Details of winning tenders

The request was refused by Lancashire County Council.

Dear Lancashire County Council,

Please could you provide the following:

Details of which company was awarded the contract for Trinity CE/Methodist Cleaning Contract - RFQ 11852314 (

A copy of the winning submission for Trinity CE/Methodist Cleaning Contract - RFQ 11852314 (

A copy of the losing submission for Trinity CE/Methodist Cleaning Contract - RFQ 11852314 (

Please note I do not wish to see any commercially sensitive information or details of costing

Yours faithfully,


Freedom of Information, Lancashire County Council



Dear Mr Kewin,


Request for information


We are writing to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 21/11/17, in
which you request the disclosure of information.


We can confirm that your enquiry will now be assigned to an officer who
will commence a search for the information you require and they will
respond in due course. The deadline date for issuing you with full
response is 20/12/17. We will endeavour to provide a response well in
advance of this date, however, should we envisage any delays, or require
more details from you, we will contact you immediately.


If you have any queries about the above, please do not hesitate to contact
us, quoting ref. 936.1667


Yours sincerely


Information Governance Team

Legal and Democratic Service

Lancashire County Council

PO Box 78

County Hall


[1][email address]



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Freedom of Information, Lancashire County Council

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000


Dear Mr Kevin,


Further to your email of 21 November, we are now in a position to respond
to your enquiry regarding the Trinity CE/Methodist cleaning contract. We
can confirm that the company who's tender submission was successful was –


Premiserv, 386-388 Palatine Road, Manchester M22 4FZ and Brooklands Court,
Tunstall Road, Leeds LS11 5HL


In respect of your request for both the winning and losing submissions,
the information you are seeking is exempt from disclosure by virtue of
section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act.  This is because disclosure
of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of the County Council and/or other organisations with which we
conduct business, and may include disclosure of trade secrets.


The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) guidance on the application of
s43 states that "a commercial interest relates to a person's ability to
participate competitively in a commercial activity, i.e. the purchase and
sale of goods and services".  A tendering process is clearly a commercial
activity, given that it is a competitive process by which the County
Council intends to select a provider to deliver a service.


Disclosure of bids received would be likely to prejudice the commercial
interests of the County Council.  The way that a tenderer chooses to
answer tender criteria and the questions that are posed by the County
Council is an important means by which the County Council is able to
distinguish between and evaluate the commercial and technical merits of
each submission in order to determine the most advantageous bid.  The
competitiveness of this process and ability of the County Council to
obtain best value would be prejudiced if tenderers were able to see
previous bids submitted.  Similarly, if prospective tenderers were able to
view bid documents previously submitted, this could inhibit competitive
tendering and consequently reduce the number of bidders willing to
participate in the process; this would clearly not be in the commercial
interests of the County Council.


Additionally, if information about a previous successful bid were
disclosed and thus made available to that bidder's competitors it is
likely that that tenderer would be placed at a commercial disadvantage in


In considering the public interest test, we acknowledge that there is a
general public interest in accountability and transparency in relation to
the activities of public authorities. This is particularly the case where
the public body is obtaining services from third parties in an effort to
secure the best value for money.  Disclosure would, for example, show
unsuccessful bidders the reason their tender was not selected.  However,
unsuccessful bidders are given useful feedback as to the reasons for the
County Council's decision which assuages this argument to a large degree.


There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that the County Council
is able to obtain best value for money via a truly competitive tendering
process.  This is especially the case at the current time, when local
authorities are facing significant financial pressure.  Furthermore, there
is a strong public interest in ensuring that the commercial interests of
third party organisations are not prejudiced by virtue of disclosure of
information (which may include trade secrets) that could be used by
competitors to gain an unfair advantage.  It is essential that potential
tenderers are not discouraged from bidding for public contracts by a
justified fear that their commercially confidential information will be
released publicly and made available to their competitors.  Any such
discouragement may adversely affect the quality of tenders received which
in turn could pose a risk to the discharge of the services awarded to the
eventual successful tenderer.


In light of the above we have concluded that the public interest favours
maintaining the exemption and therefore the request is refused under
section 43 of the Act.


Please note that this refusal is based upon the decision of the first-tier
Information Rights Tribunal, reference EA/2015/0021.  This ruling upheld
the earlier decision of the ICO (ref. FS50554846) and was influenced by a
previous Tribunal decision of the same nature (ref. EA/2011/0288).  These
decisions confirmed that submissions received by organisations bidding for
tenders were exempt under section 43(2) of the Act for the reasons set out


Copies of these decisions can be found by clicking on the following URLs:


Information Rights Tribunal:



In the event that you wish to complain about the manner in which your
enquiry has been handled, or want to request a review of a decision to
withhold information, you should write in the first instance to the
Information Governance Manager, Information Governance Team, Lancashire
County Council, PO Box 78, County Hall, Preston PR1 8XJ, or email
[3][Lancashire County Council request email]. If, after this stage, you
remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer the matter to the
Information Commissioner, whose contact details are as follows:


The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone:      0303 123 1113

Website:          [4]


If you have any queries regarding our response, or you require any
additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Yours sincerely,


Information Governance Team

Legal and Democratic Service

Lancashire County Council

[5][Lancashire County Council request email]


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