Request for information - Ref No: FOI18819
Thank you for your email of 16 March 2018, and received by us on 20 March 2018, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out in the extract below:
I understand from the Government Online website that it’s possible to ‘Request Copies of Successful Tenders Under the Freedom of Information Act’. I would like to make this request regarding the recent RFQ ‘Marketing Services for Geovation’ please, so that we can learn from the successful tender.
I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information that you have requested. Please find attached a copy of the successful tender submitted by Furthermore for marketing services for Geovation, which comprises:
- Timing plan (PDF)
- Cost estimate (PDF)
- Company information (PDF) & terms and conditions (PDF)
- Response to RFQ (PDF)
As you may be aware, in some circumstances, certain types of information requested may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). After consultation with the successful bidder (Furthermore) Ordnance Survey consider certain information, within the above documents, to be exempt from disclosure, therefore certain information has been redacted from the attached tender documents.
We consider the following exemptions apply, Section 40(2) Personal Information and Section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests, as explained in more detail below:-
Section 40(2) Personal Information
Information in the form of job titles, contact details and photographs of employees of Furthermore and companies they work with, other than those already in the public domain, are exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) (personal information) of the FOI Act, as the information constitutes personal data.
Section 40(2) provides that personal data is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. In our view, disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA).
In reaching this decision, we have particularly considered:
- the reasonable expectations of the employees, Ordnance Survey considered that none of the individuals would have a reasonable expectation that their personal data would be disclosed;
- the consequences of disclosure; and
- any legitimate public interest in disclosure.
Section 40(2) is an absolute exemption and therefore not subject to the public interest test
Section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests)
Information is exempt information it its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interest of any person, including the public authority.
Disclosure of financial information and pricing data would expose Furthermore’s pricing strategy and prove advantageous to competitors when bidding for other opportunities. In relation to Ordnance Surveys commercial interests, disclosure of pricing information could harm our ability to negotiate in future procurement exercises with other organisations. Companies may lose confidence in Ordnance Survey, compromising Ordnance Surveys’ integrity and causing a detrimental impact on the reputation of Ordnance Survey.
The disclosure of Furthermore’s research data, industry insight analysis, forecast trends and material that is the property of the successful bidder have not been disclosed, this information is core to Furthermore’s business and commercial performance and disclosure of this information would be likely to impact on their ability to operate commercially and competitively in the marketplace.
Section 43 (2) is a qualified exemption and we are required to consider the public interest.
Public Interest Test
Ordnance Survey recognises the need for transparency; however, this must be balanced against the public interest in allowing the organisation and third parties to protect their commercial information, and not be placed at a disadvantage in the competitive market place in which we operate. Section 43(2) is a prejudice-based exemption, and there is a public interest inherent in avoiding the harm specified. In this case, Ordnance Survey considers that the prejudice would be likely to occur. Having considered the above, we are satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure
Please note the information supplied is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your FOI request, as follows:
Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:
- Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
- Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
- Failed to provide the information you have requested
- Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
- Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception
The Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.
The Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.
Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal, within three months of receiving our response, with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Further information can be found on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.