- 11 Dec 2018
Date received: 20 November 2018
Date responded: 11 December 2018
In response to your request, I enclose the following documents:
- Scottish Government Invitation to Tender *
- Scottish Government Circular Advice Note
- Tender submission from Michael Dyson Associates
- Subsequent clarification conducted with Michael Dyson Associates
- Correspondence relating to the awarding of the contract to Michael Dyson Associates
* This document could not be found on the electronic case-file. It has therefore had to be re-constructed from another document (i.e. the response of another tenderer). As a result, this version of the document omits three Schedules (3, 6 and 7) which comprise forms to be completed by a tenderer. However, the three Schedules in question can be found within the tender submission document.
Note that two classes of information - personal information and the contractor’s commercial information - have been redacted from these documents. (In the two cases of CVs and the contractor’s accounts, the relevant pages have been omitted completely.) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 38(1)(b) (personal information) and 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
No other correspondence with Michael Dyson Associates could be found within the electronic case-file for this procurement. No other correspondence of any significance to your request could be found elsewhere on our electronic filing system.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of our tenderers. Specifically, disclosing this information would be likely to give the contractor’s competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business. This exemption has been applied to the contractor’s accounts, bank details, turnover information, insurance policy numbers and detailed cost information (namely, the daily rates applying to particular tasks or individuals, and per-survey rates).
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of organisations which tender for Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House