Seaborne Freight

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Department for Transport.

Dear Department for Transport,

I read with interest the news reports of an award of a £13m contract for the supply of ferry services by the company Seaborne Freight.

I understand the DoT conducted a due diligence assessment of the company before making the award.

Could you disclose to me;-

1) The Company Number of Seaborne Freight (so that I can cross check against my own assessment of the company's financial status)
2) The full contract
3) The total value of the contract, and payment milestones
4) The amounts of any payments already made to Seaborne Freight
5) Any correspondence items exchanged with the directors of Seaborne Freight following their successful contract award
6) The make/model/name of the vessels they are proposing to supply

Yours faithfully,
P John

Department for Transport

Dear P John,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0016878.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Digital Service
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Mr A Williams anodiad ()

Seaborne Freight's company number is 10709921. You can see a copy of the most recently filed accounts here: https://tinyurl.com/yb5cwhqq

Its financial position is not easy to ascertain from these accounts but they do show the following on the balance sheet

Tangible Assets: £35,169
Creditors: £416,607

Their total net asset position was (£374,275).

Gadawodd P. John anodiad ()

At the time of posting there seemed to be some confusion about the company identity; there being another well established (but unrelated) company called Seabourne Group (http://en-en.seabourne-group.com/).
The reason for asking DoT to provide the company number is that it establishes precisely which firm they are contracting with, and if as we expect it is Seaborne Freight, that it was possible for them to know the financial status for "due diligence" purposes long before awarding them a contract.

Gadawodd P. John anodiad ()

Related request to National Audio Office
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Isabella Craig, Department for Transport

3 Atodiad

Dear P John,

 

Please see attached a response to your Freedom of Information request
received on 1 January 2019 as well as a copy of correspondence with
directors of Seaborne Freight after the award of their contract with the
Department, attached as part of the information you requested.

 

Kind regards,

 

Isabella

 

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D46C45.259B1250          Isabella Craig

Maritime Directorate

Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road,
London, SW1P 4DR  
[2]Follow us on twitter
@transportgovuk 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Department for Transport,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Transport's handling of my FOI request 'Seaborne Freight'.

I believe your redactions and application of exemptions excessive. There should be a presumption in favour of disclosure, not in favour of concealment.

In particular, the email correspondence is clearly incomplete, omitting all items sent from the department to Seaborne Freight. You were asked to provide "Any correspondence items exchanged with the directors of Seaborne Freight following their successful contract award"; that would include all correspondence items (both ordinary mail, email, SMS, and other written form) sent to AND from your department.

In the case of the email dated 23 December 2018 08:23 I am disappointed to note you have concealed all details of the recipients, leaving only the details of Mr Ben Sharp.

The email dated 28 December 2018 16:59 refers to a number of attached documents which you have not provided.

The email dated 30 December 2018 12:56 refers to an earlier message with the words "What are your thoughts on answering the below?" without inclusion of the preceding item.

Throughout, the recipient lists have been excessively obscured. I would like to see details of all directors, all senior civil service staff, and all ministers included in the To/CC list of all correspondence items. Including those originating from the department, and in other written formats besides email.

I also asked you to disclose "The total value of the contract, and payment milestones".

You told me; "There are no payment milestones in this contract as the company will only be paid monthly in arrears for any service". That is simply false; in a statement by The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP he said "the Seaborne contract is ***also subject to the achievement of a range of key milestones*** including in relation to finalising funding and vessel chartering agreements".
Please disclose the full range of additional key milestones applicable to Seaborne Freight, as referred to by Mr Grayling in his statement dated 7 January 2019.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Gadawodd P. John anodiad ()

Written statement to Parliament
Haulage update: 7 January 2019
Update on government contracts with ferry operators.

"Whilst the broad contract structure is the same for all three contracts including the provision that payment will only be made in arrears and on the successful provision of services, the Seaborne contract is also subject to the achievement of a range of key milestones including in relation to finalising funding and vessel chartering agreements."
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/h...

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear P.John,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review.

We aim to respond to you on or before the 26 February.

Regards,

Jeremy Thompson
FOI Advice Team
Department for Transport

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Department for Transport

Dear P.John,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0017030.

The information you asked for is being treated as a new request alongside
your internal review. You asked -

You told me; "There are no payment milestones in this contract as the
company will only be paid monthly in arrears for any service". That is
simply false; in a statement by The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP he said "the
Seaborne contract is ***also subject to the achievement of a range of key
milestones*** including in relation to finalising funding and vessel
chartering agreements".
Please disclose the full range of additional key milestones applicable to
Seaborne Freight, as referred to by Mr Grayling in his statement dated 7
January 2019.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Digital Service
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Department for Transport,

concerning my request (reference number P0017030) please could you confirm that you have taken note that my request for review stated;

"In particular, the email correspondence is clearly incomplete, omitting all items sent from the department to Seaborne Freight. You were asked to provide "Any correspondence items exchanged with the directors of Seaborne Freight following their successful contract award"; that would include all correspondence items (both ordinary mail, email, SMS, and other written form) sent to AND from your department.

In the case of the email dated 23 December 2018 08:23 I am disappointed to note you have concealed all details of the recipients, leaving only the details of Mr Ben Sharp.

The email dated 28 December 2018 16:59 refers to a number of attached documents which you have not provided.

The email dated 30 December 2018 12:56 refers to an earlier message with the words "What are your thoughts on answering the below?" without inclusion of the preceding item.

Throughout, the recipient lists have been excessively obscured. I would like to see details of all directors, all senior civil service staff, and all ministers included in the To/CC list of all correspondence items. Including those originating from the department, and in other written formats besides email."

I expect to receive all the correspondence items requested in your reply.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear P.John,

I can confirm that the Department has noted the terms of your request for an internal review as outlined below. We will respond on or before 26 February. To clarify, the new information you asked for when requesting an internal review (ie: You told me; "There are no payment milestones in this contract as the company will only be paid monthly in arrears for any service". That is simply false; in a statement by The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP he said "the Seaborne contract is ***also subject to the achievement of a range of key milestones*** including in relation to finalising funding and vessel chartering agreements".) is being handled separately to the internal review and has been allocated reference number P0017030.

Eamonn Maloney | FOI Manager & Lead Internal Reviewer, FOI Advice Team, Department for Transport
1/11 | 07977 436132 |

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

further to my request ("Seaborne Freight"), noting the early termination of the contract with Seaborne Freight.

Please will you now reconsider disclosure of following items of my request for disclosure of;
2) The full contract
3) The total value of the contract, and payment milestones
4) The amounts of any payments already made to Seaborne Freight

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Isabella Craig, Department for Transport

2 Atodiad

Dear P John,

 

Please find attached a response to the Freedom of Information request you
included in your request for internal review of Freedom of Information
request F0016878, received on 29 January 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

Isabella

 

 

[1][IMG]          Isabella Craig 
Maritime Directorate

Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr/Ms John

Please see attached.

Yours sincerely

Eamonn Maloney
FOI Advice Team
Department for Transport

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Maloney

thank you for your response to my FoI internal review request.

I am disappointed that you continue to withhold information about Seaborne Freight.

Withholding the names of civil servants because they fear abuse is a dangerous precedent to set. Civil servants should not be able to avoid accountability for their role in decision making... especially so if the decision making appears to be unlawful. For example, as Joanna Cherry MP has suggested, the unlawful application of regulation 32 to procure ferry services from a ferry company with no ferries (which Chris Grayling has claimed was based on advice given by his civil servants).

That you should choose to withhold all correspondence from the department to a supplier - given this level of controversy - is quite extraordinary. There should be a presumption in favour of disclosure, to withhold all of that correspondence is surprising to say the least.

Presently, I am concerned- given the lack of information you have provided - DoT are concealing something quite ugly from the public.And I would be grateful for more transparency & openness.

What else would you expect me to conclude from this decision?

Yours sincerely,

P. John