Hi Lisa,
 
I dont have the answers to these corporate questions, can you respond please.
 
Kind regards
Gill
 
Gill Callaghan
Financial Administration Manager
Wigan Council
Business Support Services
Tel:-(External) 01942 486263
      (Internal)   86263
Website: www.wigan.gov.uk
 


From: Hassett, Peter
Sent: Thu 20 May 2010 10:52
To: Carroll, Tim; Callaghan, Gill
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social Work Professionals

Gill,

I thank you for your email dated 18 May and from the information supplied by Comensura have been able to draft part of the response to the FOI request as indicated below. However, I still need from you theCouncil's response to questions 4 to 11 below because Comensura have said that it is OK for the Council to release the information requested.

I look forward to hearing from you ASAP. The time limit for responding to the FOI request was 20 April and the Council is now one month overdue.

Peter Hassett
Principal Solicitor (Constitution Issues)
Legal and Democratic Division
Business Support Services
Wigan Council
Town Hall
Wigan
WN1 1YN
Tel. 01942 827381 (ext.2381)

This email together with any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom they are addressed. The information may be covered by legal professional privilege. Do not copy, disclose or distribute the information. If you are not the addressee, please contact the sender and immediately delete this email and any attachments.


 

Dear A. Elliott,

I thank you for your email dated 22nd March below and would advise you that Comensura Limited considers the following items to be deemed commercially sensitive:

Comensura’s negotiated Mark-Up agreements with their Panel Vendors
Details of Comensura’s commercial pricing deal with the authority
Comensura Processes and Operating procedures
Any details referring to the names of Comensura's team
CV details of Comensura's team
Comensura's own internal management structure
Any details relating to our management information system (C-net)

Section 43 is very clear in that it states:

43 Commercial interests

(1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.

(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice the interests mentioned in subsection (2).

In my view the fact that the information requested would be a trade secret there is no need for there to be any consideration as to the harm it would cause by its disclosure.  The disclosure would cause us harm and therefore it should remain a trade secret. However, Section 43 is a "Qualified Exemption" i.e. it is not an absolute right which affords the information total protection.  Therefore, as in all things in the law there is a small snag.  There is an overriding obligation towards disclosure by a Public Authority even where there is an exemption.  The Public Authority must consider the commercial sensitivity against what is called the Public Interest Test.  What this states is that where the Public Authority is satisfied that the trade secret or that its release would prejudice someone's commercial interest it can only refuse to provide the information if it is satisfied that the public interest in withholding outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

In our particular case I would argue the following:

1. The disclose of the information would have a material impact upon the commercial interests of the company in that the information would provide to our competitors information which would have a material impact upon our commercial viability;

2. By disclosing the information it would damage the reputation and or business confidence in the company.  This would apply in that it would show our suppliers the rates being paid to other suppliers this could have an impact upon the investors in the company if the competitive edge of the company were to be impacted.

3. The margins upon which our offer is made is clearly commercially sensitive.

4. The disclosure of the information will not:

further the understanding of and participation in a debate of the issues of the day;
facilitate the accountability and transparency of public authorities for decisions of spending by them;
allow individuals to understand decisions made by public authorities; or
bring to light information on public safety.


5. The disclosure of the information would not be in the public interest in that none of the above conditions apply.  The only beneficiary of any disclosure is a competitor of the Company.  Please note that Comensura's pricing is based upon a package of services that are provided and the pricing model takes into account the services (management time, expertise, software and its development over time etc).

Subject to the above Wigan Council's response to you request for information below in indicated in blue within your email.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of this response, an independent senior officer will review this decision. Please let me know if you would like to arrange this.

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner, who is the regulator for Freedom of Information. His website is: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk and his helpline number is 01625 545745. His staff may ask you to exhaust our internal complaints procedure if you choose to complain to his office now.


Peter Hassett
Wigan Council



-----Original Message-----
From: A Elliott [
mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx]
Sent: Mon 22 March 2010 14:58
To: FoI Request
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Use of Agency Social Work Professionals

     Dear Wigan Borough Council,
    
     Please provide me with:
    
     1. a copy of the Comensura, "Neutral Vendor", contract and fee
     schedules for recruitment to Wigan Borough Council
    

Response - Not applicable for disclosure as per above response.


     2. all agencies on the Comensura contract for the supply of social
     workers, senior practitioners, assistant team managers, team
     managers and service managers (referred to from now as "qualified
     social work professionals") to Wigan Borough Council

Response - Comensura manage the engaged agency community on behalf of the authority and this can change on a daily basis. As such any data released around suppliers engaged could therefore be detrimental to a new/old suppliers business who’s status as a supplier changes but is not updated on released information.

   
     3. all agencies currently supplying Wigan Borough Council with
     agency social work professionals

Response - The contract to supply staff is with Comensura and therefore it is not appropriate to provide a list of agency names.

    
     4. the total number of qualified social work professionals
     currently working on an agency basis at Wigan Borough Council

Response - Numbers can be released, however names and supplying agencies are not appropriate as per above.

    
     5. the number and grade of qualified social work professionals
     currently working on an agency basis at Wigan Borough Council by
     supplier
    

Response - Number of agency workers by Job Title is appropriate, however it could potentially be detrimental to a suppliers business if this is released including agency supplier as per above, so this should be quoted as supplied via Comensura.


     6. the number and grade of qualified social work professionals
     currently working on an agency basis at Wigan Borough Council by
     department
 

Response - A count of temporary workers by job title and Directorate/Department can be released at your discretion. As per above this should not include individuals names or supplying agency.

   
     7. the pay and agency charge rate of each qualified social work
     professional currently working on an agency basis at Wigan Borough
     Council by department

Response - The pay rates defined by job title can be released, however agency workers, agencies and charge rates would be exempt from FOI as per above.

    
     8. the fiscal budget for qualified social work professional
     recruitment through agencies for 2009-2010
    

Response - This information can be released at your discretion, as it has no bearing on the contractual arrangement.


     9. the fiscal budget for qualified social work professional
     recruitment through agencies for 2010-2011
    

Response - This information can be released at your discretion, as it has no bearing on the contractual arrangement.


     10. the total fiscal spend on agency qualified social work
     professionals by department for the last 12 months
    

Response - This information can be released at your discretion, as it has no bearing on the contractual arrangement, on the proviso that spend is not broken down by individual supplier.


     11. the total fiscal spend on agency qualified social work
     professionals by agency for the last 12 months
    

Response - Spend by Job Title can be released, however it could prove detrimental to a suppliers business if individual spend by supplier is identified, so this should be released as spend through Comensura who your contractual/commercial arrangement is with.

Yours faithfully,
    
A Elliott
    
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