FOI reference: FOI/18/00360
Date received: 6 February 2018
Date responded: 6 March 2018
The number of bids the Scottish Government received for its tender for a new fast-track route into teaching for high-quality graduates, who the bids came from, and copies of each of the proposals (including all documents related to the winning bid).
The Scottish Government received two tenders in response to its procurement "Attracting High-Quality Graduates into Teaching". The two tenderers were the University of Dundee (to whom a contract has subsequently been awarded) and the University of Glasgow. I enclose with this letter copies of the two proposals. 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 sections 38(1)(b) (personal information) and 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names, contact details and CVs 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.
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 our tenderers. Specifically, disclosing this information would be likely to give these organisations' 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 exemption has been applied to detailed cost information (in both proposals), the identities of organisations providing "letters of support" (in the unsuccessful proposal only) and information relating to the identities of proposed partner service providers (in the unsuccessful proposal only).
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 organisations which tender for Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House