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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Huntfest: Response to council letter

Dear Beagle editor, I would like to submit my comments on council's letter re Huntfest, as a letter to the editor as I feel it is extremely pertinent to council's procedure in regard to to their EOI process Huntfest: Response to Council Letter regarding the Crown providing written confirmation to council, that they accepted council's Code for Licencing/EOI process; Council simply assured' Crown Lands that it would develop a 'fair and transparent' procedure. Council did NOT provide Crown Lands with the Code that it developed. Letter to me from council (16th Dec 2016), "The full details of the selection criteria etc, are not the concern of Crown Lands, only that it is an open and transparent competitive process." Council's reference to the ICAC Guidelines: these Guidelines were, "written for public sector managers..........(who) may find themselves responsible for commercial or contractual interactions with the private sector, the not-for-profit sector or public sector organisations OPERATING IN A COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT," so as, "to ensure, and prove to the public, that it (council) is obtaining value for money." (ICAC Guidelines) Selecting a successful tenderer for a licence to hold an event, by two not-for-profit organisation, is NOT about 'obtaining best value for money' by council in a 'COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT,' as council is not PAYING out any money. So, how are they 'ensuring and proving to the public', that they are obtaining 'best value for money'? Apart from fees, which would have to be paid to council by either of the successful tenderers, council would not be MAKING any money. Council is not interacting with not-for-profit tenderers on a commercial basis. If they were the ICAC Guidelines would apply. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1993 Section 55 'What are the requirements for tendering' (3)This section does NOT apply to: (e) "a contract for the ....licencing of land by the council, other than the .. licencing of COMMUNITY LAND for a term exceeding 5 years to a body that is NOT a not-for-profit organisation." * Crown Land is not 'community land'- so tendering does NOT apply. *SCHC is a not-for-profit organisation- so tendering does NOT apply. (2A) "Nothing in this section prevents a council from tendering for any WORK, SERVICE OR FACILITY FOR WHICH IT HAS INVITED TENDERS." *When selecting between two organisations for an event licence, council is NOT tendering for any 'work, service or facility.' Therefore, contrary to council's assertion (in their letter in Beagle) council is not complying with the LGA. Letter to to me from OLG (23 May 2016), "Neither the Crown Lands Act nor Crown Lands Regulation would require Council to undertake a tendering process prior to resolving to grant this licence." Letter to me from OLG (4 Aug 2016) "You have correctly identified that the leasing/licencing provisions of Section 55(3)(e) of the Act do NOT apply." Council response to the above information (27 Nov 2016) when I provided it : "Notwithstanding your OLG letter, Council received written confirmation from Crown Lands Dept,...............and it is the determining ministry, which agreed the process proposed by council met their criteria...." So, it appears, that now it is Crown Lands fault as they accepted council's assurance that their process would be open and transparent, even though the Crown never saw the Code or its EOI process. As for councils statement in relation to the use of their EOI process and tendering: "Nothing precludes council using........" Nothing precludes council from peeing on a rabbit to see if it turns green either! Patricia Gardiner

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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