Oxford Direct Services outsourced contracts

Waiting for an internal review by Oxford City Council of their handling of this request.

Cathy Monachello

Dear Oxford City Council,

1. How many contracts has Oxford Direct Services awarded to Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services over the last 5 years?

2. What was the total cost of each contract awarded to Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services?

3. For each contract awarded to Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services, how many other companies submitted tenders for the contract? Please provide the names of the companies that submitted the unsuccessful bids.

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Monachello

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Monachello,

Oxford City Council – Reference: 10028

Thank you for your email below. Your request was received on 12th April 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

Dear Ms Monachello,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 10028
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, I can respond to your Freedom of
Information Act 2000 request received on 12th April 2021 as follows:
 
1. How many contracts has Oxford Direct Services awarded to Trident
Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services over the last 5 years?
Since April 2018, Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie Property services
been awarded a range of cyclical maintenance work on Oxford City Council
properties. This work is broken down into a number of small orders.
 
2. What was the total cost of each contract awarded to Trident
Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services?
The value of the work given to each subcontractor in each year is as
follows:
 
Mitie Property Services
2018/19 £13,003        2019/20 £146,070        2020/21 £243,924
 
Trident Construction Ltd
2020/21 £21,155
 
3. For each contract awarded to  Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie
Property Services, how many other companies submitted tenders for the
contract? Please provide the names of the companies that submitted the
unsuccessful bids.
 
Up to four sub-contractors have been invited to submit a price for each
job. Quotes are sought and work is awarded to the sub-contractor in
accordance with the ODS Procurement Policy. The names of unsuccessful
sub-contractors for the work awarded to the sub-contractors above is not
being provided in this response.
 
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).

 
Under s.1 (1) (a) of the FOIA I can confirm that the Council does hold the
information you have requested on the unsuccessful sub-contractors details
 
The Council has withheld information under S43 of the FOIA, namely,  the
names of the unsuccessful sub-contractors details  as this is considered
to be commercially sensitive as to release this information  would be
likely to prejudice the commercial interests of a third party or the
council.
 
Public Interest test
 
Section 43 of FOIA is a qualified exemption and I have therefore applied
the public interest test under section 2(2)(b) FOIA i.e. notwithstanding
this exemption, is there a greater public interest in providing the
information or in maintaining the exemption?
In applying the public interest test I have considered the Awareness
Guidance No. 5 and the Annexe to the Guidance issued by the Information
Commissioner. When the public interest test is met the exemption
recognises this by protecting the Council’s right to retain commercially
sensitive information. In this instance,it is my view that the public
interest is weighted in favour of maintaining the exemption as the
information is confidential and commercially sensitive to the companies
concerned. While it is considered that there will always be a public
interest in transparency and accountability, it is felt that there is a
strong possibility that the release of the information about companies 
could cause economic harm to those companies.  Therefore, the public
interest in maintaining the exemption is greater than the public interest
in releasing the information and the information is exempt from disclosure
under Section 43 of the Act.
 
For your information, this email constitutes a Refusal Notice under
section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and an exemption under
section 43(2) the Act is being applied.
 
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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Cathy Monachello

Dear Oxford City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Oxford City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Oxford Direct Services outsourced contracts'.

I believe the names of the contractors that submitted tenders for jobs awarded to Trident Construction Ltd and Mitie Property Services are in the public interest.

Management at Oxford Direct Services are former employees of Mitie Property Services and in order for openness I believe that the names of the companies that submitted tenders should be publicly available so as to reassure the public that contracts are awarded on merit and not cronyism.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o...

Yours faithfully,

Cathy Monachello