Request for information - Ref No: FOI21985
Thank you for your email of 23 February 2021, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, and your additional email of 9 March 2021, clarifying your request, as set out below:-
Original request 23 February 2021
“Back in January this year you had a tender out for consultancy services: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/notice/43d419d0-984f-4505-8351-06c4fce2c936?origin=SearchResults&p=1 If possible, could you please let me know via email:
- Name of the contractor who won the bid
- The winning proposal that was submitted
- Names of contractors who put forward bids
- Amount the winning bidder's price was”
Clarification email 9 March 2021
“a copy of the winning proposal with commercially sensitive information redacted”
I confirm Ordnance Survey (OS) hold a copy of the winning proposal submitted by Customer Consulting Limited (CCL) for the Contact Centre Transformation Partner Contract. Please see the attached Technical Questionnaire (pdf).
After consultation with the successful bidder (CCL) we consider certain information contained within the attached document to be exempt from disclosure, therefore certain information has been redacted from the attached document. We consider section 40(2) Personal Information and section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests) apply, as explained in further detail below:-
Section 40(2) Personal Information
Information in the form of personal data of employees of CCL, including names; biographies; CV’s; and photographs 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 third-party personal data would contravene the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.
CCL have also confirmed that it is their policy not to publish employee information.
In reaching this decision, we have particularly considered:
- the reasonable expectations of the employees, OS 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 if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interest of any person, including the public authority.
Information relating to CCL’s methodology, concepts, tools, models, process, and strategy are owned by CCL and are core to their commercial performance. Case studies have not been disclosed as these provide an insight into CCL’s strategy and operational processes and contain CCL’s customer information. Disclosure of this information would be of commercial value to a competitor, it provides valuable industry insight therefore compromising CCL’s ability to operate competitively in the marketplace in which they operate. Therefore, we consider disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of CCL.
In relation to OS commercial interests, disclosure of this information would be likely to harm our ability to negotiate in future procurement exercises with other organisations, as at the time your request was made the tender process was still live. Companies may lose confidence in OS compromising OS integrity and causing a detrimental impact on the reputation of OS.
Section 43 (2) is a qualified exemption, and we are required to consider the public interest.
Public Interest Test
OS 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 marketplace. Section 43(2) is a prejudice-based exemption, and there is a public interest inherent in avoiding the harm specified. In this case, OS 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.
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 Freedom of Information (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.