This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Confidentiality agreements'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3rd Floor 
 
55 Victoria Street 
 
London SW1H 0EU 
Alex Skene 
Tel: 020 7944 4908 
Via: [FOI #61655 email] 
 
 
 
09 March 2011 
 
 
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 
 
FOI REQUEST FOI10-139 
 
Dear Mr Skene, 
 
I am writing regarding your request for information, which was received on 4 
February 2011. In your request you asked for the following information: 
 
  Please could you send me: 
      
     1) specimen copies of the confidentiality agreements you have asked 
     your partners and suppliers to sign. Please could you include any 
     different versions (eg to cover keeping different types of 
     information confidential), or if the agreement is a schedule to a 
     wider contract, please could I also have copies of these. 
      
     2) a list of who those parties who have signed confidentiality 
     agreements with yourselves 
 
I advise that your question was considered under the terms of the Environmental 
Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.  
 
Regarding your question 1 above, I advise that we do hold this information.  
Please find attached (Att.1) HS2 Ltd Confidentiality Agreement (CA) that all 
suppliers, including temporary staff and contractors, are expected to sign.  
 
The terms of the CA was revised in November 2009, please see Att. 2. 
 
There was a further revision of the CA in May 2010, please see Att. 3.  
 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 
 
 
HS2 Ltd’s standard contract terms and conditions also contain some clauses 
relating to information. These are as follows: 
 
12            OFFICIAL SECRETS ACTS 
 
The Contractor shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that all his employees 
and any Sub contractor employed by him in connection with this Contract are 
aware of the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989, and understand that these Acts 
may apply to them, to the extent that they are in receipt of official information 
during and after performance of any Services under or in connection with this 
Contract.  
 
 
13            DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION  
 
13.1         The Contractor acknowledges that HS2 may receive requests for 
information relating to this Contract (“disclosure requests”) pursuant to the 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”), the Environmental Information 
Regulations 2004 (“the EIRs”) or otherwise. 
 
13.2         The Contractor further acknowledges that HS2 may be obliged (subject 
to the application of any relevant exemption(s) and, where applicable, the public 
interest test) to disclose information pursuant to such a request. Where HS2 
consults the Contractor in accordance with section IV (consultation with third 
parties) of the Code of Practice  issued under section 45 of the FOI Act (or, as 
the case may be, any Code of Practice issued under powers contained in the 
EIRs), the Contractor hereby agrees to respond to any such consultation 
promptly and within any deadline set by HS2 and acknowledges that it is for HS2 
to determine whether or not such information should be disclosed. 
 
13.3         Subject to Conditions 13.4 and 13.5 below, the Contractor shall not 
disclose to any third party, publish, disseminate, or use other than for the 
purposes of this Contract: 
 
(a)           any information relating to this Contract; or  
 
(b)           any other information that has come into his possession during or as a 
result of his performance of this Contract relating to the business, affairs, 
properties, assets, operations, practices, policies, developments, trade secrets or 
know-how, of HS2, its personnel, customers and suppliers  
 
without the prior written consent of HS2, which shall not be unreasonably 
withheld.  
 

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 

 
 
13.4         Condition 13.3 above shall not apply to any information which: 
 
(a)           is or becomes public knowledge (otherwise than by breach of this 
Contract);  
 
(b)           is lawfully in the possession of the Contractor, without restriction as to 
its disclosure, before he receives it from HS2; or 
 
(c)           is received by the Contractor from a third party who lawfully acquired it 
and who is under no obligation restricting its disclosure. 
 
13.5         Condition 13.3 above shall not prevent the Contractor from disclosing, 
without HS2’s consent, any information: 
 
(a)           which is required to be disclosed by law or by any professional or 
regulatory obligation, provided that prior to disclosure the Contractor consults  
HS2 and takes full account of HS2’s views about whether (and, if so, the extent 
to which) the information should be disclosed; 
 
(b)           to such persons and to such extent as may be necessary for the 
performance of this Contract; 
 
(c)           for the purpose of complying with his obligations under Condition 24 of 
this Contract. 
 
 
13.6  The Contractor shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the observance 

of the provisions of Conditions 13.3 to 13.5 inclusive above by all his 
employees, office holders, workers and Sub-contractors. 

 
 
 
Permanent members of staff also have the following written in their employment 
contract, which they are expected to sign: 
 
18.  
Confidentiality 
 
18.1   You must not disclose information of a confidential nature relating to the 

Company, its shareholder(s) and funder(s) or its client(s), either during or 
after your employment except in the proper course of your employment or 
as required by law. 

 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 

 
 
18.2   Any documents or property which belong to the Company or which contain 

any confidential information must not be removed from the Company’s 
premises at any time without proper authorisation, and must be returned 
to the Company upon request and, in any event, upon the termination of 
your employment. 

 
18.3   If requested by the Company, all confidential information, other documents 

and property which contains or refers to any confidential information, and 
which are in your possession or under your control, must be deleted or 
destroyed. 

 
 
Regarding your question 2 above, I advise that we do hold this information. 
Please see Att. 3 for a list of all our suppliers and contractors for 2010-11. The 
list contains suppliers where HS2 Ltd spent £25k or over, with reference to the 
guidance, on public bodies declaring suppliers, found via: 
 
http://data.gov.uk/dataset/financial-transactions-data-dft 
 
 
In addition, please note that in reliance on Regulation 13, which relates to 
Personal Data, of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), names 
of staff and individuals who have not consented to releasing their names have 
been withheld. 
 
The information is environmental information as defined by regulation 2(1)(c) of 
the EIR. Annex 1 to this letter sets out regulation 2(1) and regulation 13, in full. 
 
Reliance on the exception in regulation 13 is subject to the public interest test. 
This means that HS2 Ltd has to consider whether the public interest in 
maintaining the exception (and not disclosing all or any part of the information) 
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.    
 
In determining the public interest, HS2 Ltd evaluated the impact of not releasing 
the information (including its likelihood and magnitude) against the need for 
public bodies to exercise their functions in a visible way.  In this case, it is clear 
that releasing individuals’ names without their consent is in breach of the Data 
Protection Act. Annex 2 sets out the public interest test in full. 
 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request or with the 
decisions made in relation to your request, you may complain in writing to HS2 
Ltd at the above address. Please also see attached details of HS2 Ltd’s 
complaints procedure and your right to complain to the Information 
Commissioner. 
 
Please remember to quote the following reference number, FOI10-139, in any 
future communication relating to this request for information only. 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
 
 
Sarita Raval 
Manager, Freedom of Information 
HS2 Ltd 
[email address] 
 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 
 
 
Your right to complain to HS2 Ltd and the Information Commissioner 
 
You have the right to complain to HS2 within two calendar months of the date of 
this letter about the way in which your request for information was handled 
and/or about the decision not to disclose all or part of the information requested. 
 
Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date by 
which to expect a response. Initially your complaint will be re-considered by the 
official who dealt with your request for information. If, after careful consideration, 
that official decides that his/her decision was correct, your complaint will 
automatically be referred to a senior independent official who will conduct a 
further review. You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint and if a 
decision is taken to disclose information originally withheld this will be done as 
soon as possible.  
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right 
to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information 
Commissioner can be contacted at: 
  
 Information Commissioner’s Office  
 Wycliffe House  
 Water Lane 
 Wilmslow 
 Cheshire 
 SK9 5AF 
  
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ANNEX 1: Environmental Information Regulations 2004 
Part I – Interpretation 
2(1) In these Regulations – 
"environmental information" has the same meaning as in Article 2(1) of the 
Directive, namely any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any 
other material form on -  
 
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, 
water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and 
marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically 
modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements; 
 
(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including 
radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the 
environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred 
to in (a); 
 
(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, 
legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities 
affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a) and 
(b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements; 
 
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation; 
 
(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the 
framework of the measures and activities referred to in (c); and 
 
(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food 
chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures 
inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the 
environment referred to in (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters 
referred to in (b) and (c); 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 

 
Personal data 
13.—(1) To the extent that the information requested includes personal data of 
which the applicant is not the data subject and as respects which either the first 
or second condition below is satisfied, a public authority shall not disclose the 
personal data. 
(2) The first condition is— 
(a) in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of 
the definition of “data” in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, that the 
disclosure of the information to a member of the public otherwise than under 
these Regulations would contravene— 
(i) any of the data protection principles; or 
(ii) section 10 of that Act (right to prevent processing likely to cause 
damage or distress) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public 
interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest 
in disclosing it; and 
(b) in any other case, that the disclosure of the information to a member of the 
public otherwise than under these Regulations would contravene any of the 
data protection principles if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of the Data 
Protection Act 1998(1) (which relate to manual data held by public authorities) 
were disregarded. 
(3) The second condition is that by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the Data 
Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section 7(1) of that Act and, 
in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in not disclosing the 
information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. 
(4) In determining whether anything done before 24th October 2007 would 
contravene any of the data protection principles, the exemptions in Part III of 
Schedule 8 to the Data Protection Act 1998 shall be disregarded. 
(5) For the purposes of this regulation a public authority may respond to a 
request by neither confirming nor denying whether such information exists and is 
held by the public authority, whether or not it holds such information, to the extent 
that— 
 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

(a) the giving to a member of the public of the confirmation or denial would 
contravene any of the data protection principles or section 10 of the Data 
Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of that 
Act were disregarded; or 
(b) by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the Data Protection Act 1998, the 
information is exempt from section 7(1)(a) of that Act. 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU 


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
ANNEX 2: HS2 Ltd Public Interest Test 
 

 
 
Date: 
28 February 2011 
 
EIR Exception Regulation 13: Personal Data 
 

 
 
 
Factors supporting disclosure 
Factors supporting non-disclosure 
 
1)  Disclosure of information at this 
1)  General public interest in the 
stage would enable individuals to 
disclosure of information to ensure 
be identified and HS2 Ltd could 
transparency and visibility of public 
reasonably be seen as breaching 
bodies being held to account;  
Data Protection rights of those 
 
individuals; 
 
 
 
2)  In addition it is likely to be 
damaging HS2 Ltd’s reputation, 
thereby bringing into question the 
integrity of the organisation and it’s 
work – which may impact on what 
we are expected to deliver, e.g. 
public consultation. 
 
 
Conclusion: 
Whilst there are strong public interest considerations in releasing the information 
requested, however the factors for non-disclosure outweigh them. In that there would 
be a clear breach of the Data Protection laws, where releasing the information could 
also bring into question HS2 Ltd’s reputation and integrity, making it difficult to deliver 
what we have been asked. 
 
In light of the above, the decision to withhold the information is upheld.  
 
 
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, registered in England. 
Registration number 06791686. Registered office 55 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0EU