Is government hiding something? Where is the Steam Packet document?

It’s good to see a number of questions related to CCTV use  tabled for tomorrow’s Keys sitting. Those of us who can still think for ourselves know that a fairly law-abiding nation has little use for so much surveillance equipment.  I should add that the majority of members of the public are law-abiding. Just how law-abiding those within government are is of course open to discussion. That is by no means an accusation, it’s simply a statement of fact. We have no Freedom of Information Act and therefore little opportunity to know what is going on in government. However, the CCTV issue does leave one wondering……

Mr Henderson would like to know:

What value the Home Affairs Department places on the deployment of CCTV as a prevention and detection tool; how valuable CCTV has proved up until now in the prevention and detection of crime; and if the minister will make a statement? Listening to this morning’s Manx Radio interview, however, I was alarmed to hear that Mr H is convinced of the value of spying on the general public. I gained the impression that he feels safe knowing that Strand Street is under surveillance. So how do things work outside of the UK CCTV obsession? Very well, thank you. Does this go to show that you can fool some of the people all of the time?

Mrs Beecroft is asking for a code of practice and licensing procedures for CCTV installation. Yes, all good questions. I guess we could even find out who might be profiting from all this if we had a FOI act! One thing is for sure – it’s a nice little earner for someone. The problem is that taxpayers’ money is being used for something which appears to be quite unnecessary. And why is the suggestion of CCTV surveillance seemingly always endorsed? Now that’s the strange part.

Mr Hall questions the Steam Packet User Agreement and whether this is valid. He is also requesting that documentation in Tynwald Library relating to the User Agreement be made available online and he goes on to ask:

Why the document of 15th of November 2005 which deals with the use of about £8 million pounds of public money to purchase land from the Steam Packet or an associated company is not in the Tynwald library file and whether other documents which form part of the Steam Packet User Agreement will be supplied to the Tynwald Library and be available for publication?

Eight million pounds of public money under discussion, of which the public appears to have no knowledge – the details of these proposals or deals then not made available in the Tynwald library! I recall that a 2011 election candidate had referred to the difficulty involved in reading the User Agreement. No notes are allowed to be made nor photos taken etc.  This is our money and the details of pertinent documentation are obscured? Has this been given prominent media coverage?

Mr Hall goes on to probe further Steam Packet matters and it is well worth reading the order paper:

http://tynwald.org.im/papers/orders/2011-2012/ko14022012.pdf 

You need the full story.

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3 comments on “Is government hiding something? Where is the Steam Packet document?

  1. On-line availability of User agreement – answer given in Keys 14.02.12 by Minister Cretney
    _________________________________________________________________

    Answer: (a) As the documents relating to the User Agreement have been publicly available via Tynwald Library for many years, the Department is, of course, content to make them available, if technically practical, via an appropriate website. Whether this is the Department’s website or Tynwald Website is a matter that can be the subject of discussion between the Department and the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office.
    There could be technical problems due to its size as it will have to be uploaded as a pdf file and there is a limit on the size of uploads. This, in turn, could cause problems for anyone trying to download the documentation.

    (b) The document of 15th November 2005 to which the Hon. Member refers concerns the purchase of the land previously occupied by the Steam Packet’s warehouses and is now the Department’s Parade Street Car Park. This land was purchased by the Department from a company owned by Macquarie Bank, and related to the Steam Packet, in order to secure a strategic area of land immediately adjacent to the Circus Beach marshalling area. By purchasing this land the Department secured the ability of Douglas Harbour to accommodate a significantly greater volume of freight and vehicle traffic which would be vital to the Isle of Man in the future. The purchase of this land is, therefore, separate to the User Agreement and part of the
    Department’s normal business. The records referring to it are consequently retained by the Department. That said, this document can also be the subject of the discussions with the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, as indicated to the Answer in (a) above.

    (c) To the best of the Department’s knowledge all of the core documents that make up the current User Agreement with the Steam Packet have been already supplied to Tynwald Library and have been available for public inspection there for some years now. The documents which make up the current User Agreement are:
    (1) The original 1995 User Agreement.
    (2) The 2002 extension.
    (3) The 2004 extension.
    (4) The Victoria Pier linkspan siting licence.

  2. So is the damned thing on line or are we referred to a copy that does not read well in a library that is not convenient? Is it written in legalese so i cannot understand it?

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