Publication - FOI/EIR release

Evaluation of the Scottish Autism Strategy: FOI release

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

Published:
19 Feb 2021
Evaluation of the Scottish Autism Strategy: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000120775
Date received: 7 Dec 2020
Date responded: 8 Jan 2021
Information requested

You requested - 

"Can you provide me all the information relating to the tendering and procurement process that helped the Scottish Government determine Blake Stevenson why will be reviewing the Scottish Autism Strategy?

Can you provide me with the advert, contractual arrangements and anything else you think is needed?"

Response

I have considered all of the information that the Scottish Government has on the procurement exercise for the Evaluation of the Scottish Autism Strategy and provided the documents used to determine the successful bidder:

  • Invitation to Tender used to advertise the project
  • Three bids received through the procurement from tenderers
  • Moderation score sheet developed as part of the tender assessment panel.

Invitation to Tender – Document sent to potential tenders outlining the requirements of the work including the policy background, outcomes, possible research methods, evaluation criteria used assess tenders and budget for the evaluation.

Three Evaluation Bids – The bids received as part of the procurement these provide information about the information Scottish Government considered from each of the tenders outlining methods they would use through the evaluation, risks and ethical considerations made and projected timetables and team roles. I have redacted special category data to comply with data protection regulation in particular the names, addresses and CVs of team members that would be involved in the project. I have also redacted financial information under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests).

Moderation scores I have also provided the score sheet completed as part of the tender assessment panel. The score were used to determine the successful tender alongside price. I have redacted the names of the tender assessment panel members to comply with data protection. The moderation score sheet does not provide the price tenders provided, because this information was not considered by panel members. I have not included the price provided by tenders as part of
exemptions under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) as disclosing the information may give the organisations competitors an advantage in other evaluation tendering exercises.

Section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests)
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 these organisations' 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 detailed cost information contained in the bid documents, and to references to the identities of organisations who were either proposed as partner service providers or who provided "letters of support" to the unsuccessful tenderer.

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.

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG