Contracst for arranging failed asylum seeker deportation flights

David Williams made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Home Office.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I refer you to the following excerpt from an article in the Independent on 8th October 2007:

"...a Home Office spokesman said the Borders and Immigration Agency only contracted with airlines willing to operate removal flights. He added: 'The agency uses agents/brokers to arrange both charter and scheduled removals. Airline captains have the right to refuse carriage of a passenger and will do so if they feel appropriate for security or commercial reasons.'"

I would be grateful if you could answer the following related questions:

1. Who are the agents/brokers referred to above?
2. What is the financial value of the contracts with these agents/brokers?

Yours faithfully,

David Williams

Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), Home Office

Dear David Williams

Thank you for your recent e-mail. Your request is being dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we will respond

Kind Regards


FOI Team

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Stratton Sid, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Williams

Please find attached the response to your FOI request dated 1 November



<<FOI 10532 flight brokers.doc>>

Sid Stratton

United Kingdom Border Agency

Briefing and Correspondence Team

Immigration Group

8th Floor, Green Park House, Wellesley Rd, CR0 2AJ

Tel: 020 8760 2031

Fax:020 8760 2929

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Heather Brooke left an annotation ()

This refusal is rubbish. I've obtained all sorts of contracts including the IDENT1 police fingerprint database system contracted out to US company Northrop Grumman.There can't be much more sensitive contracts than that.

The argument put forward by the Home office has been routinely rejected in Information Tribunal rulings so don't be discouraged. There is a clear public interest in disclosing the amount of public funds spent by public bodies contracting out their services.

Also, you may want to add in all letters for such contractual information the following clause:

Many public authorities release their contracts with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public’s interest. The public have an interest in knowing the terms of contracts awarded by public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:
· When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
· All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed.
· The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

Hope that helps.
Heather Brooke

The Squirrel left an annotation ()

hi. the Broker used for all of these flights is Air Partner Plc based in Crawley