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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

LED lighting spend and High Mast Lighting replacement: EIR release

Published: 19 Feb 2018

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00086
Date received: 12 January 2018
Date responded: 15 February 2018

Information requested

Information on an FOI basis on Scotland Transerv and how they are procuring their Street Lighting LED Lanterns as I believe they are not getting best value and not carrying out an open tender process whilst spending Public Money given to them by Transport Scotland.

Question –

1. Please provide details on all Scotland Transerv spending on LED lighting and tenders they have put out and number of tenders received in.

2. High Mast Lighting M8 – tenders received by Scotland Transerv and costs on LED lighting on recent award in 2017.

3. How are Transport Scotland ensuring that Transerv are carrying out open tender process and not specifying a product that is costing the Tax payer more money than required?

4. We have been able to show best value on LED lighting to Transerv but they are refusing to talk to or use our products on site, how can they be allowed by Transport Scotland to operate this way?

To which you clarified on 15 January and 22 January (our numbering).

5. I would like to know how much Transerv are/have spent on LED lighting since the LED upgrades, why they are specifically giving tenders to either CU Phosco or Philips and why there is no open tender policy with them.

6. Time scale on when they have been operating the South West Network.

7. I would also like to know how Scotland Transport monitors how Transerv are spending Public Money and how they monitor whether or not they are getting best value.

8. New Installations – Public Tax Payers Money – Costs spent in buying LEDs in new upgrades by Scotland Transerv.

9. Why are Scotland Transerv specifically specifying and buying from 2 manufacturers when others can offer better value and costs on Highmast lighting.

10. Recent Highmast tender – how many tenders were submitted and how many were assessed by Scotland Transerv – we submitted prices to Lightways and believe we were not even considered – how can this be best value for the tax payer.

11. The lighting engineers in Scotland Transerv seem to favour and use only 2 manufacturers for upgrades at a higher cost off Public Money – how do Scotaldn Transport monitor the spend and ensure that the Trunk Road Operators in general are getting best value on the Network.

Response

As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

I have numbered our response for ease of reference.

1. Please provide details on all Scotland Transerv spending on LED lighting and tenders they have put out and number of tenders received in.

The following High Mast Lighting Replacement tenders have been issued since the start of the 4G SW Unit contract:

M8 Jct 17 2015/16 – 3 invitations to Tender issued, 1 Tender received

M8 Jct 17-19 2015/16 – 3 invitations to Tender issued, 1 Tender received

M8 Jct 17-19 2016/17 - 3 invitations to Tender issued, 1 Tender received

M74 Jct 6 2017/18 – 3 invitations to Tender issued, 3 Tenders received.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to all of the information you have requested in relation to spending on LED lighting. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Scotland Transerv and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give Scotland Transerv'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.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. 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 Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

2. High Mast Lighting M8 – tenders received by Scotland Transerv and costs on LED lighting on recent award in 2017.

Six Contractors submitted PQQ documents for the M8 (Jct 17-19) High Mast Lighting scheme. Four of these achieved the required level to progress to the pricing stage. However, one was subsequently excluded on further review. Of the remaining three tenderers, two declined to return a price after undertaking a thorough evaluation of the tender information. Again, this process was tendered and procured through Public Contract Scotland and associated controls.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to all of the information you have requested in relation to spending on LED lighting. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Scotland Transerv and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give Scotland Transerv'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.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. 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 Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

3. How are Transport Scotland ensuring that Transerv are carrying out open tender process and not specifying a product that is costing the Tax payer more money than required?

The tender assessment for the 4G Term Maintenance Contract that Scotland TranServ deliver considered quality and price issues for the purposes of determining the Most Economically Advantageous Tender. The quality assessment was completed prior to opening the financial submission. The assessment of the financial submission used a model based upon the total comparative cost of the services for the contract period. This legislative requirement ensures that Scottish Ministers receive the best overall economically advantageous service taking into account all works planned to be undertaken as part of the 4G Contracts.

The Operating Companies are also subject to external auditing via an independent Performance Audit Group, PAG, who assist in ensuring trunk road maintenance expenditure is well controlled and provides value for money.

4. We have been able to show best value on LED lighting to Transerv but they are refusing to talk to or use our products on site, how can they be allowed by Transport Scotland to operate this way?

Scotland TranServ do not specify any named products and our tender documentation specifically includes options for alternatives to those already on the network when items are being replaced.

The contractual arrangements in place ensure that there is a competitive tendering, where appropriate. All High Mast lighting schemes have been tendered and procured using, and in accordance with, Public Contracts Scotland and associated due process.

5. I would like to know how much Transerv are/have spent on LED lighting since the LED upgrades, why they are specifically giving tenders to either CU Phosco or Philips and why there is no open tender policy with them.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under the exception at regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs a public authority may refuse a request for information if it is 'manifestly unreasonable'. This request is substantially similar to questions 1 and 3 and we refer to that response.

6. Time scale on when they have been operating the South West Network.

Scotland Transerv undertake work for Transport Scotland under the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network South West Unit. This contract commenced on 1 April 2013. A link to this contract is below;

https://www.transport.gov.scot/transport-network/roads/the-trunk-road-network/#

7. I would also like to know how Scotland Transport monitors how Transerv are spending Public Money and how they monitor whether or not they are getting best value.

We have applied regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs to this question as it is substantially similar to question 3 of this request and we refer to that response.

8. New Installations – Public Tax Payers Money – Costs spent in buying LEDs in new upgrades by Scotland Transerv.

We have applied regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs to this question as it is substantially similar to question 1 of this request and we refer to that response.

9. Why are Scotland Transerv specifically specifying and buying from 2 manufacturers when others can offer better value and costs on Highmast lighting. We have applied regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs to this question as it is substantially similar to question 4 of this request and we refer to that response.

10. Recent Highmast tender – how many tenders were submitted and how many were assessed by Scotland Transerv – we submitted prices to Lightways and believe we were not even considered – how can this be best value for the tax payer.

We have applied regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs to this question as it is substantially similar to question 1 of this request and we refer to that response.

11. The lighting engineers in Scotland Transerv seem to favour and use only 2 manufacturers for upgrades at a higher cost off Public Money – how do Scotaldn Transport monitor the spend and ensure that the Trunk Road Operators in general are getting best value on the Network.

We have applied regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs to this question as it is substantially similar to question 3 of this request and we refer to that response.

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 Feb 2018
LED lighting spend and High Mast Lighting replacement: EIR release