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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Tender for 'Attracting High Quality Graduates into Teaching': FOI release

Published: 16 Mar 2018

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00576
Date received: 21 February 2018
Date responded: 15 March 2018

Information requested

1. The names of each individual or organisation to bid for the Scottish Government's Tender for "Attracting High Quality Graduates into Teaching"

2. the bid documents from the chosen supplier (n.b. This should be taken to mean all documents submitted)

3. the evaluation of the top three bids

4. the projected total final cost and life-span of the tendered system

5. the total cost of the tendering process.

Response

1. 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.

2. I enclose with this letter a copy of the bid documents submitted by the University of Dundee. 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.

3. I enclose with this letter copies of the "evaluation debrief" letters issued to the two tenderers. 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.

4. Information on the final cost and life-span of the tendered system is included within the successful tender. We do not possess any further information on these aspects.

5. As part of the Scottish Government's internal processes, the procurement team makes a record of the staff time spent on each procurement project it undertakes and uses this information as part of a system of internal charging between cost centres. In the case of this procurement this figure (to date) is £3,666. While we do not believe that this figure can be characterised as the "cost of the tendering process", it is the only data in our possession which approaches the information sought.

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 contained in the bid documents, and to references to the identities of organisations who were either proposed as partner service providers or who provided "letters of support" to the unsuccessful tenderer (where referred to in the "evaluation debrief" letter to the unsuccessful tenderer).

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.

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:
16 Mar 2018
Tender for 'Attracting High Quality Graduates into Teaching': FOI release