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  • Decision to release tender information in response to Official Information Act request

    Case notes
    Complaint about a decision to release information under the Official Information Act—Ministry consulted adequately with affected party—Ministry took into account affected party’s submissions, all relevant considerations, principle of availability, legis
  • Commercial information: A guide to sections 9(2)(b) and 9(2)(i) of the OIA and sections 7(2)(b) and 7(2)(h) of the LGOIMA

    Official information
    This is a guide to the commercial withholding grounds in sections 9(2)(b) and 9(2)(i) of the OIA and sections 7(2)(b) and 7(2)(h) of the LGOIMA.
  • The OIA and the public tender process

    Official information
    A guide to how the OIA applies to information generated in the context of a public tender process.
  • Commercial information work sheet

    Template letters and worksheets, Worksheets and other resources
    This summary work sheet is about the most commonly used grounds for withholding commercial information—unreasonable prejudice to a third party’s commercial position, and prejudice or disadvantage to an agency’s commercial activities.
  • Work sheet for dealing with public tender information

    Template letters and worksheets, Worksheets and other resources
    This work sheet summarises guidance on dealing with public tender-related information, including responding to OIA / LGOIMA requests for such information.
  • Negotiations: A guide to section 9(2)(j) of the OIA and section 7(2)(i) of the LGOIMA

    Official information
    This is a guide to the negotiations withholding ground found in section 9(2)(j) of the OIA and section 7(2)(i) of the LGOIMA.
  • Request for corporate culture information contained in bus tender submissions

    Case notes
    Competitors could use the information to compare and refine their own submissions, potentially reducing the successful tenderers’ competitive advantage in future tender rounds—this would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the successful tenderers— s 7(2)(b)(ii) applies—public interest in accountability for the Council’s decision required release of a summary statement
  • Request for business plan for Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre

    Case notes
    Competitors could copy or adopt third party’s methodology and strategy and devise plans based on its established operating systems which would unreasonably prejudice its commercial position—information subject to an explicit obligation of confidence and of a confidential nature—release would damage the public interest by making suppliers reluctant to participate in future procurement processes
  • Request for cost of digital and touch wall at new Christchurch Library

    Case notes
    Release would undermine supplier’s negotiations with other buyers which would unreasonably prejudice its commercial position—public interest in disclosure of information regarding Council expenditure outweighs withholding interest
  • Request for cost of fees paid to a law firm

    Case notes
    Release of total fees would not unreasonably prejudice third party’s commercial position
  • Request for expenditure on goods and services provided by Palantir Technologies

    Case notes
    Release of total cost would not unreasonably prejudice third party’s commercial position—public interest in accountability for spending public money
  • Request for Skypath business case and procurement plan

    Case notes
    Releasing business case and procurement plan would unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the private partner in a public private partnership—withholding strengths and weaknesses of negotiating position necessary to enable Council to carry on negotiations without prejudice or disadvantage—ss 7(2)(b)(ii), 7(2)(c)(i), 7(2)(i) apply
  • Request for cost of recruiting Vice-Chancellor

    Case notes
    Release of total cost would not unreasonably prejudice third party’s commercial position—no specific negotiations—release of total costs would not deter businesses from treating with government—public interest in accountability for spending public money
  • Request for information associated with PHARMAC’s 2016/17 budget bid

    Case notes
    PHARMAC did not have a commercial position and was not engaged in commercial activities—s 9(2)(j) applies to information about PHARMAC’s willingness to pay for pharmaceuticals but not to PHARMAC’s indicative budget in out-years
  • Request for tender submissions to replace jetty at Philomel Landing

    Case notes
    Release of tenderers’ pricing strategy would give an unfair advantage to their competitors and unreasonably prejudice their commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) OIA applies—release would make tenderers reluctant to provide as much detail about their design specifications in future— s 9(2)(ba)(i) applies—it was in the public interest for NZDF to receive full and detailed submissions as this would otherwise undermine its ability to make an informed decision on the best tenderer to award a contract
  • Request for successful tenderer’s proposal

    Case notes
    Release would reveal successful tenderer’s marketing strategy which would unreasonably prejudice its commercial position— s 9(2)(b)(ii) applies—public interest met by disclosure of tender scores and minutes of evaluation panel
  • Request for copy of reviewers’ training manual

    Case notes
    Information was not a trade secret—although FairWay was engaged in commercial activities, it was not clear how disclosure would prejudice or disadvantage those activities—the manual was largely in the public domain, and there was little prospect of competition—ss 9(2)(b)(i), 9(2)(i) do not apply
  • Request for information about proposed Clifford Bay ferry terminal

    Case notes
    Interislander’s operating costs, growth predictions and business strategy protected by s 9(2)(b)(ii)
  • Request for external monitor’s report on University graduate diploma

    Case notes
    University research contracts and trading can be commercial activities—the provision of education to full fee-paying international students may be a commercial activity—but providing tertiary education to domestic students is not a commercial activity—s 9(2)(i) does not apply
  • Request for information about exploration permits awarded to Anadarko Petroleum

    Case notes
    Application and evaluation subject to obligation of confidence—release would make bidders reluctant to share full information in future, which would undermine MBIE’s ability to carry out statutory functions—release would also reduce the appeal of investing in New Zealand and MBIE’s ability to administer the Crown Minerals Act, which would otherwise damage the public interest—sections 9(2)(ba)(i) and (ii) apply—revealing information about particular prospects or reserves would disadvantage third party vis-à-vis their competitors—revealing information about projected costs would disadvantage third party in its negotiations with service companies—section 9(2)(b)(ii) applies—public interest met by available information
  • Request for information relating to Ministry of Education 2012 Special Education School Transport Assessment (SESTA) tender

    Opinions
    In 2012, the Ministry of Education published a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the transport of special needs children for educational purposes called the ‘Special Education School Transport Assistance tender’ (SESTA tender).
  • Request for project and hazard management plans relating to Mount Victoria tunnel refurbishment

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(b)(ii) applies to genuinely innovative methods that competitors could copy or adapt in future tenders, but not to the plans in their entirety—strong public interest in disclosure to promote accountability for adherence to the plans and effective participation in the consultation process
  • Request for cost of building naming rights

    Case notes
    Release of total cost would not unreasonably prejudice third party’s commercial position—public interest in accountability for spending public money
  • Request for information about a Department’s employment operations

    Case notes
    Pre-cast concrete operation is a commercial activity—s 9(2)(i) applies
  • Request for financial information concerning Council’s waste management proposals

    Case notes
    Council waste management activities not commercial—s 7(2)(h) does not apply
  • Request for salvage plan relating to MV Rena

    Case notes
    Revealing salvage company’s detailed methodology would give other companies a competitive advantage in future tenders, which would be likely unreasonably to prejudice its commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) applies
  • Request for transport rates, cost and revenues per route

    Case notes
    Cost per route to the Council not protected by s 7(2)(b)(ii)—any prejudice would not be unreasonable—s 7(2)(b)(ii) applies to revenue per route—this would reveal operators’ tender strategies, thereby prejudicing their ability to participate competitively in future tenders
  • Request for tender scores for successful tenderer

    Case notes
    Release of tender scores would not be likely unreasonably to prejudice successful tenderer’s commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply
  • Request for copy of winning tender for Lawrence Oliver Park

    Case notes
    Release would enable competitors to anticipate winning tenderer’s strategy in future bids, which would unreasonably prejudice their commercial position—s 7(2)(b)(ii) applies
  • Request for audit report of approved organisation under Animal Welfare Act

    Case notes
    Acrimonious history and prolonged legal dispute were relevant to decision whether or not request was vexatious—while future similar requests might be vexatious this one was not—the requester’s legitimate concern about effectiveness of Ministry’s oversight of approved organisations was the catalyst for the audit report, and she was initially promised a copy of it—requester was genuinely interested in and entitled to know the findings—request not frivolous or vexatious—Trust does not have a commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply
  • Request for total amounts paid for parking services

    Case notes
    Release of total amounts paid would not unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the incumbent providers in future tender rounds, nor would it disadvantage the Council in carrying on negotiations—ss 7(2)(b)(ii) and 7(2)(i) do not apply
  • Request for reports of unannounced inspections of rest homes and hospitals

    Case notes
    Release of adverse findings might damage providers’ reputations and therefore their commercial position, but this would not be unreasonable—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply—public interest in promoting public safety and consumer protection