Consultancy procurements for professional services

Richard Samson made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council

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The request was successful.

Dear FOI Team,

I would be most grateful if you would provide me, under the Freedom of Information Act, details in respect to the contract below.

Building Surveying Services:
http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:...

The details we require are:
• Suppliers who applied for inclusion on each framework/contract and were successful & not successful at the PQQ & ITT stages
• Actual spend on this contract/framework (and any sub lots), from the start of the contract to the current date
• Start date & duration of framework
• Is there an extension clause in the framework(s)/contract(s) and, if so, the duration of the extension?
• Has a decision been made yet on whether the framework(s)/contract(s) are being either extended or renewed?
• Who is the senior officer (outside of procurement) responsible for this contract?

Thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely

Richard Samson

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Mr Samson,

Oxford City Council – Reference: 10106

Thank you for your email below. Your request was received on 10th May 2021 and you will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

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freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Samson,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 10106
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, I can respond to your Freedom of
Information Act 2000 request received on 10th May 2021 as follows:
 
Building Surveying Services:
 
[1]http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:...
 
The details we require are:
 
• Suppliers who applied for inclusion on each framework/contract and were
successful & not successful at the PQQ & ITT stages
- successful suppliers: Carter Jonas, Faithful and Gould, Ian Bridge,
Rider Levett Bucknall, Ridge & Partners, TMD Building Consultancy
 
 
- unsuccessful suppliers: Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
exempts information whose disclosure would, or would be likely to,
prejudice the commercial interests of any legal person (an individual, a
company, the public authority itself or any other legal entity). Please
see exemption below.
 
• Actual spend on this contract/framework (and any sub lots), from the
start of the contract to the current date
Under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council is
not required to respond to requests where the information sought is
reasonably accessible by other means.   Information in respect of spend
can be found on the Council’s website via the following link:
[2]https://www.oxford.gov.uk/site_search/re...
 
 
• Start date & duration of framework
- 09th July 2018 - 4 years
• Is there an extension clause in the framework(s)/contract(s) and, if so,
the duration of the extension?
No
• Has a decision been made yet on whether the framework(s)/contract(s) are
being either extended or renewed?
No
• Who is the senior officer (outside of procurement) responsible for this
contract?
Nick Brown-Property Services Manager.
 
 
 
Section 43 – Commercially sensitive information.
 

 1. 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).

 
Therefore, we have determined that the release of the information
submitted by the unsuccessful bidders  would likely prejudice the
commercial interests of both the Council and the companies involved.
 
This information is therefore exempt from disclosure by virtue of section
43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Commercial Interests.
 
Section 43 is a qualified exemption and the Council are obliged to apply
the public interest test.
 
Public Interest Test
 
Factors favouring disclosure:
Where public resources are being used, there is public interest in
accountability and justification. One of the underlying principles of the
Act is the need to be open and transparent and it can be argued that
disclosure of how other organisations would propose engaging with the
Council to deliver a service could support this.
 
Factors favouring non-disclosure:
The information within tenders is commercially sensitive and would be
useful to rivals within a competitive environment. Disclosure would harm
the commercial interests of the Council and its suppliers, as well as
undermining the professional relationship between suppliers and the
Council.
 
Likelihood of harm:
Disclosure of bids, winning or otherwise, would reveal information which
would be used by competitors in an effort to undermine the current
supplier.  Where a rival company used such information to their advantage
and in order to gain a contract over the current supplier this would
damage the commercial interests of the Council’s current supplier. Other
suppliers in similar procurement activities, which the Council carries out
regularly, would also be less willing to engage with the Council, leading
to less choice and higher costs to the Council. Any actionable breach of
confidence in response to the disclosure of commercially sensitive parts
of a bid may lead to costly civil action being taken against the Council
which is clearly not the best use of public funds.
 
Balance test:
The disclosure of information under the FOIA, and therefore into the
public domain, would harm the commercial interests of both the Council and
its suppliers and those making submissions. This would be more costly to
the Council both in terms of financial costs relating to any possible
civil proceedings and in terms of reputation than any future savings that
could be made by disclosing the information. Any unnecessary additional
strain that this would cause to the public purse would not be in the
public interest.
 
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer, Oxford
City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS.  After
the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you may ask
the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may do this
by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 

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