Publication - FOI/EIR release

Contracts with Serco Group or any of its subsidiary companies: FOI release

Published: 21 Sep 2018

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

Published:
21 Sep 2018
Contracts with Serco Group or any of its subsidiary companies: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02268
Date received: 24 August 2018  
Date responded: 21 September 2018
 
Information requested
“Any contracts that your organisation holds with Serco Group plc or any of its subsidiary companies or affiliates (hereafter these companies will be referred to as Serco). Please can you also provide this information for any subsidiary or arms length organisations owned by you. If it is not already detailed in the contracts please can you provide the start and end dates of the contracts, details of the goods or services provided by Serco, the total amount paid to Serco to this date, and an estimate of the future costs of the contracts till the end of their lives. Can you also provide details of any targets or monitoring arrangements that you use internally to monitor Serco’s performance. These should be provided in the form that they are used internally, for example if you use a spreadsheet to monitor performance targets which is used to give a report to the board then both the spreadsheet and the report should be provided. Finally can you provide me with any emails, correspondence, or documents that relate to your contracts with Serco.”
Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.  In order to explain why we are unable to provide all of the information you requested, I have broken your request into four parts.

Response to your request: Part 1

“any contracts that your organisation [i.e. the Scottish Government] holds with Serco Group or any of its subsidiary companies or affiliates”.

An interrogation of our contracts register* has identified the following contract (only) as currently existing between the Scottish Government and any part of Serco Group. 

Name of Contractor

Scottish Government Directorate General

Contract Start Date **

Contract End Date

Service provided

Serco Ltd

Health & Social Care

01/11/2016

30/10/2018

Provision of Know the Score and Drinkline Scotland helplines

 

*  The database of contract award notifications which forms part of the Public Contracts Scotland system is our primary information source for the contract awards made by the Scottish Government.  Note, however, that it is technically possible that there may exist some further contracts (likely to be of lower value and hence below the various thresholds requiring the recording of contracts within PCS) which may not have been identified by this methodology. 

** Note that this contract was referred to in an earlier FOI release (reference FOI/18/00704).  I am taking the current opportunity to correct the contract start date (which in the earlier release used only the start of the extension period of the contract).

A copy of the contract document is enclosed with this letter (as “Attachment 1”). 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 an exemption under sections 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. Personal information has therefore been redacted from the contract document. The reasons why this exemption applies are explained in the Annex A below.

Response to your request: Part 2 

“Please can you also provide this information for any subsidiary or arms length organisations owned by you.”

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.  However, a full list of  Scottish public bodies, together with their contact details, is available at:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/national-public-bodies-directory/pages/introduction.

You can also search for contracts awarded by Scottish public bodies through an interrogation of a contract register which can be accessed via the Public Contracts Scotland website:

https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk.

The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in Annex B below.

Response to your request: Part 3

“If it is not already detailed in the contracts please can you provide … the total amount paid to Serco to this date, and an estimate of the future costs of the contracts till the end of their lives. Can you also provide details of any targets or monitoring arrangements that you use internally to monitor Serco’s performance. These should be provided in the form that they are used internally, for example if you use a spreadsheet to monitor performance targets which is used to give a report to the board then both the spreadsheet and the report should be provided.”

For the above-mentioned contract (Know the Score and Drinkline Scotland helplines), the total amount paid to Serco, as at 31 August, is £169,508. This comprises 21 monthly payments of £8,000 plus an additional £1,508 for customer satisfaction surveys and miscellaneous training. A further £24,000 (i.e. three further monthly payments) is expected to be paid under the contract. All figures are ex-VAT.

Performance monitoring documents relating to this contract are enclosed with this letter (as “Attachment 2”).  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 an exemption under sections 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.  Personal information has therefore been redacted from these documents.  The reasons why this exemption applies are explained in the Annex A below. 

Response to your request: Part 4

“any emails, correspondence, or documents that relate to your contracts with Serco.”

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested, considered together with other information being provided under this FOI release, would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that the category of “any” correspondence relating to a contract is likely to be voluminous, may be filed in a variety of locations and is likely to require more redacting (for personal data) than is the case for standard documents. 

Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600.  You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

ANNEX A (relating to Parts 1 and 3 of your request)

 

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.

ANNEX B (relating to Part 2 of your request)

 

Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because the Scottish Government is not responsible for contracts awarded by other public agencies.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. 

About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG