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Tender for the hire of aircraft for aerial survey

This Freedom of Information request asks for a copy of the winning tender for the hire of aircraft for aerial survey.

Request for information - Ref No: FOI19912

Request

Thank you for your email of 29/07/2019 requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, and your additional email of 15 August 2019, clarifying your request, as set out below:

Original request 29/07/2019

“please can I request a copy of the winning bid through the freedom of information act please”

Clarification email 15/08/2019

“I would like to receive a full copy of the winning bid please to see how the winning bidder intends to operate, what they intend to operate in way of aircraft and the pricing for this.”

Our response

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information you have requested in relation to the tender for the Hire of Aircraft for Aerial Survey.

Information which forms part of the successful bid but does not relate to how the winning bidder intends to operate, what they intend to operate in way of aircraft and the pricing for this, as detailed in your clarification email of 15 August 2019, is not considered to be within scope of this request and is therefore not included in this response and has been redacted from the attached documents.

Please find attached a copy of the information which can be disclosed, more specifically the following: -

ITT Questionnaire (.pdf)
Hire of Aircraft clarification questions 080119 (sections 21, 24, 27 & 28) (.pdf)
Hire of Aircraft clarification questions 100719 (section 15 & schedule 1) (.pdf)

After consultation with the successful bidder (DEA Aviation Ltd) Ordnance Survey consider certain information to be exempt from disclosure. Therefore, certain information has been redacted from the above attachments and certain documents have been withheld in their entirety.

We consider the following exemptions to apply to the information, section 40(2) (personal information) and section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOIA 2000, as explained in more detail below: -

Section 40(2) Personal Information

Information relating to the personal data of employees of DEA Aviation Ltd and that of other third parties are exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) (personal information) of the FOI Act.

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 GDPR and DPA 2018. In reaching this decision, we have particularly considered:

  • the reasonable expectations of the employees and third parties, 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.

We consider the following information to be exempt under section 40(2) Personal Information:

• ITT Questionnaire contains personal data which has been redacted
• Enclosure 024 Organisation Responsibilities

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.

Operational Processes
Disclosure of certain specific details of internal arrangements including those associated with contractual agreements with third parties, information regarding staff numbers and the layout of the supplier’s facilities would be likely to compromise the operational capability of DEA Aviation Ltd, as these are all core to their commercial performance. This information would therefore be of commercial value to a competitor, compromising the supplier’s ability to operate competitively in the marketplace. Therefore, we consider disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of DEA Aviation Ltd.

Aircraft and Technology
Disclosure of certain information relating to aircraft, including details relating to model of aircraft, manufacturer information, intended modification to aircraft and associated technology is a vital component to the technical solutions provided by DEA Aviation Ltd and is integral to their business model. This information would be of significant commercial value to a competitor therefore disclosure would be likely to prejudice their commercial interests.

Pricing
Disclosure of pricing data including a breakdown in costing would expose the suppliers pricing strategy and would be of significant value to a competitor 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.

Disclosure of this information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of DEA Aviation Ltd and Ordnance Survey Ltd.

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 marketplace. 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

Information withheld under Section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests)
has been redacted from the following:

  • ITT Questionnaire contains commercial information which has been redacted.
  • Hire of Aircraft clarification question 080119 (sections 21, 24, 27 & 28) contains commercial information which has been redacted.
  • Hire of Aircraft clarification questions 100719 (section 15 & schedule 1) contains commercial information which has been redacted.

The following documents have been withheld under Section 43(2) (Prejudice to commercial interests):

  • Enclosure 003 Building Layout Drawing
  • Enclosure 007 Aviation Agreement
  • Enclosure 007a Agreement
  • Enclosure 013 Manufactures Maintenance Guidance
  • Enclosure 14a Approved model list
  • Enclosure 015 Office Accommodation
  • Enclosure 017 Example aircraft Modification
  • Enclosure 024 Organisation Responsibilities
  • Enclosure 018 Photographic images of aircraft modifications
  • Enclosure 023 Aircraft Interior Camera
  • Enclosure 023a Aircraft Interior Camera
  • Clarification Document (Part 5 pricing scenario)

Please note the contract award notice should be published on contracts finder in due course. In addition, the contract value, supplier name, and date will be available on our website via our Procurement pages shortly after. We anticipate this information should be available in October 2019.

Internal Review

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
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

Contact us via our FoI form

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.