Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Request for Information under Freedom of Information Act

I would be most grateful if you would provide me, under the Freedom of Information Act, details in respect to the contract below;

Contract Title: Recovery Orientated Substance Misuse Service - Wirral

The details we require are:
• Suppliers who applied for inclusion on each framework/contract and were successful & not successful at the PQQ & ITT stages*
• Contract values of each framework/contract (& any sub lots), year to date
• Start date & duration of framework
• Is there an extension clause in the framework(s)/contract(s) and, if so, the duration of the extension?
• Has a decision been made yet on whether the framework(s)/contract(s) are being either extended or renewed?
• Who is the senior officer (outside of procurement) responsible for this contract?

*For clarity, the details of the successful and unsuccessful suppliers are kept in the strictest confidence. These details are used only to contact and support suppliers regarding their bidding activity for the relevant contracts.

Yours faithfully,

Julie Thompson

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Ms Thompson

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding unsuccessful tender submissions for the following contract: Recovery Orientated Substance Misuse Service - Wirral.

The information you requested is being withheld under the exemption in section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act which applies to information which would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests of the Council or another person.

As this is a qualified exemption, we have also considered whether the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. In reaching our conclusion we have considered the factors in favour of and against disclosure.

The Council believes in promoting accountability and transparency by public authorities for decisions taken by them. We recognise that the spending of public money is a serious concern in the current financial climate and that it is absolutely in the public interest to share such information. Disclosing the requested information would allow the public to understand how their money is being spent and what services are being provided for public authorities.

However, we strongly believe that disclosing such information would be prejudicial to suppliers as it would reveal competitive elements of their bids (such as internal processes and costings) which they would otherwise have no expectation of sharing. In addition to prejudicing our suppliers’ commercial interests, the Council’s own commercial interests would be damaged as disclosing such information could result in suppliers choosing not to tender for future opportunities. We strongly believe that, as a local authority, this would not be in the public interest as it is important we are able to secure the best quality and value for money contracts possible.

In all the circumstances of the case we have concluded that the public interest in withholding the information is greater than disclosing it. As such, we find that the use of a section 43(2) exemption is appropriate and the information requested should not be disclosed.

If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled, you may ask for an internal review by emailing [Wirral Borough Council request email]. If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Yours sincerely

Lynette Paterson
Principal Information Management Officer
Business Management

Treasury Building
Argyle Street
CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 691 8201
[Wirral Borough Council request email]

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Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
Many thanks for your response, we note that the Wirral Substance Misuse tender has commenced the early stages of procurement which has answered some of the questions in which we originally raised.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Thompson

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