Decision process which led to the award of the conditional contract with Pegasus re Knowle

The request was refused by East Devon District Council.

Dear Ms Symington,

I would like to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am also making this Request under the Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on the part of Local Authorities.

Both the Act and Regulations are in place to facilitate ‘more effective participation by the public in environmental decision making’.

This request is being made with direct reference to the FOI/EIR request
https://westwayconcern.wordpress.com/fre...

I request information on the decision to award a contract to PegasusLife for the development of the Knowle site in Sidmouth, including, but not limited to:

1 Bid documentation provided to prospective bidders;
2 Process for and criteria for selection of successful bidder;
3 Number of organisations who expressed an interest in bidding;
4 Number of organisations who submitted a bid;
5 Names of organisations who submitted a bid;
6 Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.

The public had had no active part in the decision to select PegasusLife and their proposed scheme for Knowle.

In which case, I would like you to publish the information requested.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Woodward

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

4 Attachments

Mr Woodward

Thank you for your request for information. Please find requested detail attached and below:

1 Bid documentation provided to prospective bidders;
Copies of the Knowle and Manstone brochures are attached.

2 Process for and criteria for selection of successful bidder;
The evaluation criteria and weighted scoring advice for the bids is identified within the submission of offers letters which are attached.

3 Number of organisations who expressed an interest in bidding;
Total number of enquiries received during the marketing of Knowle and Manstone was 31

4 Number of organisations who submitted a bid;
7 for one or both properties

5 Names of organisations who submitted a bid;
As this matter is still live, the detail of other organisations who submitted a bid is considered to be commercially confidential and exempt under Regulation 12(5)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations

6 Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.
As above, at this point in time, this information is considered to be commercially confidential. As with all documentation relating to the Knowle re-location project, this detail will be published at an appropriate project milestone.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you feel dissatisfied with our response to your request, please contact our Monitoring Officer to request an internal review at [email address]

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at www.ico.gov.uk

Regards

Kate

Mrs Kate Symington
Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council

01395 517417
www.eastdevon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

P Freeman left an annotation ()

For information to be withheld from a request made under both FoI and EIR, EDDC need to state the explicit exemption they are using under both FoIA and EIR - but they have failed to do so.

Having failed to explicitly state the FoI exemption they are relying upon, they are technically in breach of the FoIA.

Dear Ms Symington,

Thank you for the information.

I am writing to request an internal review of East Devon District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Decision process which led to the award of the conditional contract with Pegasus re Knowle'.

You state that you are unwilling to provide me with information:

" 5 Names of organisations who submitted a bid.
As this matter is still live, the detail of other organisations who submitted a bid is considered to be commercially confidential and exempt under Regulation 12(5)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations"

"6 Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.
As above, at this point in time, this information is considered to be commercially confidential..."

I would like to point out that I made my request under both the FOI Act and the EIR. You are required to state the explicit exemption you are using - under not only the EIR, but also the FOI Act, which you have failed to do.

I would be grateful, therefore, if you could specify which section of the FOI Act you are relying on to justify withholding the information I requested.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Woodward

Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

Mr Woodward,

 

I am sorry that you feel dissatisfied with our response to your request
for information. You have helpfully outlined the specific aspects of your
request that you feel dissatisfied with and so I have focused our internal
review on these points, specifically points 5 and 6 of your request:

 

5. Names of organisations who submitted a bid

In consideration of this request, we have sought the views of the other
bidders in this process. I have reviewed our previous refusal to provide
this detail and I feel that the disclosure of the names of these
organisations alone, is not commercially confidential. Please therefore
find below the names of these other organisations:

Taylor Wimpey

McCarthy & Stone

Linden Homes

Frontier Estates

East Devon District Council

Devonshire Homes

 

6. Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.

Savills were the council’s agent in the marketing process for the Knowle
and, up until the point of recommendation, any correspondence was between
Savills and the individual developers. In terms of information held by the
council in this respect, Savills produced a summary and recommendation
report which included detail about the respective bids. At this point in
time, we believe that this document is exempt from disclosure under
Regulation 12(5)(e) and this view has been confirmed by third party
organisations involved. I therefore stand by our refusal to provide you
with this detail.

 

Your request has been considered under the Environmental Information
Regulations as it relates to proposed land-use and development matters.
There is a similar exemption under the Freedom Of Information Act for
commercially confidential material and this is s43(2) although, as
advised, your request has been considered under EIR.

 

I hope this is helpful but if you remain dissatisfied with the way we have
considered your request, you have the right to refer the matter to the
Information Commissioner [1]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

HENRY GORDON LENNOX

 

Monitoring Officer

East Devon District Council

Tel: 01395 517401

Ext: 2601

Email: [email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear Mr Gordon Lennox,

Thank you for your reply.

I will be making a new FOI request for the details of the bid which was submitted by East Devon District Council.

Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Woodward

Henry Gordon Lennox, East Devon District Council

I am away from the Council until Monday 22nd February. Your email may not
be read until I return. If the matter is urgent and cannot wait please
contact Wendy Harris on 01395 517408 who will assist you further.

 

 

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Dear Mr Gordon Lennox,

The Information Commissioner has now released its Decision Notice on Case: FER0623403
“Decision process which led to the award of the conditional contract with Pegasus re Knowle”

The ICO have instructed the Council to publish the items as specified under point 6 on the list of information which I had asked for:

“I request information on the decision to award a contract to PegasusLife for the development of the Knowle site in Sidmouth, including, but not limited to:
1. Bid documentation provided to prospective bidders;
2. process for and criteria for selection of successful bidder;
3. Number of organisations who expressed an interest in bidding;
4. Number of organisations who submitted a bid;
5. Names of organisations who submitted a bid;
6. Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.”

To quote from the ICO website, which summarises the Decision Notice:

“East Devon District Council
25 October 2016, Local government (District council)
The complainant has requested information regarding the decision to award the contract for the development of the Knowle site in Sidmouth to PegasusLife. In particular he requested information about the bidding process. East Devon District Council (the council) provided the majority of the requested information but withheld under regulation 12(5)(e) information regarding minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject the decision to award the contract to PegasusLife. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council failed to demonstrate that regulation 12(5)(e) is engaged.”
https://search.ico.org.uk/ico/search/dec...
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

I would be grateful if you could let me know when and how you will be releasing this information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Woodward

Dear Mr Gordon Lennox,
As I have not heard from you or the ICO today, Tuesday 22nd November, I can assume, therefore, that you will be publishing the documentation as stipulated in the Decision Notice.
> “Any Notice of Appeal should be served on the Tribunal within 28 (calendar) days of the date on which this decision notice is sent.”
(That is, if the District Council choses to take the case to the Tribunal, they have to do this within 4 weeks = Tuesday 22nd November deadline to declare that intention.)
> “The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice.”
(35 days from the publication date Tuesday 25th October = 5 weeks = Tuesday 29th November deadline to publish the documentation.)
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you will be publishing the documentation over the next seven days – and that you will be providing me with this on this website as part of this thread.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Woodward

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Good morning Mr Woodward

Our Monitoring Officer, Mr Gordon Lennox, is handling this matter but he is currently out of the office, returning on Monday 28th November, when he will be able to respond to your email.

Regards

Kate

Mrs Kate Symington
Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council

01395 517417
www.eastdevon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Symington,
Thank you for your reply.
Mr Gordon Lennox has now replied to me - but through my private email address rather than on the whatdotheyknow website.
I reproduce his correspondence to me below - as part of this FOI thread - and will be responding in due course.
His subject makes reference to another of the three FOI requests currently with the ICO:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
The other two being this FOI request:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...
and:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Woodward

ICO decision FER0608237

Dear Mr Woodward,

Thank you for your emails of 22nd November. I see that you were informed that I was away until today.

Further to the decision of the ICO in the above matter, and as per the direction at paragraph 3 of the decision, the Council can confirm that the agreed purchase price for the Knowle is £7,505,000.

The Council does not consider that the ICO is correct in her conclusions in respect of the other two matters that you referred to her on the basis that she has not applied her own guidance correctly / consistently and was not therefore able to conclude on the matter as she did. Accordingly, the Council has appealed those decisions.

Yours sincerely,

HENRY GORDON LENNOX

Strategic Lead - Legal, Licensing and Democratic Services
East Devon District Council
Tel: 01395 517401
Ext: 2601
Email: [email address]

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

This is an automated reply.

 

I am out of the office until Thursday 1st December 2016 and may not be
able to respond to your email until then.

 

If you wish to make a complaint or submit a request for information under
the Freedom of Information Act, please refer to our website at
[1]www.eastdevon.gov.uk or phone 01395 516551 during office hours.

 

 

 

 

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References

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Dear East Devon District Council,

Thank you for providing me with the complete bid evaluation document from Savills which can now be viewed at: http://futuresforumvgs.blogspot.co.uk/20...

Yours faithfully,

Jeremy Woodward

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