Spending data and relationship with Spikes Cavell

Chris Taggart made this Freedom of Information request to Waverley Borough Council

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 partially successful.

Chris Taggart

Dear Waverley Borough Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I would like to request some information relating to the publication of Waverley Borough Council spending data on the SpotlightOnSpend website (hereafter referred to as the Website), and the company that publishes it, Spikes Cavell Analytic Ltd and the associated company Spikes Cavell & Co Ltd (jointly hereafter referred to as the Publisher).

1) Please list all the agreements the Council has with Publisher, including: a full description of the service provided, the date the agreement began, when the agreement is scheduled to end, whether it is governed by a formal contract, and the nature of the relationship (e.g. a commercial one of supplier and client, or an exclusive agreement as governed by The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 (No. 1515)). Please include copies of contracts and agreements in your response.
2) Detail exactly what information the Publisher is given by the Council in the course of any relationship, and by what technical means this is provided.
Please be as detailed as possible, including (but not limited to): the systems on which the information given to the Publisher is stored on; the full specification (e.g. database schema) of the data provided to the data; the technical means by which the data is transferred (e.g. direct access by the publisher into the system, regular data dump, etc); the rules by which data is chosen (if it is a subset of the entire dataset, e.g. excluding vulnerable parties); and the frequency data is transferred. If there are technical agreements, manuals or specifications, these should be included.
3) Detail the restrictions on access, use and storage of information by Spikes Cavell, including: physical restrictions (e.g. the information must not be transferred off a secure site); security restrictions (e.g. the systems used by the publisher to hold the information must be encrypted or meet given security restrictions); restrictions on transfer of the data to third parties; restrictions on the use of the data to advise parties outside the private sector; and finally whether any licence agreements have been made with the Publisher regarding the data.
4) Please state which of the arrangements with the Publisher have been examined or approved by a scrutiny or other council committee, and if so the date, minutes and associated paperwork of the meetings concerned.

If this information is held by an outside contractor then it is your responsibility under the FOIA to obtain that information.

If the arrangements for any of the agreements with the Publisher have been delegated or passed onto another public body, please can you inform me of this and if possible transfer the request to that public body. My preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means, specifically in a machine-readable form (e.g. CSV, Word or Excel Documents rather than scans of printouts).

Many public authorities release their contracts with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified
exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public’s interest.

The public have an interest in knowing the terms of contracts awarded. If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:

• When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
• All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed.
• The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public companies should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure

I would also point to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: ‘Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.’

If you need any clarification of this request or if it is too broad in any way please feel free to email me. If some parts of this request are more difficult to answer than others please release the answerable material as it is available rather than hold up the entire request for the contested data.

If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Taggart

Waverley Borough Council

Dear Chris

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which I have logged with
reference number 10/98/F. I have forwarded your request to the relevant
officer for a response within 20 days.

Please don't hesitate to contact me or my colleague Chris May in the
meantime if you have any queries about the progress of your enquiry. we
can be contacted via this email address or on 01483 523044.

Regards

Jill

Jill Mansfield
Communications Officer (Mon - Weds)
Waverley Borough Council
01483 523044

Council Offices
The Burys
Godalming
GU7 1HR

From: Chris Taggart <[FOI #41623 email]>
To: FOI requests at Waverley Borough Council
<[Waverley Borough Council request email]>
Date: 09/07/2010 13:50
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Spending data and
relationship with Spikes Cavell

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Waverley Borough Council

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Dear Mr Taggart

I am writing in response to your request for information relating to
Waverley's Spotlight on Spend.

The answers to your questions are as follows

1)1) Please list all the agreements the Council has with Publisher,
including: a full description of the service provided, the date the
agreement began, when the agreement is scheduled to end, whether it
is governed by a formal contract, and the nature of the
relationship (e.g. a commercial one of supplier and client, or an
exclusive agreement as governed by The Re-use of Public Sector
Information Regulations 2005 (No. 1515)). Please include copies of
contracts and agreements in your response.

Waverley Borough Council is participating in a comparative analysis of
spend with other councils in the South East in an arrangement funded by
Improvement and Efficiency South East (IESE). Waverley has previously
participated in a spend analysis exercise with Spikes Cavell with other
Surrey Local Authorities in a contract negotiated by Reigate and Banstead
Borough Council. The purpose of this agreement was to identify common
suppliers with a view to improving our procurement of goods and services;
to increase efficiencies and increase collaboration to help drive down
costs.

The use of the Spotlight on Spend website is provided by the publisher as
an extra service as part of the arrangement with IESE and at no extra cost.
Waverley has also published its creditor payment information on its own
website on a monthly basis since April. You can see all relevant
transactions on our website at
http://www.waverley.gov.uk/site/scripts/...

Following the most recent Public Data Panel meeting on 20 July, you will be
aware that Spikes Cavell are making adjustments to the download data so
that it can be accessed in a a different format that will improve its
accessibility further.

Further information on the details of the contracts relating to the
arrangements with IESE and Reigate and Banstead (on behalf of Surrey
authorities) can be obtained from those organisations via Andrew Larnewr
and Graham Friday respectively.

2) Detail exactly what information the Publisher is given by the
Council in the course of any relationship, and by what technical
means this is provided.
Please be as detailed as possible, including (but not limited to):
the systems on which the information given to the Publisher is
stored on; the full specification (e.g. database schema) of the
data provided to the data; the technical means by which the data is
transferred (e.g. direct access by the publisher into the system,
regular data dump, etc); the rules by which data is chosen (if it
is a subset of the entire dataset, e.g. excluding vulnerable
parties); and the frequency data is transferred. If there are
technical agreements, manuals or specifications, these should be
included.

(See attached file: Taggart FOI.doc)(See attached file: Spikes
Cavell.pdf)

3) Detail the restrictions on access, use and storage of
information by Spikes Cavell, including: physical restrictions
(e.g. the information must not be transferred off a secure site);
security restrictions (e.g. the systems used by the publisher to
hold the information must be encrypted or meet given security
restrictions); restrictions on transfer of the data to third
parties; restrictions on the use of the data to advise parties
outside the private sector; and finally whether any licence
agreements have been made with the Publisher regarding the data.

4) Please state which of the arrangements with the Publisher have
been examined or approved by a scrutiny or other council committee,
and if so the date, minutes and associated paperwork of the
meetings concerned.

This was an arrangement aimed at improving transparency and was agreed as a
business process improvement by the Chief Executive and Executive
Councillors and did not need a separate report to committee. It follows
the long standing practice of webcasting our council meetings to make our
democratic processes open and accessible.

I hope that you find this information useful. If you need us to provide
any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.

yours sincerely

Christine May
Communications Assistant

We are passionate about improving lives, leisure, environment, value for money and subsidised affordable housing.

This email, and any files attached to it, is confidential and solely for the use of the individual or organisation to whom it is addressed.
The opinions expressed in this email are not necessarily those of Waverley Borough Council.
The Council is not responsible for any changes made to the message after it has been sent.
If you are not the intended recipient of this email or the person responsible for delivering it to them you may not copy it, forward it or otherwise use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any other person. To do so may be unlawful.

Please visit our website at http://www.waverley.gov.uk

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