Chiefs as decision makers on BCO complaints

Mark MacDonald made this Official Information request to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Fire and Emergency New Zealand should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Mark MacDonald

Dear Fire and Emergency New Zealand,

1. In the most recent media on FENZ's dysfunctional complaints handling, Deputy Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley said:
"… this was quite clearly articulated in the Coral Shaw Report that the BCO should provide the process but the recommendations for action should go back to the decision maker who is the line manager or the appropriate chief of the actual brigade or whatever area we’re talking about. And that is then where the disciplinary action takes place so we’re not going to confuse or merge those."

I request that FENZ provide the precise wording from the Shaw Report, verbatim, that Ms Bleakley is referring to.

2. I request that, for all complaints that were at some point in their lifespan dealt with within a version of the BCO (interim, permanent, etc), whether the complaint commenced there or not:
a) FENZ provide the date the complaint commenced in the BCO;
b) FENZ provide the job/position of the decision maker(s) (eg Chief, Area Manager, Group Manager, BCO Director, HR, etc), whether a decision was ever made on the complaint or not; and
b) FENZ provide the outcome eg unresolved/ongoing; disciplinary action; etc; and
c) FENZ state whether the accused person was stood down.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programme...

Yours faithfully,

Mark MacDonald

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Dear Mark MacDonald  
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your information request, dated 25
March 2022.   

In accordance with section 15 of the Official Information Act 1982 we will
try to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no
later than 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we
are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an
extension of that timeframe.

In order to gather information relevant to your request, we may make
details of your request known to Fire and Emergency personnel who are
likely to be able to assist with the identification and collation of that
information.  This will not include your identity as the requestor, unless
it is reasonably necessary to share that in order to gather information
relevant to your request.  Please let us know immediately if you have any
concerns about the sharing of details of your request, including your
identity, within Fire and Emergency.  We will contact you to discuss your
concerns and how they will affect our approach to processing your request.

We will also contact you if:

·         we require further information to clarify, or to enable us to
process, your request;

·         we need to tell a third party who you are, in order to consult
on your request or information that relates to it.

Kind regards

Official Information Team

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Kia ora Mark

 

Please see attached regarding your official information request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Information Requests Team

National Headquarters, Level 12, 80 The Terrace

PO Box 2133, Wellington 6140

 

[1][FENZ request email]

[2]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Mark MacDonald

Dear Official Information Requests,

Thank you for your response.

Is Raewyn Bleakly going to publish a correction on the false statement she made to RNZ?

Yours sincerely,

Mark MacDonald

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Tēnā koe Mark

In your request for information dated 25 March 2022, you referred to a recent interview on Radio New Zealand. You quoted me as saying:

"… this was quite clearly articulated in the Coral Shaw Report that the BCO should provide the process but the recommendations for action should go back to the decision maker who is the line manager or the appropriate chief of the actual brigade or whatever area we’re talking about. And that is then where the disciplinary action takes place so we’re not going to confuse or merge those."

My quote was provided in the context of an unscripted question and answer interview where part of the recommendations were summarised. My statement in the interview referring to the recommendation going back to the decision maker was not false, so a correction is not required.
You have asked for “the precise wording from the Shaw Report, verbatim, that Ms Bleakley is referring to". In my response dated 27 April 2022, I referred you to the section of the Coral Shaw report that I was referencing. Again that is found on page 73 in the “Conclusions and Recommendations” section, which reads:

This sets out the recommended requirements for an independent investigation process. It identifies three aspects. The third part refers to the report and recommendation being sent to the decision maker, which is exactly what I said. To provide further context in the course of the interview, and to ensure that the public were clear on what that would mean, I further stated that the decision maker would be the line manager, or the appropriate chief of the actual brigade. That is clearly not false, but rather further helpful context, in the course of a live Q&A interview.
I trust this clarifies the matter for you.

Nāku noa, nā

Raewyn Bleakley
Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment 7517 Attachment 2 Q2b.pdf
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Attachment 7517 Attachment 3 Q2c.pdf
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Kia ora Mark

 

Attached is a response to your official information request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Information Requests Team

National Headquarters, Level 12, 80 The Terrace

PO Box 2133, Wellington 6140

 

[1][FENZ request email]

[2]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Mark MacDonald

Dear Official Information Requests,

Thank you for your response.

1. Attachment 2 didn’t answer my question. I didn’t ask for a list of positions that might hypothetically be decision-makers. I asked which positions HAVE BEEN the decision makers on each complaint.
I asked: “for all complaints that were at some point in their lifespan dealt with within a version of the BCO … FENZ provide the job/position of the decision maker(s) …, whether a decision was ever made on the complaint or not”.

2. I am aware that some complainants believe the decision on their complaint was made by the BCO, yet you do not include this in your response. Can you please confirm whether the BCO has been a decision maker on complaints? (This request will be superfluous when you answer the original request as it will be answered by the data on actual (not hypothetical) decision makers when you provide it).

Attachment 3:
Can you please explain the terms you have used for these variables:
3. What is BH&V?
4. Who does “Resigned during process” refer to? Ie which party resigned?
5. Does “disciplinary action” include paid and volunteer firefighters?
6. What does “disciplinary action” mean? It must not include termination, dismissal, discharge, final written warning, informal action, or written warning, because they all have their own categories?
7. Is dismissal/discharge for volunteers only and does “termination” refer to paid staff?
8. How can there be a category “HR historic outcome not recorded” when the BCO has only been running since late 2019? Surely there would be an outcome on every matter that is not in the “ongoing” category. Even if the complaint was from pre-BCO times, the BCO would still have to give the complainant an outcome because that’s its job.
9. What does “Informal action” mean and how is this different to “Resolved - informal”, “Educational Approach”, “Facilitated Intervention”, “Provided Information”, and “Resolved - Team restorative process” which are all informal actions?
10. For the 3 “resolved” categories, is it FENZ who decides if it’s resolved? Or the complainant?

11. I know that some complaints over this time period weren’t handled by the BCO (possibly due to the NZPFU advising its members not to engage or participate with Behaviour and Conduct Office stating that it believe the process to be “a shambles with the most basic principles of procedural fairness not being adhered to”).
Have you included the complaints that weren’t handled by the BCO in the statistics you provided? If not, please provide the same information previously requested for all other complaints over the same period of time.

12. Does the BCO record complaints that aren’t handled by it? Is there is a central complaints statistics reporting mechanism that records all complaints? Or is there the BCO reporting system plus other reporting systems all separate?

Yours sincerely,

Mark MacDonald

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Dear Mark MacDonald  
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your information request, dated 28
May 2022.   

In accordance with section 15 of the Official Information Act 1982 we will
try to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no
later than 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we
are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an
extension of that timeframe.

In order to gather information relevant to your request, we may make
details of your request known to Fire and Emergency personnel who are
likely to be able to assist with the identification and collation of that
information.  This will not include your identity as the requestor, unless
it is reasonably necessary to share that in order to gather information
relevant to your request.  Please let us know immediately if you have any
concerns about the sharing of details of your request, including your
identity, within Fire and Emergency.  We will contact you to discuss your
concerns and how they will affect our approach to processing your request.

We will also contact you if:

·         we require further information to clarify, or to enable us to
process, your request;

·         we need to tell a third party who you are, in order to consult
on your request or information that relates to it.

Kind regards

Official Information Team

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment 8023 Extension Letter.pdf
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Kia ora Mark

 

Please see attached letter regarding your official information request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Information Requests Team

National Headquarters, Level 12, 80 The Terrace

PO Box 2133, Wellington 6140

            

[1][FENZ request email]

[2]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Official Information Requests
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment 8023 Response.pdf
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Kia ora Mark

 

Attached is a response to your official information request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Information Requests Team

National Headquarters, Level 12, 80 The Terrace

PO Box 2133, Wellington 6140

 

[1][FENZ request email]

[2]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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