Webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement

ScarletPimpernel made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan 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.

ScarletPimpernel

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

In the agreed 2017/18 budget there is a capital amount of £225,000 which is described as "Webcasting for committee meetings. Transparency agenda"

I know there has also been soft market testing of this area by Wirral Council.

Please could you tell me:

(a) which public meeting/s are proposed to be webcast eg all, Cabinet and Council, all held at Wallasey Town Hall etc,

(b) whether the plan is for this to done in-house, contracted out (or whether a final decision has not yet been reached),

(c) a breakdown (if known) of estimates of what the £225,000 will be spent on eg wireless microphones, camera equipment, upgrading network capacity for video traffic etc,

(d) what type of video (if decided) Wirral Council is proposing to webcast in (eg recorded in HD, 4k, CD quality audio etc?)

(e) the details of any soft market testing.

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Brace

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request.  Please see
below the Council's response to your enquiry.

 

(a)          which public meeting/s are proposed to be webcast eg all,
Cabinet and Council, all held at Wallasey Town Hall etc,

 

               The WMBC propose to webcast Council, Cabinet and Committee
meetings. 

 

(b)          whether the plan is for this to done in-house, contracted out
(or whether a final decision has not yet been reached),

 

               A final decision has not yet been reached.

 

(c)           a breakdown (if known) of estimates of what the £225,000
will be spent on eg wireless microphones, camera equipment, upgrading
network capacity for video traffic etc,

 

The information you have requested is considered to be commercially
sensitive and as such cannot be disclosed to you. We have given
consideration to the fact that the release of the information requested
could be used/passed on, to gain an unfair advantage for future tender
exercises. We have therefore relied on the exemption contained in section
43 (2) of The Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Commercial Interests, to
refuse this part of your request.       

 

The Council considers that the disclosure of the information would be
likely to prejudice the commercial interests both of the public authority
and its suppliers; its disclose may also affect the Council’s ability to
do business in future.  The Council considers the public interest in
maintaining the exemption under s43 in this case outweigh the public
interest in disclosure. 

 

(d)          what type of video (if decided) Wirral Council is proposing
to webcast in (eg recorded in HD, 4k, CD quality audio etc?)

 

               This detail has not yet been decided

 

(e)          the details of any soft market testing.

 

               No soft market testing has been undertaken

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal of the information requested
at (c) above.  Please direct any request for an internal review to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated to
an independent officer for review.

 

You also have the right to complain to the information Commissioner, if
you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal review, whose office
is situated at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Fax: 01625 524510  [2]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Senior Information Management Officer

Business Services - Digital

 

Treasury Building

Cleveland Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 6BL

[3]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[4][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[5]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
3. file:///tmp/Tel:0151
4. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

ScarletPimpernel

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement'.

Thank you for the information supplied so far, could you please clarify exactly what meaning you mean by "Committee" in answer to part (a) please?

For example the Wirral Schools Forum is a committee which is holds public meeting held at Wallasey Town Hall. I'm confused whether this falls within your definition of "Committee".

In relation to part (c), please read the ICO guidance on part 43 here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio... .

I provide further public interest arguments that weigh in favour of disclosure of part (c).

1) As you will know the different political groups suggested various different budgets at a meeting of Wirral Council councillors. At least one budget (the Lib Dem budget) proposed removing this part of the budget. Therefore it would further understanding of participation in the debate of issues of the day which is also strengthened by the fact that there is an election in Claughton ward,

2) there is a general interest in openness, accountability and transparency in decisions taken by public authorities, which is strengthened by the fact that it was councillors (who are directly accountable to the public at election time),

3) there is a public interest in the spending of public money,

4) as someone who films and attends public meetings there is a public interest in the public understanding decisions which affect the public (for example better audio quality through wireless microphones may assist those with hearing difficulties at public meetings) and

5) your stated reason against disclosure is that the information could be used in future tender exercises (but elsewhere you state that a decision on whether to go out to tender has not been made which weakens your argument).

I would presume if it was decided at a future date to go out to tender that the invitation to tender would be classed as part of the contract, which would be open to public inspection (see Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, s.26 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014... ).

Therefore for the above reasons I am of the opinion that the public interest arguments in favour of disclosure outweigh the public interest arguments in favour of withholding the information.

I would therefore appreciate being sent the information in part (c) of this request, along with clarity as to what meaning you give to "Committee" in part (a).

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

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

 Dear Mr. Brace,
Thank you for your request for an Internal Review. Please take the contents of this email as a response to your request for an Internal Review.

In relation to part a) of your enquiry, the Council considers the word Committee to relate to anything on the Committee card, I have attached copy of the 2016/17 card.

In relation to part c) of your enquiry, I have taken note of the arguments you have put forward and also revisited the original reply you were given. I believe the information you have requested is commercially sensitive and therefore seek to rely on the exemption contained within Section 43 (2) of The Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am unable to disclose the information you have requested, as I consider it could be used by a 3rd party to obtain an unfair advantage in a future tendering exercise. I further agree with the original responder that disclosure of the information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the Council itself and its suppliers. The Council must take into account and give consideration to the fact that disclosures of this nature may affect the Council’s ability to do business in the future.

I therefore uphold the original decision that the Council considers the public interest in maintaining the exemption under s43 in this case, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal review. Details below:-
Information Commissioner's Office - Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45
Fax: 01625 524510
www.ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/


Yours Sincerely
Jane Corrin
Records and Information Manager
Business Services - Digital
Wirral Council
[email address]

Visit our website: www.wirral.gov.uk

From: ScarletPimpernel [mailto:[FOI #394585 email]]
Sent: 29 March 2017 15:32
To: InfoMgr, FinDMT
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement'.
Thank you for the information supplied so far, could you please clarify exactly what meaning you mean by "Committee" in answer to part (a) please?
For example the Wirral Schools Forum is a committee which is holds public meeting held at Wallasey Town Hall. I'm confused whether this falls within your definition of "Committee".
In relation to part (c), please read the ICO guidance on part 43 here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio... .
I provide further public interest arguments that weigh in favour of disclosure of part (c).

1) As you will know the different political groups suggested various different budgets at a meeting of Wirral Council councillors. At least one budget (the Lib Dem budget) proposed removing this part of the budget. Therefore it would further understanding of participation in the debate of issues of the day which is also strengthened by the fact that there is an election in Claughton ward,

2) there is a general interest in openness, accountability and transparency in decisions taken by public authorities, which is strengthened by the fact that it was councillors (who are directly accountable to the public at election time),

3) there is a public interest in the spending of public money,

4) as someone who films and attends public meetings there is a public interest in the public understanding decisions which affect the public (for example better audio quality through wireless microphones may assist those with hearing difficulties at public meetings) and

5) your stated reason against disclosure is that the information could be used in future tender exercises (but elsewhere you state that a decision on whether to go out to tender has not been made which weakens your argument).

I would presume if it was decided at a future date to go out to tender that the invitation to tender would be classed as part of the contract, which would be open to public inspection (see Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, s.26 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014... ).
Therefore for the above reasons I am of the opinion that the public interest arguments in favour of disclosure outweigh the public interest arguments in favour of withholding the information.
I would therefore appreciate being sent the information in part (c) of this request, along with clarity as to what meaning you give to "Committee" in part (a).
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w...
Yours faithfully,

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