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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Low Income Benefits Agile Service Design contract award: FOI release

Published: 19 Dec 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02874
Date received: 27 November 2017
Date responded: 19 December 2017

Information requested

Information relating to the Contract Award for the Low Income Benefits Agile Service Design at:

https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=NOV300984.

Please provide the documentation associated with the award, the contract including its format and terms, details of the staffing provision IBM are committing to the contract as well as details of the experience of their staff.

With regard to the quotes received for this contract the names, prices, and documentation related to the quotes. For the avoidance of doubt, please also provide details of the communications or meetings, pitch arrangements and documentation provided by the contractor.

On the basis that delivery is being made on an agile basis, please disclose the scheduled supply dates.

Response

The attached table addresses the information you have requested.

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 Section 36(2) – actionable breach of confidence, Section 38(1)(b) - personal information and Section 33(1)(b) – commercial interests of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption applies.

An exemption under Section 36(2) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption can be described as an actionable breach of confidence.

An exemption under section 36(2) of FOISA (actionable breach of confidence) applies to some of the information requested because it was obtained from IBM UK Ltd and disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. This is because the information is confidential, was provided in circumstances which imposed an obligation on the Scottish Government to maintain that confidentiality, and unauthorised disclosure would be to the detriment of the individuals who are named within the bid. 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.

This exemption applies to part 3 of the response to your request, above, as the information refers to confidential details.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names/contact details 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.

This exemption applies to some of part 1 and some of part 3 of the response to your request, above, as the information refers to names and contact details of individuals.

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, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of IBM UK Ltd. This applies to parts 1, 7 and 9 of the response to your request above.

Disclosing this information would be likely to give IBM UK Ltd's 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.

For the same reason prices and documentation relating to the bids received, in parts 5 and 6 of the response to your request have not been provided.

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 companies which tender for and enter into, 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 Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
19 Dec 2017
Low Income Benefits Agile Service Design contract award: FOI release