Communication regarding Dreamland between April 2nd 2015 and June 20th 2015.

Louise Oldfield made this Freedom of Information request to The National Lottery Heritage Fund

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Heritage Lottery Fund,

I'm writing for all communication (emails, meeting minutes,
contracts, briefings) between Heritage Lottery Fund, Thanet
District Council, Sands Heritage Ltd, and the Dreamland Trust
regarding Dreamland. Margate between April 2015 and June 20th 2015.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Oldfield

Freedom Of Information, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Dear Louise

Thank you for your request for information.

We will respond in due course.

All the best

FOI team.

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Freedom Of Information, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

2 Attachments

Dear Louise

Please find our response and accompanying documents attached. Item 'T6' will follow in a separate email due to its size. If it doesn’t upload correctly can you let me know and we will resend it to a different email address.

Many thanks

FOI team

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Louise Oldfield

Dear Heritage Lottery Fund,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Heritage Lottery Fund's handling of my FOI request 'Communication regarding Dreamland between April 2nd 2015 and June 20th 2015.'.

I do not believe the exemptions from sections 40(3), 41 and 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have been appropriately applied and the public interest of what is a £30m publicly funded project.

Here is the relevant ICO guidance on such exemptions.

Section 43 is a qualified exemption. That is, it is subject to the public interest test which is set out in section 2 of the Act. Where a public authority is satisfied that the information requested is a trade secret or that its release would prejudice someone’s commercial interests, it can only refuse to provide the information if it is satisfied that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. The bias is in favour of disclosure and there will be occasions where information is released even though it is a trade secret or is likely to prejudice someone’s commercial interest.

The public interest test is in Awareness Guidance No 3. Generally speaking, the public interest is served where access to the information would; • further the understanding of, and participation in the debate of issues of the day; • facilitate the accountability and transparency of public authorities for decisions taken by them; • facilitate accountability and transparency in the spending of public money; • allow individuals to understand decisions made by public authorities affecting their lives and, in some cases, assist individuals in challenging those decisions.

Accountability for the spending of public money Clearly there is a public interest in the scrutiny of how public money is spent. This will be equally true whether a public authority is purchasing goods or services or responsible for awarding grants to private sector companies. Transparency of decisions on how public funds are spent will also generate confidence in the integrity of the procedures involved. Where a public authority is purchasing goods or services there is a public interest in ensuring it gets value for money. This is particularly relevant at a time when there is a public debate around the increasing role private companies have in delivering public services.

Competition issues There is a public interest in ensuring that companies are able to compete fairly. There is also a public interest in ensuring that there is competition for public sector contracts.

Public authorities should be wary of accepting arguments that the potential for commercial information to be released would reduce the number of companies willing to do business with the public sector, leading to reduced competition and increased costs. In practice, many companies may be prepared to accept greater public access to information about their business as a cost of doing business with the public sector. And the overall value of public sector contracts is a great incentive to tender for them. Increasing access to information about the tendering process may in fact encourage more potential suppliers to enter the market. A better understanding of the process, the award criteria, knowledge of how successful bids have been put together, could also lead to improved bids being submitted in the future. This will lead to more competition and so decrease costs to the public authority. Indeed where a contract comes up for renewal, limiting this kind of information may well favour the current contractor and reduce competition.

Timing Very often, in a commercial environment, the timing of the disclosure will be of critical importance. The application of any exemption has to be considered in the circumstances that exist at the time the request is made. Circumstances will change over time. Information submitted during a tendering process is more likely to be commercially sensitive whilst the tendering process is ongoing compared to once the contract has been awarded. Information refused at one point in time does not mean that the information can be permanently withheld. Market conditions will change and some information, such as those relating to costs, may very quickly become out of date.

This request has been made after the tender process has been completed.

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

Yours faithfully,

Louise Oldfield

Freedom Of Information, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Dear Louise

We are currently progressing your request for an internal review.

Many thanks

FOI team

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Freedom Of Information, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

3 Attachments

Dear Louise Oldfield

Please see the attached internal review response from HLF Chief Executive,
Carole Souter

Best wishes

FOI team

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