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Release of Confidential Items

Section 90 of the Local Government Act 1999 details the provisions for when a Council of Committee may order that the public be excluded from attendance at a meeting for the purposes of receiving, discussing or considering in confidence information relevant to Section 90(3) of the Act.  The Council of Committee may also order that some or all of the documents associated with the item also be kept confidential.  In the event that this occurs, the Council or Committee must also specify the duration of the order or the circumstances in which the order will cease to apply, or a period after which the order must be reviewed.

In some instances, the Council or Committee may delegate the power to revoke the order to an employee of the Council (such as the Chief Executive).  In any event, in accordance with section 91(9) of the Local Government Act 1999, any order that operates for a period exceeding 12 months must be reviewed at least once in every year.

Reasons for Making a Confidential Order

Section 90 of the Local Government Act 1999:

Section 90(3)(a) ... information which would involve the unreasonable disclosure of information concerning the personal affairs of any person (living or dead)
Section 90(3)(b) ... expected to give a commercial advantage to a person with whom the council is conducting, or proposing to conduct, business, or to prejudice the commercial position of the council and would be contrary to the public interest
Section 90(3)(c) ... would reveal a trade secret
Section 90(3)(d) ... commercial information of a confidential nature (not being a trade secret) the disclosure of which - (i) could reasonably be expected to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied the information, or to give a commercial advantage to a third party; and
(ii) would be contrary to the public interest;
Section 90(3)(e) ... matters affecting the security of the council, members or employees of the council, or council property, or the safety of any person 
Section 90(3)(f) ... prejudice the maintenance of the law, including by affecting (or potentially affecting) the prevention, detection or investigation of criminal offence, or the right to a fair trial
Section 90(3)(g) ... not breach any law, order, or direction of a court or tribunal constituted by law, any duty of confidence, or other legal obligation or duty
Section 90(3)(h) ... legal advice
Section 90(3)(i) ... information relating to actual litigation, or litigation that the council or council committee believe on reasonable grounds will take place, involving the council or an employee of the council
Section 90(3)(j) ... would divulge information provided on a confidential basis by or to a Minister of the Crown, or another public authority or official (not being an employee of the Council, or a person engaged by the Council) and would be contrary to the public interest
Section 90(3)(k) ... tenders for the supply of goods, the provision of services or the carrying out of works 
Section 90(3)(m) ... information relating to a proposed amendment to a Development Plan under the Development Act 1993 before a Development Plan Amendment proposal relating to the amendment is relased for public consultation under that Act
Section 90(3)(n) ... information relevant to the review of a determination of council under the Freedom of Information Act 1991.

 Confidential Items Register 31 March 2017(363 kb)

 

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