Project ISAAC Winning Tender

Richard Greenwood made this Freedom of Information request to Cabinet Office

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The request was partially successful.

Richard Greenwood

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please can you provide me with a copy of the winning tender from the Project ISAAC procurement for a shared desktop service. I believe it was submitted to you by Fujitsu.

I would like to point out to you (in case you were not aware) the Ministry of Justice Working Assumptions - Procurement Annex A published on 20 November 2008, specifically page 5 which says that Tender Information and Information on the Supplier's Approach to the Work should "generally be disclosed" except for information agreed as "trade secret".

I am aware that the tender and the ensuing contract had a schedule in it where the service provider listed any information which they considered to be commercially sensitive and therefore potentially exempt from disclosure. In order to allow you to respond quickly, I confirm my request specifically excludes any information referenced in that schedule.

As the service provider was specifically required to list any commercially sensitive material in this schedule, by implication any and all other parts of the tender are not considered by the service provider to be commercially sensitive, and as a result it would be patently wrong for you to refuse this request under a section 43 exemption.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Greenwood

Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE: FOI268696

Dear Mr Greenwood,

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received on
21/09/2009 and is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Cabinet Office
E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

The Cabinet Office computer systems may be monitored and communications
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and for other lawful purposes.

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Richard Greenwood

Dear Sir or Madam,

By Law you are required to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests within 20 working days. That timespan ran out yesterday.

Please can you provide me with the information I requested without further delay. Failure to do so will result in me having to request an Internal Review and, if necessary, referral to the Information Commissioner.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Greenwood

Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Greenwood

An extension letter is enclosed

Many thanks

Felicity Pickering

The Cabinet Office computer systems may be monitored and communications
carried on them recorded to secure the effective operation of the system
and for other lawful purposes.

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

Cabinet Office

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Greenwood

Please find attached our full response to your request and a compressed set of the files contained within the winning tender.

Best Wishes

Felicity Pickering

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Richard Greenwood

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Project ISAAC Winning Tender'.

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

Whilst I am generally happy that a significant part of the tender has been released, I am concerned that your supplier Fujitsu appears to have decided on what information can be released rather than the Cabinet Office.

Within the zip file, you have kindly included a letter from Fujitsu which seems to indicate that the day the request was received, it was forwarded to Chris Drew at Fujitsu for them to deal with. I should be most grateful for your comments on why you felt it appropriate for Fujitsu to do the redaction of the document on your behalf. Surely it should be the Cabinet Office who reviews the tender document to decide whether any information is exempt from release rather than the supplier - please can you indicate where, within the Freedom of Information Act, there is provision for a supplier to decide on redactions?

I note from Fujitsu's response of 9 October that they have sent you an emailed copy of a "suggested" redacted version of the documents. This seems to suggest that rather than starting from the Cabinet Office's versions of these documents, you have started from the supplier's versions. Whilst these may be the same, this does introduce the possibility that Fujitsu has tampered with the information before sending it to you (indeed, I believe they have removed a number of documents from the set, as indicated by the numbering of the schedules).

I particularly note Fujitsu's comments in their "suggested response" which they use to justify redacting considerable parts of the documents. Whilst you have not taken up their kind suggestion of a response, you do appear to have accepted all the redactions they have made as a result. I should like to unpick some of their arguments in their point 3:

a. 'Whilst the MoJ Working Assumptions states that the bidder's approach ... is generally disclosable except for information that is agreed to be a "trade secret", the information contained in the tender document for Project Isaac is the supplier's own unique approach ... and as it was the winning bid ... this is the suppliers "trade secret".'

This comment is ridiculous. Every bid made states a supplier's own unique approach, and so Fujitsu is asserting that winning bids should never be disclosed. This is clearly at odds with the MoJ guidance.

b. I believe Fujitsu's argument, particularly making reference to the Information Tribunal decision, is intended to say that anything they can now claim to be a "trade secret" is automatically exempted (under s43(1) of the FOIA). However, they have been selective in their reading of the decision. In paragraph 52 the Tribunal indicates that trade secrets are information which is considered to be *more restricted* than commercially sensitive. My argument (in point c below) is that the information Fujitsu now seeks to redact was not considered to be commercially sensitive when submitted to you, and hence cannot now be considered to be a trade secret. Fujitsu seems to be saying that they can willy-nilly decide what is a trade secret, and hence can withhold any information they want from the documents. This is at odds with the Tribunal decision.

c. Fujitsu notes my assertion that any information not detailed in Schedule 8 is not commercially sensitive, but disagrees with this and redacts information they have now decided they do not want to release. This is at odds with the wording of that Schedule, which says

"In this Schedule the Parties have sought to identify the Service Provider's Confidential Information that is believed to be genuinely commercially sensitive and the disclosure of which would be contrary to the public interest (i.e. the Commercially Sensitive Information)."

Indeed, this is more widely drafted than I initially expected, as it actually details the information which both Fujitsu AND the Cabinet Office belive to be commercially sensitive (you are both "the Parties"). The whole purpose of Schedule 8 seems to be that you will start from a basis of full disclosure, but will give reasonable consideration to withholding the items listed in the Schedule.

Within this context, the only information which Fujitsu and the Cabinet Office agree is potentially commercially sensitive is the pricing workbook and the financial model.

I therefore cannot understand how Fujitsu now claims that a huge part of the document which was never considered to be commercially sensitive before has now become commercially sensitive, and furthermore why the Cabinet Office is simply accepting this argument rather than simply telling Fujitsu that they should have thought about that in April 2007 when they submitted their bid.

I believe that by outsourcing the redaction of the document to Fujitsu, you have not handled my FOIA request correctly for the following reasons:

1. You have not used the information held by the Cabinet Office as the source documents, but have relied upon information sent to you by Fujitsu (already with redactions). The Act specifically refers to information held by the public authority, not to information sent to you in an edited format by a supplier.

2. Some of the documents appear to be missing, again indicating the danger of asking the supplier to provide you with a response, eg several CO schedules, a number of contract controlled documents etc. If these were being deliberately withheld, I would expect you to say so (and be prepared to justify why) - I suspect they were omitted by the Cabinet Office because they were omitted in Fujitsu's mail to you (either due to incompetence or by deliberate act).

3. Despite your assertion in your letter to me that under s43 you have (only) withheld information stated as Commercial in Confidence in Schedule 8 together with information likely to prejudice the Cabinet Office's commercial interests, and that you have conducted the required public interest tests on this, you appear actually to have redacted all of the information Fujitsu has decided not to release (mainly as a result of their bogus "trade secrets" argument). I suspect you have done this because it was not the Cabinet Office which did the redaction, but Fujitsu.

Finally, the Cabinet Office appears to be rewriting the FOIA and the official guidance on its interpretation. You assert that releasing any of the information Fujitsu wants to hide (which, I remind you, was not considered by you or they to be commercially sensitive when Schedule 8 was incorporated into the contract), companies in general will be less likely to disclose honestly in confidential negotiations. Surely what you should be saying to Fujitsu is that if they considered all of this information to be commercially sensitive, why did they not reference any of it in Schedule 8? Are you really suggesting that if you release this information, Fujitsu or companies in general will not be honest with the Cabinet Office in future procurements?

I should like the Internal Review to examine:

* why the FOIA request was sent to Fujitsu rather than being processed by the Cabinet Office

* whether it was appropriate to forward a Freedom of Information Act request sent by a member of the public to the Cabinet Office to a third party, and whether this potentially breached Data Protection Legislation

* what steps the Cabinet Office took to consider each and every redaction proposed by Fujitsu, particularly where these relied on their tenuous argument that information was a "trade secret" when they did not state this in Schedule 8

* what has happened to the missing documents - please can you review the CABINET OFFICE's COPY of the tender and identify every document submitted as part of this tender, not just the ones Fujitsu sent over to you

* whether some of the redacted/missing information can be reinstated, in particular:
- the Services Catalogue (document missing)
- the Service Architecture Solution (document missing)
- milestone information from Schedule 10
- components of disaster recovery plan from Schedule 13
- whatever has been redacted from page 1 of Schedule 16
- transition plan CCD referred to in Schedule 20 (and any other CCDs which have gone missing)
- any further information from the CO Proposition Detailed Information document
- service provider solution information from the CO Proposition Final document
- redacted information from CO Schedule 10 Detailed Transition Transformation document (mainly in Section B)
- marketing plan (document missing)

Yours faithfully,

Richard Greenwood

Cabinet Office

Dear Mr Greenwood,

Thank you for Internal Review request dated 10/11/2009. This is receiving
attention.

Kind Regards,

FOI Team
Cabinet Office
E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

The Cabinet Office computer systems may be monitored and communications
carried on them recorded to secure the effective operation of the system
and for other lawful purposes.

show quoted sections

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

References

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Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Greenwood,

Please see the attached letter regarding your request for an internal
review.

Kind regards,

Zara Smart
PA to Sue Gray
Propriety & Ethics Team
Cabinet Office
Room 1.18
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

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James Macfarlane left an annotation ()

Zip file isn't opening for me.