Caledonian Sleeper Franchise Agreement: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00765
Date received: 1 March 2018
Date responded: 29 March 2018

Information requested

  1. An itemised list, with dates, of all derogations from or changes or amendments to the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise Agreement between The Scottish Ministers and Serco Caledonian Sleepers Ltd. Since May 2014;

  2. All published or unpublished documentation or recording of all such derogations, changes or amendments;

  3. A link to any amended or annotated version of the franchise agreement resulting from these derogations, changes or amendments and currently in effect.


1.In response to the first part of your request, below is a list of agreed Variations to the Franchise Agreement.

i. The Minute of Variation between the Scottish Ministers and Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited dated 19 November 2015; ("Variation 1")

ii. The Minute of Variation between the Scottish Ministers and Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited dated 10 February 2016; ("Variation 2")

iii.The Franchise Agreement Variation Number Four (4) between the Scottish Ministers and Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited signed 27 January 2017; and

iv. The Franchise Agreement Variation Number Five (5) (including two (2) appendices) between the Scottish Ministers and Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited dated 27 January 2017.

2.In response to the second part of your request, I enclose the documents listed in Paragraph 2 above.

3.With regard to the third part of your request, we will be instructing the production of a confirmed Franchise Agreement, incorporating the enclosed signed Variations along with those yet to be finalised.

Whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance it has been necessary to redact some of the information you have requested because an exemption under Section 33(1)(b)(commercial interests) of FOISA applies. An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to some the information requested – namely Appendix 2 to the Franchise Agreement Variation Number 5. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Serco Caledonian Sleeper Ltd.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Taking account of all the circumstances of this case, therefore, 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. There is a greater public interest, however, in protecting the commercial interests of companies which tender for and enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

We have also, under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, redacted names and addresses of signatories of and witnesses to the Franchise Variations concerned.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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