Digital Region

James Burke made this Freedom of Information request to Yorkshire Forward

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 successful.

Dear Yorkshire Forward,

I would be grateful if you could provide copies of the business cases for Digital Region - http://www.digitalregion.co.uk

Yours faithfully,

James Burke

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Burke,

Thank you for your request for information disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, in which you requested information regarding Digital
Region.

I acknowledge receipt of your request received 16th August 2010 and advise
that I am dealing with it in accordance with the Act. Please quote the
above reference on all future correspondence regarding your request.

Yours sincerely

Rachel Mason

Corporate Information & Data Manager

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Dear Rachel Mason,

I would be grateful if you could prvide an update on this FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

James Burke

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Burke,

I write in response to your request for information disclosure under the
Freedom of Information Act in which you requested a copy of the business
case for Digital Region.

I confirm that Yorkshire Forward holds information within the scope of
your request. Yorkshire Forward holds two documents. The first is the Full
Business Plan for Yorkshire Forward Single Pot/European Region Development
Fund (Stage 3) which is the business case put to Yorkshire Forward's Board
to seek for approval for Yorkshire Forward's investment, a copy of which
is attached.

The second is the Industrial Development Advisory Board report, which is
the submission Yorkshire Forward made to the Department for Business
Innovation and Skills/Treasury for additional approval required for
Yorkshire Forward's investment due to the value of the project. We
consider some aspects of this document to be commercially sensitive, and
as such are currently consulting with third parties referred to in the
document to gain their views on disclosure. Once we hear back from the
third parties we will contact you within 20 working days.

I trust this information is helpful to you.

As this request has been logged as a request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act, Yorkshire Forward is obliged to offer you the
right to complain. If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled
your request, or if you are unhappy with our response, you can appeal via
our Complaints Procedure, a copy of which is attached. The Yorkshire
Forward Directorate that has been dealing with your request is Business.
If you are still dissatisfied after pursuing our Complaints Procedure,
then you may wish to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545700, fax: 01625 524510 or email
[1][email address] The Information Commissioner's website is:
[2]www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Rachel Mason
Corporate Information & Data Manager

Direct Line: 0113 3949677

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Dear Rachel Mason,

Many thanks for providing a copy of the Business Plan and for providing an update regarding the Industrial Development Advisory Board report. I look forward to hearing back from you with a redacted copy of this report where/if necessary.

Yours sincerely,

James Burke

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

Dear Mr. Burke,

I write to keep you up to date with progress on your FOI request and
apologise for the unusual and continued delay in responding fully to your
request for information. I hope to send the remaining outstanding
information, once completed, next week.

I apologise again for the delay.

Kind Regards

Rachel Mason
Corporate Information & Data Manager

Direct Line: 0113 3949677

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Dear Rachel Mason,

Thank you for the update.

Yours sincerely,

James Burke

Rachel Mason, Yorkshire Forward

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Burke,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Request concerning
Digital Region and apologise for the unusual delay in responding to you
fully. Please find attached a copy of the second document brought into the
scope of your request held by Yorkshire Forward, which is the Industrial
Development Advisory Board Report/Case Paper Yorkshire Forward submitted
to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills/Treasury to seek
additional approval required for Yorkshire Forward's investment due to the
value of the project.

Please be advised that we consider some aspects of this document to be
commercially sensitive and apply the Section 43 Commercial Interests
exemption - Information is exempt information if its disclosure under the
Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of
any person (including the public authority holding it); to redacted
(blocked out) information only.

The Digital Region IDAB Case Paper is marked Restricted - Commercial, as
it is considered to be commercially sensitive. However, having reviewed
the document we consider that disclosure of the document in redacted
format would not prejudice the commercial interests of Yorkshire Forward
or any third parties.

We consider that the full disclosure of the Industrial Development
Advisory Board Case Paper will affect the commercial model put in place
for Digital Region and allow private sector competitors access to
information, severely impacting the commercial business plan that supports
it.

Section 43 is a qualified exemption, and as such requires a public
interest test to be carried out. Having considered the public's interest
relating to this exemption we conclude that the damage to the commercial
interests of Yorkshire Forward and other public and private sector
partners would outweigh the public's interest at this time, because
disclosure would affect the viability of the project costing the public
purse millions of pounds already invested in the network and leave the UK
government liable to the clawback of EU funding again costing many
millions of pounds. It would also affect the key aim of the project to
provide Next Generation Broadband to the most disadvantaged areas of South
Yorkshire leaving thousands of households and businesses without provision
from the private sector.

I trust the information we have been able to provide is helpful to you.

As this request has been logged as a request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act, Yorkshire Forward is obliged to offer you the
right to complain. If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled
your request, or if you are unhappy with our response, you can appeal via
our Complaints Procedure, a copy of which is attached. The Yorkshire
Forward Directorate that has been dealing with your request is Business.
If you are still dissatisfied after pursuing our Complaints Procedure,
then you may wish to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545700, fax: 01625 524510 or email
[1][email address] The Information Commissioner's website is:
[2]www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Rachel Mason
Corporate Information & Data Manager

Direct Line: 0113 3949677

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