your email of 1 Dec 2019 and revert back to you in due course.

Inna Shibalova
Legal Services Officer
Corporate Services, Far North District Council
+6494015415 | [email address]
www.fndc.govt.nz

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From: Inna Shibalova
Far North District Council


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Dear Mr Jerome

 

Official Information Request – RFS 3974190

 

Thank you for your email received 1 December 2019 clarifying our response
to your RFS 3974190 dated 11 October 2019. Your request has been referred
to Legal Services for consideration under the provisions of the Local
Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (“the LGOIMA”). 

 

Your request

 

“Many thanks for your reply of the 11th Oct. I was a little perplexed by
it, as I had assumed that the figure to which I referred, as part of the
tendering process, was public knowledge. Indeed, the fact that it had been
published on the 5th Sept. in the Northland Age suggests that the time for
public exclusion of this data was well in the past. Here is a relevant
link:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age....

 

Furthermore, as Mr Gary Whitehead has mentioned in his annotation, 105A of
the Crimes act is written to ensure that the information I gain from the
answer to this request is only illegal if I profit from it. I can assure
you that I have nothing to gain from revealing this (now public)
information.

 

In the light of these facts, I would like to repeat my question, and will
assume that, since the information surrounding it is in the public domain,
you would be able to answer it freely”

 

Our response

 

Please refer to our response to you dated 11 October 2019 which remains
valid as at the date of this letter.

 

The tender process for the pound is not yet complete. We therefore find it
necessary to temporarily refuse your request for information pursuant to
section 7(2)(i) of the LGOIMA.

 

Section 7(2)(i) states that –

 

“…this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information
is necessary to:

 

(i)      enable any local authority holding the information to carry on,
without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and
industrial negotiations);

 

However, once the tender process is complete we can provide some relevant
information to you. Until then the withholding of the information is
maintained for the above stated reasons. 

 

We are obliged to inform you that any refusal to make information
available may be reviewed by the Ombudsman. The address, should you
require it, is:

 

The Office of the Ombudsman

PO Box 10152

Wellington 6143

Ph: 0800 802 602

 

If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact
Council on 09 401 5200 or 0800 920 029.

 

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

[1]fndc-logo-colour_email-sig Inna Shibalova
Legal Services Officer
Corporate Services, Far North District
Council  |  24-hour Contact Centre 0800 920
029
[email address]
  [2]Website  |   [3]Facebook   |  [4]LinkedIn
  |  [5]Careers

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Get it done online at your convenience, visit our website -
www.fndc.govt.nz

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Far North District Council | Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau Ki Te Raki
Ph. 09 401 5200 | Fax. 09 401 2137 | Email. [Far North District Council request email]
Address. Memorial Avenue, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440, New Zealand

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

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