Publication - FOI/EIR release

Electronic Counting for Local Elections tender: FOI release

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

Published:
8 Mar 2021
Electronic Counting for Local Elections tender: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000126345
Date received: 16 Dec 2020
Date responded: 19 Jan 2021
Information requested

A copy of the successful tender for the procurement, Electronic Counting for Local Elections, and, in addition, for the identity of all of the other organisations who tendered.

Response

The contract was awarded to Fujitsu following a procurement conducted in 2020. I attach a copy of Fujitsu’s tender for the contract.

In answer to your question. I can confirm that the 3 additional organisations who submitted a tender for the above mentioned procurement where - Indra Soluciones Tecnologías de la Información S.L.U, Democracy Counts & CGI IT UK.

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 30 (Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs), 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test

An exemption under section 30 of FOISA (substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. Disclosing this information could undermine or otherwise discredit the e-Counting processes and/or systems.

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 maintaining the effective conduct of public affairs by ensuring that the upcoming elections are not compromised should detailed and sensitive information, particularly around Security, be released into the public domain.

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 be likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of our tenderers. Specifically, disclosing this information would be likely to give these organisations’ competitors an unfair advantage in future similar tendering exercises. This exemption has been applied to details of the tenderer's proposed methodologies, technologies and internal procedures.

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.

An exemption applies (personal information)

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 (such as the names, contact details and CVs 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.

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.

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