Urban Broadband Fund proposals

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

Please can you make available all the proposals submitted by cities invited to bid for the Urban Broadband Fund/Super-Connected Cities Project.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Chambers

REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Chambers

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 22 March in which you made the following
request:

 

“Please can you make available all the proposals submitted by cities 
invited to bid for the Urban Broadband Fund/Super-Connected Cities
Project”.

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

I can confirm that we hold the information within the scope of your
request. However, the Department considers that some of the information
may be exempt from disclosure under Section 43 of the Act (commercial
interests). Under the Act, we need to consider, taking into account all
the circumstances of the case, whether the balance of the public interest
lies in our providing you with the information or in maintaining the
exemption and withholding the information.

 

I regret that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not yet
reached a decision on the balance of interest. I apologise for the delay
and will write to you again by 14^th May 2012.

 

I should add for your information that the Department intends to publish
the bids in due course, subject to the discussions taking place regarding
commercial interests. In view of this intention, could I ask if you would
wish to withdraw this Freedom of Information request and await the
publication of the bids?

 

Kind regards

 

Patricia Reason

Ministerial Support Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

     

 

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Chambers

 

Further to my email of 23^rd April 2012 in response to your request as
follows:

 

“Please can you make available all the proposals submitted by cities 
invited to bid for the Urban Broadband Fund/Super-Connected Cities
Project”.

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

This is to advise you that the Department has not yet reached a decision
on the balance of public interest. I will write again by 28^th May.

 

Kind regards

 

Patricia Reason

Ministerial Support Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Dear Mr Chambers

 

Further to my email of 14^th May in response to your request as follows:

 

“Please can you make available all the proposals submitted by cities 
invited to bid for the Urban Broadband Fund/Super-Connected Cities
Project”.

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

With my apologies for the delay, this is to advise you that the Department
has not yet reached a decision on the balance of public interest. I will
write again by 11^th June.

 

Kind regards

 

Patricia Reason

Ministerial Support Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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From: REASON PATRICIA
Sent: 11 June 2012 18:50
To: [FOI #110780 email]
Subject: Freedom of Information Request - our reference 202832

 

Dear Mr Chambers

 

Further to my email of 28^th May in response to your request as follows:

 

“Please can you make available all the proposals submitted by cities 
invited to bid for the Urban Broadband Fund/Super-Connected Cities
Project”.

 

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

As advised to you previously, I have been able to confirm we hold the
information in the scope of your request, most of which I have attached to
this email with redactions.

 

Please note that elements of the information provided amount to exempt
information under section 41 (confidential information) of the Act, and
have therefore been redacted. Section 41 is an absolute exemption enabled
where information has been provided confidentially thereby creating a duty
of confidence, and unauthorised disclosure of this information would cause
a legal breach of confidence.

 

Some of the requested information is exempt under Section 22 of the Act
(information intended for future publication). This is because the
information (the London bid) is intended for publication at a future date.
 Section 22 provides a qualified exemption and so, in reaching our
decision we considered whether the balance of the public interest lies in
disclosing the information or in maintaining the exemption. In favour of
releasing the information we considered, inter alia, the following points:

o The general argument in favour of releasing information is that there
is a public interest in being able to scrutinise aspects of government
work where that information might be easy to access and will not
prejudice the public authority. 
o There is a public interest in seeing the London bid at the same time
as the other city bids

 

However, we decided that the public interest lay firmly in favour of
maintaining the exemption because of the following points:

 

o The public interest in permitting public authorities  to publish
information in a manner and form and at a time of their own choosing. 
It is a part of the effective conduct of public affairs that the
general publication of information is a conveniently planned and
managed activity within the reasonable control of public authorities. 
Where the decision has been made in principle to publish, there is a
reasonable entitlement to make arrangements to do so. 
o In this case It has always been the intention of the public authority
to publish London's Super Connected Cities bid (final submission) to
publicly signal London's determination to ensure the capital's digital
connectivity is nothing less than world class, and to present this as
part of a wider strategy of long term investment in the capital's
infrastructure - closely linked to London's economic objectives with
regards to both competitiveness and inclusion.  

 

Additionally, elements of  information provided amounts to exempt
information under section 43 (2), of the Act and has therefore been
redacted. This concerns  commercial interests and exempts information the
disclosure of which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of any person. Section 43 is a qualified exemption and so, in
reaching our decision we considered whether the balance of the public
interest lies in disclosing the information or in maintaining the
exemption. In favour of releasing the information we considered, inter
alia, the following points:

 

o The general interest in scrutiny of government action.
o The general interest in openness.
o Public commercial activities are conducted in an open and honest way.
o The general interest in transparency about, and proper scrutiny of,
the expenditure of public money.

 

However, we decided that the public interest lay firmly in favour of
maintaining the exemption because of the following points:

 

o The degree of prejudice which the release of the information would
cause at this time, as well as the potential extent of the harm.
o The likelihood of prejudice towards any future procurement exercise
that the release of commercially confidential data could produce.
o Equally we considered that it was not in the public interest to
disclose information about a particular body where that information
was not common knowledge and would be likely to be used by competitors
to gain an unfair advantage. It is in the broader public interest to
ensure that companies are able to compete fairly.
o Publishing this information would also make it less likely that
companies would in future provide us with confidential commercial
information, which would be contrary to the public interest.

 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me on the above email address if I can
be of further assistance.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Patricia Reason

Ministerial Support Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

 

Complaints Procedure

 

If you are unhappy about the way DCMS has handled your request, you are
entitled to ask for an internal review of its handling within two calendar
months of the date of this email. If you wish to make a complaint you
should contact:

 

FOI Complaints

Ministerial Support Team

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

2-4 Cockspur Street

London

SW1Y 5DH

 

If you are not content 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: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

3 Attachments

 

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REASON PATRICIA, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

2 Attachments

 

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