Contract and costs of Landmark Information Group

Julian Todd made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

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

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Sir or Madam,

In around 2006 the DCLG entered into a contract with Landmark Information Group for maintenance of the database of Energy Performance Certificates, Display Energy Certificates and Energy Assessors.[1][2]

Please may I have:

* copies of all contracts and service agreements between the DCLG and Landmark Information Group relating to these databases

* detailed costs to the government for these contracts

* the revenue raised by the Landmark from fees made possible by this government concession

I am in particular seeking details of any added costs for serving this contract caused by changes due to SI1900(2009).[3]

[1] http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=...

[2] http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=...

[3] http://www.uk-legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si...

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Please find attached a letter, which acknowledges receipt of your FOI
request.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Communities & Local Government
5/H9, Eland House
Bressenden Place
Victoria
London SW1E 5DU

T: 0303 444 1836
E: [email address]

<<021209 F0003489 Mr J Todd.pdf>> <<091013 - IR Leaflet.pdf>>

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Please see the attached letter in response to your FOI request, together
with a copy of the CLG Internal Review leaflet.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Communities & Local Government
5/H9, Eland House
Bressenden Place
Victoria
London SW1E 5DU

T: 0303 444 1836
E: [email address]

<<021231 F0003489 Mr J Todd.pdf>> <<091013 - IR Leaflet.pdf>>

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Please find attached my letter relating to above FOI request.

I also attach a copy of the CLG Internal Review Guidance.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Communities & Local Government
5/H9, Eland House
Bressenden Place
Victoria
London SW1E 5DU

T: 0303 444 1836
E: [email address]
<<100126 F0003489 Mr J Todd.pdf>> <<091013 - IR Leaflet.pdf>>

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Phil Beschizza,

Ref F0003489

Thank you for your response to my FOI request for the contracts and costs with the Landmark Information Group citing what appears to be a thoroughly standard Section 43 (Commercial interests) exemption against the disclosure of the contract.

You included three points in favour of the case:

1) The contracts, and service agreements with Landmark are extensive and do contain commercially sensitive information.

2) Disclosure of Landmark's contracts and service agreements would place them at a disadvantage in any subsequent bidding process when the EPC database operating contract came up for renewal.

3) Potentially, there are also some details which need to be excluded because of system security issues.

The guidelines for the Act require you to disclose as much of the information as possible. The fact that a document contains exempt information does not preclude disclosure of the document with redactions. This clearly applies to points (1) and (3).

As to point (2), the commercial interest exemption does not extend to protecting the unfair commercial advantages that Landmark has as a result of being party to the details of what became the successful bid. The point therefore argues for disclosure of this information so that there is a level playing field among all contractors when the contract is up for renewal.

Finally, I draw your attention to a statement made by the current information commissioner:

"It should be absolutely routine that details of contracts, value of contracts, expenses, minutes of top-level meetings just should be up there on departmental websites."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/2...

Please pass this message on to the person who handles internal reviews in the Department for Communities and Local Government

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

CLG-FOIAdvice, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Dear Mr Todd

Thank you for your email 26th January 2010 in which you seek a review of the response provided by Communities and Local Government to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The review will be considered under the Department's internal review procedures. A full re-evaluation of your request will be undertaken.

I will today allocate this request to an Internal Review Officer and you should receive a reply by 23rd February 2010.

FOI Advice Team
Knowledge Management Division
Zone 2/A3, Eland House
0303 444 3973

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Bill Feinstein, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

1 Attachment

<<FO003489 Internal Review (3).doc>>

Dear Mr Todd

Please find attached a response to your e-mail of 26 January requesting an
internal review of your FOI request relating to contracts between DCLG and
the Landmark Information Group.

Bill Feinstein

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Bill Feinstein,

Thank you for reviewing my FOI request concerning the contracts with the Landmark Information Group.

I look forward to the imminent disclosure of these contracts following this internal review of this "properly handled" request.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Julian Todd left an annotation ()

No, it doesn't make sense!

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Following Mr Feinstein's email of 19 February, please find attached
redacted versions of the Landmark Domestic & Non-Domestic Registers
contracts.

<<redacted CLG EPC - Service Agreement Final - FOI IR request.pdf>>
<<redacted CLG HCRR Contract - FOI IR request.pdf>>

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Communities & Local Government
5/H9, Eland House
T: 0303 444 1836

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Dear Phil Beschizza,

Thank you for sending me copies of the two contracts with Landmark Information Group for managing the energy certificates in your email of 7 April.

Unfortunately there appears to have been a number of redactions, particularly of any and all financial information. I don't know why this could be, since Clause 31 in each contract states quite clearly:

"The Authority shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion whether any Information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of FOIA or the Environmental Information Regulations."

In addition, Clause 31 does not take the opportunity to suggest that any of these numbers or lists (in the same document) should be withheld from disclosure.

Can you either release the contracts in full, or explain and justify each redaction that has been made in terms of the exemptions?

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am out of the office and will reply to your email when I return.

If your email requires an urgent reply please contact;

[email address]
[email address]
[email address]

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI request, together with a copy of the FOI letter I sent to you on 26 January 2010.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Communities & Local Government
5/H9, Eland House
T: 0303 444 1836

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Julian Todd left an annotation ()

Complaint sent to ICO. Has been picked up today.

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Landmark contracts 17032011.zip

    6.9M Download

Dear Mr Todd,

Please find attached copies of the Landmark contracts disclosing some of
the information which had previously been redacted. DCLG is awaiting the
outcome of the ICO deliberations on whether to disclose the information
which remains redacted in the Landmark contracts.

<<Landmark contracts (17032011).zip>>
Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Department for Communities and Local Government
Zone 5/H9 | Eland House | Bressenden Place
Victoria | London | SW1E 5DU

T: 0303 444 1836
F: 0303 444 3313
E: [1][email address]

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Phil Beschizza,

Thank you for updating me as to the progress of my request for the Landmark information contracts.

I have verified that many of the wholly non-sensitive financial figures (relating to matters such as quantities of insurance coverage) as well as references to further documents[1] in the contracts have finally been disclosed.

What remains redacted in the March 2008 contract includes Annex 1 to Schedule 6 (Summary - Baseline financial model)[2] and Annex to Schedule 19 (Termination for convenience caps)[3].

I look forward to reading a justification for these redactions which I expect conceals an outline of the commercial benefits that have been specifically granted to this private company.

[1] http://scraperwiki.com/cropper/u/page_13...

[2] http://scraperwiki.com/cropper/u/page_92...

[3] http://scraperwiki.com/cropper/u/page_14...

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Thank you for your e-mail, I am out of the office.

I will respond to your email on my return.

If you require an urgent reply could you please send your email to Raphael
Smith: [email address]

Your message has not been forwarded.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Phil Beschizza, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Dear Mr Todd,

Thank you for your email.

Following your request for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to review this FOI, you will be notified separately by the ICO of their decision into whether the remaining redacted information can be disclosed.

I have not been notified of the ICO's decision and at this stage I have only been asked by the ICO to disclose some of the information which previously had been redacted.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Beschizza
Home Buying, Selling &
Energy Performance
Zone 5/H9, Eland House

T: 0303 444 1836
F: 0303 444 3313
E: [email address]

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Julian Todd left an annotation ()

The Decision Notice FS50309543 has been published on the ICO website.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

The additional information is in Paragraph 41 where DCLG explains they can't release any information about the system because:

d) It would give away their commercially valuable 'zero data loss' capability.

c) It would help a skilled computer hacker to break the system.

http://scraperwiki.com/cropper/u/page_9/...

This should therefore be filed under the Security by obscurity defence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_th...

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