This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Contracts related to building work completed at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub'.



 
Strategy and Challenge 
Mr Tim Davies  
The Information Management Service 
What Do They Know? Website 
Shire Hall 
Westgate Street 
GLOUCESTER 
GL1 2TG
 
 
 
 
Telephone 01452 
Please ask for Teresa Wilmshurst 
324000
Email xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xx 
 
Our ref: 14473433
Your ref: 
Date: 12 November 2019
  
Dear Mr Davies
I am pleased to provide a response to your request for information, received on 17 
September 2019. 
In relation to the press release issued by the Council on 09.09.2019 titled "Hats 
off to Beard Construction ' building work completed at Gloucestershire 
Heritage Hub" please can you supply: 

(1) A copy of any tender announcements, contract award notices, and contract 
documents related to building work on the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. 
Please include details of the contract awarded to Beard Construction, as well 
as any prior contracts. 
If no formal documents exist, please provide any correspondence relating to 
the award of this contract. 
You will find some details of the Beard contract on the ProContract register here: 
https://procontract.due-
north.com/ContractsRegister/ViewContractDetails?contractId=78be1468-8aee-e911-
80fa-005056b64545&p=696a9836-1895-e511-8105-000c29c9ba21

I can confirm that the remainder of the information you have requested is held by 
Gloucestershire County Council and I am pleased to enclose some of what you have 
requested. However, by law*, I’m unable to give you some of this information as it is 
exempt from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 
(FoIA). Disclosure would prejudice, or would be likely to prejudice, the commercial 
interests of the Council and/or its supplier(s). In order to come within the terms of the 
exemption it must be shown that: 
(1) The information in question is “commercial or industrial”; The Council is 
satisfied that the information to which the exemption has been applied contains 
commercial or industrial information. The requested information contains unique 
business model costs on our contractor’s commercial activity. 
Gloucestershire County Council Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG


(2) The information is subject to confidentiality provided by law; (In order to be 
subject to confidentiality provided by law the information must (a) have the 
necessary quality of confidence and (b) be imparted in circumstances importing an 
obligation of confidence); there are several questions to answer to ascertain whether 
this information is confidential: 
There is an inherent duty of confidentiality when information is submitted to councils 
in a contract. The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and their precursor required  
that where a contractor obtains information as part of a procurement process the 
Council should accede to reasonable requests from the contractor that information 
passed to the Council as part of the procurement process is treated as confidential. 
In order to ascertain whether the information has the necessary quality of confidence 
the Information Commissioner considers that it can be helpful to ask a number of 
questions in order to ascertain if the information has the necessary quality of 
confidence. These include: 
i) Is the information trivial? 
It has been determined that this information is not trivial. In this case it includes 
information (business model costs) which would enable competitors to use this 
information to their own commercial advantage, and to the disadvantage of the 
contractor. Elements within the information would disclose a package of information 
brought together using the skills and experience of the contractors over time, which 
would be advantageous to other businesses in the area and across the UK.
ii) Is the information already available by other means/has it passed into the public 
domain? 
The information withheld encompasses aspects that are unique to the contractor and 
as such are not available by other means and have not been passed into the public 
domain. 
(3) Such confidentiality is provided to protect “a legitimate economic 
interest”;
 the contract contains financial information provided 
by the contractor. The Council accepts that the legitimate economic interests 
of the contractor could be adversely affected by the disclosure of this 
information. Disclosure could provide information on our contractor’s methods 
of business which may be of advantage to its direct competitors, thereby 
negating its ability to develop a commercial advantage when tendering for 
other contracts. 
There is an agreement that the confidential information agreed in the contract 
would be confidential to both parties (in that each party agreed to hold the 
information in confidence and could not therefore disclose it as each would 
owe the other a duty of confidence to protect their respective economic 
interests). Therefore, the Council is able to consider its own economic 
interests in addition to those of the contractor. The Council feels that 
confidentiality is required in order to protect its position as purchaser. 
Disclosing this information would be likely to affect the ability to negotiate best 
value and to effectively procure services in the future. 
(4) The disclosure of the information would adversely affect such 
confidentiality. 
Detailed information on the financial model used by the contractors could be studied 
and adopted by competitors of the suppliers of the services. Disclosure would be 
likely to disadvantage the contractors’ ability to tender for other public or private 
Gloucestershire County Council Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG


commercial contracts if competitors to the methodology of the service use this 
information for their own benefits. Many elements of the information include details 
on commercially sensitive pricing systems developed by third parties.
To use this exemption the Council is required to undertake a public interest test. The 
matters which were considered in applying the public interest test are as follows: 
For release: 
• It is clearly in the public interest to disclose information about this contract, as 
this   will help further the understanding of and participation in public debate;
• Further the understanding of issues; 
• It will increase understanding of how council decisions affect the public; 
• Promoting accountability and transparency in terms of decision making; and 
• Promoting accountability and transparency in terms of spending. 
 
Against release: 

Disclosing it would be likely to affect the commercial or economic interest of 
our contractor; 

Disclosing it would be likely to give a commercial advantage to competitors of 
our contractor as they would have access to their business model costs which 
they would then be able to use to gain a commercial advantage when 
tendering against them; 
• Disclosing it would be likely to prejudice commercial interests in pursuit of a 
contract of a similar nature; 
• The likelihood of commercial damage being caused to the contractor through 
a disclosure of information it considers confidential; 
• The possibility that in disclosing this information the level of service to the 
council may be impaired; and 
• The possibility that the cost for obtaining services may increase through 
decreased competition for future contracts thereby creating detriment to the 
best interest of the community.  
It is vital that companies applying for contracts under tender give the council all the 
relevant  commercial  and  legal  information  it  asks  for,  because  that  information  will 
be  used  as  part  of  the  tender  process  to  decide  which  applicant  is  best  able  to 
successfully provide a service on the council’s behalf and whether the council should 
enter into a contract with them. The applicants would however expect the council to 
follow  this  established  principle  of  confidentiality  and,  if  it  were  thought  the  council 
would  routinely  disclose  commercially  sensitive  or  confidential  information,  anyone 
considering entering the tendering process would be reluctant to give the council the 
relevant information it would need to choose the company offering the best service. 
This  would  also  damage  the  quality  of  future  tenders,  as  any  person  considering 
tendering for business with the council would be discouraged from doing so if there 
were a perceived risk that the council would routinely disclose commercially sensitive 
or  confidential  information.  Compromising  the  tender  process  by  undermining  the 
established  principle  of  confidentiality  would  limit  the  council’s  future  ability  to 
negotiate  for  services,  which  would  be  prejudicial  to  the  effective  conduct  of  public 
affairs.   
Gloucestershire County Council Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG


It is considered that the greater public interest therefore lies in not providing the 
information at this time. In coming to that conclusion, the public interest in providing 
the information has been carefully weighed against any prejudice to the public 
interest that might arise from withholding the information; in all the circumstances of 
the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public 
interest in disclosing the information. 
(2) The name of the contractor or contractors working on this project prior to 
Beard, the reason they did not complete this contract, and a copy of any 
documentation relation to termination of any prior contract. 
Lakehouse Contracts Ltd worked on this project prior to Beard.  They did not 
complete the contract due to getting into financial difficulties and ultimately going into 
administration; the company has ceased trading.  Please find attached a notice of 
termination and a notice of default.
(3) The total amount spent on the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub building work 
Total spend to date: £3,435,780
(4) The total amount spent with Beard Construction on the Gloucestershire 
Heritage Hub building work 
Payments to Beard Construction to date: £637,409.65
(5) Copies of any correspondence between the Council and Beard concerning 
the press release issued on 9th September
.  
Please find attached a copy of the press release and accompanying 
correspondence. Please note that some of the information is personal data (mobile 
phone numbers and email addresses) as defined by the General Data Protection 
Regulations; it is information about someone else and, by law*, I’m unable to give 
this to you.
Release of this information to anyone other than the subject of the information would 
mean the council would be in breach of Principle 1, which states that personal data 
shall be processed (used) fairly and lawfully.  There are sometimes reasons why we 
can share personal information, such as those set out in Article 6; in this case none 
of the conditions in Article 6 have been met. This means that the section 40 
exemption of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA) is engaged. 
 
If you are unhappy with my response, you can complain or ask for a review of your 
request by writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response. The full 
procedure is on our website at http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/foi. This should be 
addressed to:
 
Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xx
 
We would like to hear your views on our service. If you’d like to tell us how we did, 
you can complete our feedback form online at 
http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/foifeedback
I will now close your request as of this date.
 
 
Gloucestershire County Council Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG



Yours sincerely 
Teresa Wilmshurst
IMS Manager (Requests)
Gloucestershire County Council Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester. GL1 2TG